You’ve probably heard the news. As of May 1, 2017 third-class medical reform, now known as BasicMed, goes into effect. It is a victory for the aviation organizations like AOPA and EAA that pressed so hard for it, and for all pilots that have found FAA medical certification an intimidating and frustrating process.
There are a lot of nuances to BasicMed and you will most certainly have questions. That’s why we created our free course – “Pilot Medicals and BasicMed Explained”. Enjoy it as our gift.
The great news is that BasicMed allows pilots with a valid U.S. driver’s license to fly without holding a current FAA medical certificate, as long as they have once held a medical certificate that was valid after July 14, 2006. If you are a new pilot, or your medical certificate expired on or before July 14, 2006, you will still need to go through the FAA medical certification process once.
The aircraft you fly under BasicMed can weigh up to 6,000 pounds and have up to 6 seats. It can be a single or twin, piston or turbine, retractable gear, pressurized—even a helicopter. Plus, you can fly up to 18,000 feet and 250 knots IAS, VFR or IFR. This is truly good news.
To qualify, you need to complete a free, online medical education course every 24 calendar months. In addition, every 48 months you need to get what the FAA calls a comprehensive medical examination, or CME. The physician you use does not have to be an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner—only a state-licensed doctor. You just need your doctor to go through an FAA CME checklist and sign it off. You’ll need to keep a copy of the signed FAA checklist and your medical education course completion certificate in your logbook.