FAA AviationMedical Exams
Dr. Christopher Highley is an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner and Family Medicine physician who has served the local aviation community since 2004. He earned his Private Pilot certificate in 2002 while working as a U.S. Army physician at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. When he's not busy seeing patients, he pilots a Cessna 182. He enjoys "hangar talk" in the medical office but ultimately wants to ensure the safety of the pilot and the public.
He currently performs 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class Aviation Medical Examinations as well as BasicMed exams.
NOTE: You do NOT have to be a member of Preferred Family Medicine to undergo an FAA Aviation Medical Exam with Dr. Highley. For active patients/members of Preferred Family Medicine, the flight physical is included in the membership.
Flight Physical Pre-Visit Checklist
Before you present for your FAA flight physical medical exam…
- It is MANDATORY to complete your medical certification application (Form 8500-8) online by going to https://medxpress.faa.gov and following the instructions.
Be sure to bring in your Confirmation Number and a Printed Copy of the 8500-8
- If you have a Special Issuance letter or waiver, please remember to bring it with you as required to do so by the FAA, along with any documentation outlined in your letter.
A fee will be charged for processing Special Authorization paperwork to the FAA:
$75 for physician review of Special Issuance and/or CACI (Conditions AME Can Issue) reports
$100 for a current status report or written narrative covering outside medical records.
$25 for uploading reports to the FAA via MedXpress. Note: Airmen have the option to mail reports to the FAA themselves. Uploaded documents are immediately available to the FAA whereas mailed documents may take 2-3 weeks for the FAA to process.
- Be at your best. Arrive well-rested, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodium, sugar, and large portions of carbohydrates eight hours prior to your exam.
- Medication. If you routinely take a medication, know the brand or generic name and your dosage.
- Vision. If you wear glasses, don’t leave them at home! If you think you might need corrective lenses to pass the vision test, please make an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist with enough advance time for your new prescription (if any) to come in. If you already wear contact lenses, you will not need to remove them for the vision test, although you may need them for the near vision portion.
- Blood Pressure. We recommend testing your blood pressure before your exam. Readings above 155/95 may prevent you from being medically certified; ideally, it should be below 150/90. Most blood pressure medications are approved for pilot use by the FAA.
- Recent Medical History Know the name, address, and date of all your physician visits in the last three years. Note also that a record of DUI or substance abuse may prevent your certification. This information can be filled out ahead of time using MedXpress.
- Previously Reported No Change (PRNC). If you have previously reported a medical condition on the 8500, please make note of the condition and avoid the use of “PRNC”. The description may be brief. For example, for surgeries “Gallbladder 2008, previously reported, no issues.”
Important note to parents: if you accompany your child for their first student pilot exam, you cannot complete the application for him or her. The original copy goes to the FAA and must be in the applicant’s handwriting.
Flight Physical Cost: $175. Additional testing may be required depending on the airman’s medical conditions and the medical examiner’s discretion. For example, an EKG is an additional $50.
AASI / CACI / Document Upload Fee: $25
Please note: Payment is expected at the time of the exam. We accept cash, checks, and most major credit cards. We will not file with your insurance provider.
You are required to present photo identification and a previous medical certificate (if renewal exam) at the time of exam.
We require 24-hour advance notice to reschedule an exam. Exams canceled without 24-hour advance notice will not be rescheduled and are subject to a no-show fee.
You do NOT need to bring in your Pilot Log Book.
The Airman Medical Exam is NOT a substitute for an annual preventive physical by your primary care physician.
Airman applicants must be at least 16 years of age and be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
If an applicant does not meet the medical criteria at the time of the exam, your application could be deferred to the FAA for further evaluation. If this becomes necessary we will function as your advocate, however, additional services provided by the examiner (i.e. letters, medical research, chart analysis) will be billable at an hourly rate. Please note that this visit is considered an occupational screening exam and not a therapeutic physician visit or evaluation. Therefore tests requested under the requirements of the airman certificate are not covered under the scope of general medical services. Please understand that we are not treating you for medical conditions at this exam.
*Federal Air Surgeons Announcement regarding MedxPress:
Dr. Christopher Highley is a designated Senior FAA Aviation Medical Examiner and a Private Pilot. He performs Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 Flight Physicals at Preferred Family Medicine, 9120 Double Diamond Pkwy, Reno, NV 89521. Call/Text (775) 204-0150 for an appointment.