The following are the requirements for the medical certification of aircrew, including guidance material issued by the UK CAA Medical Department in relation to the musculoskeletal system.
MED.B.050 Musculoskeletal System
(a) An applicant with any significant sequela from disease, injury or congenital abnormality affecting the bones, joints, muscles or tendons with or without surgery requires full evaluation prior to a fit assessment.
(b) In cases of limb deficiency, a fit assessment may be considered following a satisfactory medical flight test or simulator testing.
In case of limb deficiency, a fit assessment may be considered following a satisfactory medical flight test.
At routine medical examination much information on musculoskeletal function is obtained informally by observation of the applicant as they walk, sit, climb onto the examining couch etc. At the initial examination, following musculoskeletal injury or if there is any other reason to suspect impaired function, formal examination is required. This will include, as a minimum, demonstration of a satisfactory range and strength of neck and limb movement, of stability of joints likely to be subjected to prolonged or sudden stress and the absence of pain or medication side-effects likely to affect concentration or judgement. The
Standards for Performing Aviation Medical Examinations on Behalf of the UK Civil Aviation Authority set out the minimum examination that should be undertaken. More detailed examination will be required for applicants with musculoskeletal disease/injury and supplementary notes can be found in
Examination of the musculoskeletal system.
Medical Flight Test Form -
Medical reports -
Acceptable Means of Compliance
(c) An applicant with inflammatory, infiltrative, traumatic or degenerative disease of the musculoskeletal system may be assessed as fit provided the condition is in remission and the applicant is taking no disqualifying medication and has satisfactorily completed a medical flight or simulator flight test. A limitation to specified aircraft type(s) may be required.
An applicant with inflammatory, infiltrative, traumatic or degenerative disease of the musculoskeletal system may be assessed as fit, provided the condition is in remission and the applicant is taking no disqualifying medication and has satisfactorily completed a medical flight test. A limitation to specified aircraft type(s) may be required.
In the aviation environment impairment of the musculoskeletal system may cause difficulty in entry to and exit from an aircraft and safe operation of controls. Restricted mobility may adversely affect the ability to read instruments or keep a satisfactory lookout. Applicants for medical certification with musculoskeletal disabilities require assessment to ensure they have the strength and range of movement necessary to operate an aircraft safely, with aids or modifications to controls as appropriate, and that they are not experiencing symptoms or medication side effects likely to impair judgement and concentration.
Guidance for the certification of pilots with physical disabilities
UK CAA guidance on medication used in musculoskeletal conditions.
Obesity guidance (PDF)
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