Turbine Training Center Blog for Cessna 208 Caravan & Beechcraft King Air pilots
VIRGIN GALACTIC, the firm currently "recruiting" civilians for space travel, has run a number of tests where they measure both pre-spin and post-spin heart rate, oxygen saturation and blood pressure have found that a number of people, even with what might be considered "health conditions" can participate in the program.
"In our case," Dale Wolcott, President of the TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas, shared, "we simply follow the standards established by the FAA."
In regard to the FAA Medical Certificate, you will need one before you can fly solo after receiving your King Air 90 training, King Air 200 training, King Air 300 training, and Cessna 208 training. There are actually three "classes" of these, including:
- First Class - For Airline Transport Pilots
- Second Class - For Commercial Pilots
- Third Class - For Private, Recreational, and Student Pilots.
"People often think that acquiring an FAA Medical Certificate is a major undertaking," Jason Wolcott, the Vice President at TURBINE TRAINING offered, "but in reality all it takes is passing a physical exam as administered by a physician who is a medical examiner that is FAA-authorized."
Interestingly enough, in neither case does someone need to be in "perfect health" to participate. For the space flight, for example, VIRGIN GALACTIC states that even those with such medical problems as lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even joint replacements, to name just a few issues, can safely go into outer space, as long as the proper precautions are taken, of course. And, the FAA has granted certificates to those with physical disabilities as long as they don't impede the pilot's ability to properly fly the craft.
(To learn more about this topic check out “Your Health and Flying in Space,” and “FAA Health Requirements for Pilots.”)