Progress (And A Question)


I informed you guys that I had started flight training back in October, and I promised I’d keep you up to date on what’s going on…
Well, I just passed my ground written test 2 weeks ago, and I am cleared for first solo! (at 17 hours of flight so far). I’m really excited about flying that solo! I haven’t been able to fly solo yet because of weather, financial considerations, and I need to get my medical exam.

Speaking of the medical exam…What is that exam like? What do they check? Is it a really routine physical or do they go into a lot of depth?

I’ve flown 2 Cessna 172Ns now, one of which I can get a much better view out the front of and reach to the controls(I’m short… 5’5", and on the one plane, the seat doesn’t move up as far as I’d like it to). Any other short pilots out there? :slight_smile:


Your school should be able to answer any questions you have pertaining to the physical. It’s not that involved, just a good general health workup.

Good luck with the solo and when you get off cloud nine report back. :laughing:


Hey Quake,

I’m 5’5" also and found the same thing you did, that some 172s are fine (the seat goes up far enough) and some are not! I got one of those “lumbar support” back cushions they sell for old folks to use in the car and just stick that behind my back in the plane. Works great and was a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a regular booster cushion from Sporty’s or whatever.

There are lots of short pilots out there so don’t despair. :slight_smile: My buddy flies for Southwest and she’s 5’0"! It’s all about finding the right cushion configuration. :smiley:

Best of luck on the training, I’m a student too, PM me if you want to swap stories.


That doesn’t sound too bad actually. I was half expecting some crazy physical where they do a complete blood workup, make you strip naked and stand on scales, check your lung capacity, etc.

The flight school has some cushions that I’ve used before which makes it a BIT better. I REALLY liked the plane I was flying that had the really high adjustable seat. I was NAILING landings on that one no sweat. When I got back into the other one, it was a lot harder. It goes to show that that ‘picture’ you build in your head matters a lot.


It is just a general health physical. The only things I really know of that trip up guys going for their first third class medical are the two vision tests, a regular vision test and color vision.


That won’t be a problem for me. I have 20/20 in both eyes (with contacts or glasses), and I don’t think my color vision is bad or anything.
I might actually go for the 1st class, just so then I know if I can pass it or not in case I decide to take aviation in the direction of a career.


a long long time ago when i was 17 i went through a physical at an air base. all was fine until i got to the color vision test. it was pass or fail. i failed. i was surprised and my father was surprised and mad as hell (he was always that way, either in an ok state of mind or mad as hell) back to the story. he tells the people in the office to find out where the lt. col was at that very moment and we walk some great distance as i recall to where he was. dear old dad asks me to read off the colors of the mans insignia and that of several vehicles in the area. dad then asks him if i am color blind. after some banter back and forth, and a phone call or two, i received a light test. if i recall correctly, i was deemed color safe or something to that effect.

I found a Color Vision test. It will state what colorblind individuals see. I am unable to see any of the color normal shapes.


I can see all of the shapes in those pictures with no problem at all. I immediately saw them and it did not require any thinking or squinting or viewing at an angle, etc. I looked at another site (, and I can see the numbers in those examples no problem, too.


I recently flew commercial and after getting through TSA, I asked if they could provide a written statement of my health with regard to flying. They said I was OK, I found the flight physical somewhat intrusive, but easy to pass.



Why was it intrusive? Did they just ask a lot of questions, or was the physical exam itself uh…intrusive? lol…


Turn your head and cough. :open_mouth:


What in the? :open_mouth: Why do they check that? Not sure what that has to do with flying


I’ll put you out of your misery Quake, N117SE was referring to the overly intrusive pat-down by the TSA as a “physical” exam, primarily due to the groping involved that adult males most often encounter when their physician checks them for hernias.

IOW, he was being facetious.


My doc usually checks the blood pressure, listens to your heart, has you read the eye chart, and does a little BS’ing for a few minutes. Over, done, finished. And that’s First class!


It is very hard to tell if somebody is being facetious or sarcastic on the internet :slight_smile:

As for the physical, I am not really worried. I have no (known) health problems, my eyesight is good (corrected), and I am not color blind (taken many online tests and have NO issues with any of them. I know they are hardly official tests, but still).


Well, I set up my appointment. I am scheduled at 11AM on Wednesday for a class 1 aviation physical.


Yeah, but you’ve been through the “full” treatment at some point in the past.


“You using the whole hand there, Doc?”


Well the verdict is in! I now have a first class medical! Not a very hard physical exam, honestly…
Checked my blood pressure, vision, urine, medical history, listened to my heart and breathing, ears, throat, etc.
Only real concern there was was with one of my eyes focusing a bit stronger than the other, but it wasn’t enough to cause a deferment/denial.
I am also quite happy to report that I was not groped TSA style!


They usually charge extra for that!