The FAA on April 24 released the official BasicMed Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist that pilots who wish to fly under BasicMed need to fill out and have completed by the state-licensed physician performing the medical examination. The agency also published a link to AOPA’s Medical Self-Assessment: A Pilot's Guide to Flying Healthy online aeromedical course that satisfies the requirement for pilots to complete a medical education course prior to operating under BasicMed.
Although qualified pilots cannot fly under BasicMed until May 1, they can go ahead and make a doctor's appointment, have the checklist filled out by the physician, and complete the online medical course. Pilots will need to retain the completed exam checklist with their logbook, along with the certificate of completion provided after the pilot successfully completes the online course. Once these requirements are met, pilots just have to wait until May 1 to exercise the privileges of BasicMed.
“We fought long and hard for this on behalf of our members, and we’re excited that pilots can now start the BasicMed process,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “You’re now cleared to take the necessary steps to get in the air as of May 1.”
To qualify for BasicMed, pilots must hold a valid U.S. driver’s license and comply with any restrictions; have held a valid FAA medical certificate, regular or special issuance, on or after July 15, 2006; and not had their most recent medical revoked, suspended, or withdrawn, or most recent application denied. Pilots with a medical history or diagnosis of certain cardiac, neurological, or mental health conditions, will need a one-time-only special issuance for each condition.
Under BasicMed, pilots can fly as pilot in command of aircraft authorized to carry up to six occupants and weighing up to 6,000 pounds maximum certificated takeoff weight; carry up to five passengers; fly within the United States day or night, VFR or IFR; at altitudes up to 18,000 feet msl; and up to 250 knots indicated airspeed as long as they take the free online aeromedical course every two years (24 calendar months) and visit their state-licensed physician every four years (48 months) to have the medical checklist completed. Pilots can flight instruct under BasicMed, but they cannot operate for compensation or hire.
AOPA anticipates that BasicMed will affect hundreds of thousands of pilots and bring back many pilots who have stopped flying for fear of losing their medical certificate or because of the cost and stress associated with seeking a special issuance medical each year. To help those who have been away from flying for a few years, AOPA has created a Rusty Pilots program to make it easier to get back into the cockpit.
“If you’ve been away from flying for a while, don’t worry,” Baker encouraged pilots. “AOPA's Rusty Pilots seminars will help you knock off the rust and boost your confidence so that you will be ready to act as pilot in command.”
AOPA is partnering with flight schools to offer Rusty Pilots seminars in hundreds of locations across the United States. By attending the three-hour seminar, you will receive an instructor’s endorsement that meets the minimum requirement for the ground portion of the flight review, and you will get the opportunity to meet local flight instructors so that you can schedule a lesson to complete the ground and flight portion of a review. (Rusty Pilots seminars are free to all AOPA members!) Nearly 3,600 pilots have returned to active flying status through Rusty Pilots.
“We have worked tirelessly with Congress and the FAA to achieve medical reform,” Baker said. “Check out our suite of online Fit to Fly resources to let us help you settle into the left seat.”
To help members through the process, AOPA has dedicated staff standing by in our Pilot Information Center to answer your questions about BasicMed. If you have any questions, please send an email to the AOPA Pilot Information Center or call 888/462-3976, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. Also, watch AOPA's video, "A Guide to Understanding BasicMed."