JAA audiogram, and Class 1 medicals

For the audiogram initial and renewal requrements, see the text for audiograms 2.235 (Class I) and 2.355 in JAR-FCL3 local copy

On the renewal of the medical, there is a "demonstrated ability" route permitted (see Appendix 16 of the above).

Further details are here local copy

This medical requirement has been implemented by JAA but the FAA does not require it, at any level, even for the Class 1 required by an ATP.

Update January 2007: The CAA has just abolished the initial audiogram limits; details here local copy.

It is now the old renewal limits only that apply, even to the initial medical. Curiously, the JAA document above doesn't appear to contain corresponding dB limits.

Converting an FAA Class 1 medical to a JAA Class 1 medical

There used to be a shorter route for this, but the CAA withdrew it in December 2006. The following is what it used to be; it is relevant to pilots who

1. Pass the FAA (or some other ICAO) Class 1 initial medical, and
2. Pass the CAA/JAA Class 1 renewal medical, and
3. Fail the CAA/JAA Class 1 initial medical

There is a path for the holder of an FAA (or any ICAO) Class 1 medical to skip the CAA Class 1 initial medical requirements and go straight in under the renewal limits. The link to it on the CAA website is here local copy. As you can see from the PDF, for this to work you need an FAA (or any ICAO) CPL or ATPL (a PPL is not good enough).

It also provides a curious insurance policy option for the possibility of N-reg aircraft getting kicked out of UK/Europe. FAA PPL/IR holders will either have to revert to VFR privileges (the UK IMC Rating being one concession) or they will have to get the JAA IR. Older pilots in particular may find it hard to pass the JAA audiogram initial limits, as both ears get tested separately and the failure of either prevents you getting a JAA IR.

Update January 2007: the CAA seems to have withdrawn the above route. The above URL is now dead, and the replacement page is here local copy which doesn't mention any concession to ICAO Class 1 and CPL/ATPL holders. One wonders what the CAA's motivation was given that the concession was freely publicised on the medical section of their website for at least a year. Anyway I would recommend any pilot wishing to pursue this option (somebody who can show Demonstrated Ability but cannot get past the Initial medical on which DA is not allowed) to contact the CAA and ask them if they still do what used to be called an "ICAO Class 1 Renewal Medical". I suggest this enquiry is made by telephone, not in writing

HOWEVER - check other JAA member states. These weird concessions do vary around the place. For example Switzerland allows an ICAO IR to be converted to a JAA IR without having to fly the minimum 15 hours, and this is probably one of many examples. A better known example is the variation in the way colour vision is tested around JAA-land; plenty of would-be airline pilots are travelling around the EU until they get a "pass".

The other thing is that the CAA does some informal concessions which they don't publicise. For example, it is possible to get an IMC Rating even if you totally fail the colour vision test; you get the Rating with a daylight-only restriction (yes, rather bizzare since you could be in IMC but then the whole colour vision subject is rather controversial as Pape demonstrates). The CAA has also allowed some pilots, in the days of the stricter initial audiogram limits, to get the JAA PPL/IR even though they failed the initial but looked like they would have passed the renewal limits; the CAA said to the pilot "you get your IR done first and then we will look at it", so the pilot went off, sat the exams, did the flying and the checkride, and then the CAA let him have the IR. I suppose they applied the "demonstrated ability" concession at that point... However now that the initial audiogram limits are the same as the renewal ones, this concession cannot be applied because a pilot will fail both sets of limits on the initial medical.

Update 4/2011: The CAA has published some medical concessions here (local copy), with a note saying that EASA may over-rule these later...

Update 12/2013: It is apparent that one can get the EASA IR with one ear failing the audiogram. You have to ask the UK CAA face to face - probably via an AME who knows the system. It works via the principle that each case must be considered on its own merits. This option is not advertised.


This page last edited 18th December 2013.

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