New FAA medical certification program off to a great start!
Basic Med, a new path for meeting the medical requirement for most private pilots, is off to a flying start. The new program, which began on May 1, 2017, permits the vast majority of general aviation pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time ten years prior to the date of the act, July 15, 2016, to never again have to take a FAA approved medical examination. During the first 100 days of the program, more than 15,000 pilots have qualified to fly under Basic Med.
Before flying under Basic Med, pilots must get a physical exam by a state-licensed physician, have the associated checklist completed by the physician, and complete the online aeromedical course-in that order. A pilot meeting these requirements will be permitted to fly non-commercial VFR or IFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6000 pounds, having no more than six seats, no higher than 18,000 feet, at a maximum airspeed of 250 knots.
There are four steps in qualifying for Basic Med certification.
- Step one is to download the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist and fill out the “individual information” section.
- Step two is to take the checklist to any state-licensed physician who will complete the physical examination following the checklist and then sign it.
- Step three is to complete the medical self-assessment course and pass the quiz. After taking the quiz, you complete a form
to be transferred to the FAA containing the physician’s identifying information.
- Step four is to print the course completion certificate and keep it with your logbook or store it electronically.
I would highly recommend contacting AOPA’s Pilot Information Center staff at 1-800-872-2672 if you have any questions. Speaking from personal experience, they were great in helping me through
Basic Med is the single most important thing to happen for the General Aviation Industry in a long time. More people will be learning to fly, buying airplanes, and flying longer than ever before. AOPA member and Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, deserves a great deal of credit for leading the Basic Med effort to a successful conclusion.