BasicMed Now In Effect

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The new BasicMed FAA rule took effect on Monday, and according to AOPA, 1,354 pilots already have completed all the requirements to qualify for the program. Those pilots are now eligible to fly under the BasicMed rules. Another 3,897 pilots have completed the online medical education course quiz, and 2,412 pilots have begun the course, AOPA said. Besides taking the online course, pilots must complete a medical exam and checklist, possess a U.S. driver’s license and have held an FAA medical after July 14, 2006. The FAA said it is working on an updated BasicMed Advisory Circular (AC 68-1), which should be posted online on the BasicMed page sometime this week.

Pilots flying under BasicMed must fly aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds or less, and are authorized to carry no more than six occupants, including the pilot. They also must not fly above 18,000 feet MSL, and are limited to speeds not exceeding 250 knots. They also cannot fly for compensation or hire. The education course must be passed every two years, and the medical exam must be completed every four years. More details about the rule are posted at the FAA’s BasicMed webpage.

Comments (23)

Yep, as expected, the only ones even interested in this hot mess are the one demographic that doesn't matter at all to keeping GA alive and well here in the good old USofA---pilots, and ONLY pilots.... It will do not a single thing to attract anyone outside the already flying world---completely against what this all but useless, poorly conceived waste of everyone's money and time rule was supposed to do in the first place. MAJOR FAIL. Period.

And yes, I'm one of those wanna be pilots that thinks GA is as doomed as ever, and the government is happy to allow it to happen. And worse, your own so called major support organizations (are you even listening AOPA and EAA?? Do you even care??) are allowing it to happen., heck, they SUPPORTED this mess......RIP GA.

Posted by: Michael Livote | May 3, 2017 6:30 AM    Report this comment

At least the bureaucrats in OKC are out of the picture, and that in itself is a Godsend. Having some quota-filler sitting in a cubicle in OKC approve or not approve me to fly my own airplane was simply wrong and needed to be changed.

Posted by: Ken Keen | May 3, 2017 10:16 AM    Report this comment

I have a medical issue that required a specicial issuance and jumping through hoops of the FAA. BasicMed was a right fit for my type of flying and will keep me flying for years to come. I believe that BasicMed WILL benefit GA for many pilots in the present and the future for years to come.

Posted by: Mark Singer | May 3, 2017 2:02 PM    Report this comment

I am one of the pilots who completed all BasicMed requirements and got back to flying yesterday finishing a Flight Review. For me BasicMed works very well as it saves several thousand dollars annually to meet Special Issuance demands from FAA - passing the medical tests is not a problem, but paying the cost for the tests is a huge concern. It is literally the difference between being able to fly for fun which I love - or - not flying at all as it is too expensive. A big win in my opinion. See you at the airport! :)

Posted by: Richard Oakley | May 3, 2017 2:15 PM    Report this comment

Many members of my flying club have contacted their personal physicians and/or their AME's and no one wants to have anything to do with BasicMed. The stock answer they are getting is "It isn't covered by my liability insurance". So far I believe only one AME has said he would do Basic Med but will charge more money than a Class 3 due to the added paperwork.

Posted by: Scott Cagle | May 3, 2017 2:36 PM    Report this comment

Part 1 of 8

My 'apologies' to those who've read (and endured) this rather long 'rant' elsewhere. (and the 8-part format, as this venue only seems to allow 500 word posts) But after having read so many response-posts in various other publications on this 'subject' ...while some are seeing clearly, it seems that many (the majority?) still don't (or just don't want to) ...'Get-it'.
------------------
"BasicMed is the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades," said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker

"The BasicMed rule will keep our pilots safe but will simplify our regulations and keep general aviation flying affordable," Huerta said.

...and there's just no way to "sugarcoat" my response to that hogwash;

Robert Goyer, formally of 'Flying' magazine and now with 'Plane and Pilot' observed (in a most politically correct fashion) of this wonderful development: "The new rules are a lot more complicated than any of us would have wished for". That is the understatement of the century concerning this 'sham' legislation which is, as any reasonably intelligent person could see, essentially little more than the 'passing-of-the-buck' which in reality will do very little for the many of us who've waited so anxiously for it to come to fruition. Nor I fear will it do the slightest thing to reverse the final nails being driven, concerning the death of 'General Aviation' in this country

Unless I read AOPA's Q&A incorrectly, we are essentially 'substituting' an FAA designated Medical Examiner with a 'civilian' Physician. In our hyper-litigious society (especially in the area of 'Medical Malpractice') after the 1st. lawsuit is filed ...it'll all be over. As always, it really won't matter on the technicalities of the law in this instance (as is the case for most 'lawsuits') as in our country, it's always, unfortunately, been about one thing ...money. Even with the most frivolous of lawsuits, and/or more often even the 'threat' of them, the costs are usually outrageous ...and too many Physicians have already had their fill.

I sincerely hope ...wish, to be proved wrong. ...probably should know better.

But there's still just one more 'minor' reality, that so many folks, (commenting here and elsewhere) it appears, just don't (or won't?) seem to 'get'.

And I say this as a (hopeless) Aviation romantic, and (retired) Professional Pilot. Humbled by a wide range of experience from Skydiving to Airline flying ...and a 25+ year member of both AOPA & EAA:

Let's have a look at the two 'Grass-Roots' 'Non-Profit' organizations, that are supposed to be representing the (now just about extinct) 'Average Joe' 'GENERAL Aviation' pilot that had the most hands in initiating, pushing and following through on this so-called "most significant legislative victory for general aviation in decades." (AOPA's Mark Baker)

...continued next;

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 3:59 PM    Report this comment

AOPA & EAA ...currently headed by (appointed, NOT member voted) ex-Corporate CEO's still drawing (absurd) CEO level wages from NON-PROFIT 'Associations' Average-Joe members, flown around in expensive, Turbine (Corporate) aircraft doing OUR? 'Business' at expensive-lush resorts, provided & paid for by said membership, who are shamelessly deluged by the Association and its 'affiliates' with weekly solicitations for 'goods & services', and have in fact, ironically, become one of the many active and willing participants in the demise of General Aviation ...unfortunately, part of the problem, certainly NOT the solution.

We're told this excess is justified, in fact required, so that we can have people "experienced" in the ways of Washington, (Corporate) lobbying and (Big) Business in order to have (OUR?) voices heard and issues addressed. (sound familiar?) When the perverted reality is that it's just this type of mind-Set, this (USA?) 'Corporate Mentality' (pursuit of profit solely for its own sake) that's been the primary contributor to the Graveyard Spiral General Aviation has been unable to recover from.

EAA's Mr. Peltons last gig was with Cessna Aircraft Company, who like Piper, and others in the 50's, 60's & 70's not only supported, but actually CREATED a market for 'General Aviation' by providing aircraft, not only for the affluent, but airplanes that the 'Average-Joe', albeit with a little sacrifice, could actually afford, now gives us the $400,000+ venerable C172. A basic, simple, single-engine, 4-place, fixed gear/prop/low-HP 'Light Airplane'. One whose basic airframe's been around for over half a century and R&D, tooling and most other initial development costs have long since been paid for many times over, decades ago. Essentially a (very) old airframe design with a few tweaks, upgraded to some modern avionics (which also SHOULD cost substantially less than their steam-gauge, analog counterparts)

If one follows (Aviation related) news, it's been reported that the elite Business (Aviation) club is also experiencing a bit of drop in membership (revenues) these days. By forgetting its core roots & the re-inventing of itself into a 'profit-solely-for-its-own-sake' business model, perhaps the General-Aviation INDUSTRY is now finally beginning to feel the effects of its shortsightedness, in painting itself into the very limited little corner it's only now beginning to realize it's in?

Appalling, the manner in which our 'Industry', in its present incarnation shamefully perpetuates the illusion it hasn't (deliberately) mutated into something totally unrecognizable from how its birth and existence for the better part of the last century. Now destined by design and careful maintenance to cater solely to an extremely small, 'elite', and most affluent segment of our society. A perfectly constructed, self-perpetuating, insulated 'bubble', what was once a great, vibrant, perpetually growth potentiated and mostly unique to the USA phenomena ...'General Aviation'.

Deliberate spin, outright propaganda, or just plain denial?

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:25 PM    Report this comment

Most of Europe and all of present day Asia have no (and really never had any) such thing as 'General Aviation' ...solely because of the PROHIBITABLY EXPENSIVE costs. Their citizens have long been coming here to pursue that dream we've all taken for granted! (but even that may change ...read: practically grind to a halt now that the new draconian EASA Flight Crew licensing regs have kicked in) Active participation in our wonderful world of 'Flight' here in the USA has always been on the (relatively) expensive side, but up until recently remained the best (and only) place on the planet to do so.

But! ...let's take a hard look at what 'we' (US GA) have allowed to happen:
...In 1979/80, the peak of GA aircraft production, almost 20,000 piston airplanes rolled off the assembly lines with a US population of about 200 million. The average price of an airplane was 2-3 times that of a new car.

...In 2013, with a population of just over 300 million people, about 500 pistons were produced/delivered each year ...and the average prices are 2-3 times the (median) price of a (equally over-inflated) house!

First of all 'General Aviation' is doing just fine ...never better in fact. That is if when you say "General Aviation" ...you mean the 98 percent of GA which consist of 'executive' aircraft. Ninety eight (98) percent of the GA industry's annual revenue now comes from Turbine aircraft (Bizjets and Turboprops)

According to GAMA Statistics; In 1978 there were over 14,000 piston singles produced and just over 2,600 twins, for a total dollar value of just over $1 billion in 1979 dollars ...which is about $3.6 billion in today's dollars.

Total 'Turbine' GA aircraft produced were 779 with a total value of $772 million in 1978 dollars ...which is about $2.8 billion in today's money.

So the 'little guy' was THE major source of revenue for the GA industry as late as 1978 ...not the business bigwigs . That says a lot about where we where and where we have come to. Of course back then the head of the company made maybe 15-20 times as much as the Joe on the shop floor ...what is it today?

Let's look at those numbers a little more closely; The average cost of that executive airplane (the turbine variety) was just under $1 million ...about 3.5 million in today's dollars. Today the average sticker price is $10+ million.

The average cost of a piston plane in 1978 was $58,000 (INCLUDING light/medium twins and all the high end singles) which is about $200,000 in today's money. If we could separate the twins from the singles we would find the average piston single price would be closer to $90,000 ...in today's dollars.

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:29 PM    Report this comment

...continued last Part 4 of 8:

Now what really bears notice is the fact that those 30 some years ago, there were far less than 1,000 big spenders who could spend the equivalent of $3.5 million in today's money for a Bizjet or Turboprop ...but there were 17,000+ little guys who could afford to buy a piston single or even a light twin ...over 2,600 twins.

Who has gained and who has lost?

Well the 'GA' Industry is doing nicely. It has increased sales from $3 billion a year in today's dollars to well over $20 billion.

The big spenders also don't seem to be doing too badly. There's now over 2,000 of them buying a new executive airplane every year (almost three times as many) ...and paying more than three times as much on average for the airplane ...a nearly tenfold increase in spending power by the big spenders.

Let's just repeat that ...A NEARLY TENFOLD INCREASE IN SPENDING POWER.

At the same time (light) piston airplanes, which made up more than 60 percent of 'General Aviation' ...60 percent! ...even as late as 1978, today make up just TWO lousy percent (2%) of sales by dollar. Want to buy a new airplane Joe? ...can you write a check for $500,000?
What it all adds up to is that the rich have gotten much richer ...while the middle class dream of airplane ownership is toast. It's not surprising that most if not all of our Industry publications are funded almost entirely by big spending 'Business Aviation' ...and continues to deliberately confuse things by lumping us 'little' aviators on life support in with the rest of 'GA'.

Please!! ...it is time for some 'Honesty'!

And please forgive me, as I really don't wish to sound sarcastic, but it's just mind-boggling to a (simple minded?) guy like myself how casually, and with such cavalier so many 'representatives' of the Aviation Industry quote prices for production, the average 'Light Sport', or any other 2-4 place 'Light Airplane'. What a perfectly reasonable price ($150-200K) to pay for a (new) 'Light Sport' airplane ...or the $400+K for a "moderately tricked out Cessna 172″ ...or the 1.2 mil!!?? for a SENECA, version 5 recently reviewed in AOPA Pilot, (another 45+ year old, basically unchanged airframe design) ...I mean, what's wrong with that ...isn't that just about right ...why ain't everybody buyin' em?!?

How can such sums for such airplanes ever be (reasonably) justified?? And we wonder why new pilot certification is half what it was just two decades ago?? Why (aircraft) rental rates have gotten beyond the reach of most would be Sunday Flyers?

What could possibly be causing this decline in our beloved activity?!? ('Private/Recreational Aviation')

...continued next;

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:32 PM    Report this comment

...continued last Part 5 of 8:

In all other industries that are a factor in every other facet of our lives (save for our uniquely corrupt Health-Care 'Industry') ...one that bears mention is the financial industry. Every product we buy has over 30% of its price, on average, built in for overhead that it took to bring that product to market. In some cases much higher (interest charges, brokerage fees, etc). Yet even with all that financial overhead, a lot of consumer products still deliver more for your inflation adjusted buck than they did 15 to 20 years ago. That's a fact. Cars bought today are far better value for the dollar, same with the lawn tractor, Big-screen TV, washing machine, etc.

The "Litigation" blamers (though the uncontrolled explosion of greed-laden 'Product Liability' lawsuits many ( manufacturers) have had to endure these last few decades are the ONLY thing Cessna, Piper etc. can legitimately claim to have been "victimized" by) ...are a legitimate factor in the increase of Certificated Aircraft prices, to a relatively small degree. But they don't 'get it' either, or are just being incredibly disingenuous.

And before you start 'raving' about the unique and "excessive regulatory" environment that aircraft manufacturers have to endure ...they were ALL operating under those basically unchanged set of rules way back in the 70-80's as well ...so what exactly did change??

....how prey-tell did they ever manage to produce, create and sustain that kind of a market back then?!??

...and profit!

The only thing today that costs five times as much as it did 30 years ago is a new airplane. Talk all you want about the cost of hangars, fuel, insurance, maintenance etc. ... a fact of life everywhere, but it's new and AFFORDABLE products that drive an industry. And unfortunately, the personal 'Recreational Airplane' industry is finished because the average price of a new 4 place piston airplane is half a million+ dollars ...which less than 1.5% of the population could ever afford/justify.

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:46 PM    Report this comment

That's strictly an 'Industry' issue. If the automotive industry wanted to build an airplane for $50,000, do you think they couldn't? ...sure they could. And they'd sell who knows how many thousands at that price.

But does anyone really not believe that Cessna could manufacture, and sell a new 172 for $125-150K (or a 152 for $60-$70K) ...and realize a 'reasonable' profit per unit??

Cessna, like Piper, Beechcraft and others decided, long ago, that Corporate (Turbine) aircraft is "where the monies at" (and an extremely lucrative amount of money at that) And the LSA ('Industry') which was supposed to be GA's "savior" has, it seems, quickly succumbed to the disease ...behold the Cub Crafters Carbon Cub. An even simpler TWO place, basic, fixed gear, fixed prop, low HP 'LIGHT SPORT' airplane with a basic avionics package for the bargain price of only 200K!

...continued next;

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:48 PM    Report this comment

...continued last Part 6 of 8:

This is what has been/is still primarily responsible for the demise of 'General Aviation' ...as those of us who numbered among what was generally perceived to make up its largest segment during the 60's, 70's and into the early 90's have been so fortunate to have been a part of.

The 'Experimental' 'Industry' has been equally infected ...as for the all of those available 'Kits' out there today. Realistically, even a modest, two place, fixed gear/prop with a basic IFR panel (that by reg, one actually can't utilize for it's designed purposes) 140+ kt airplane most often sports (pun intended) a finished price of close to 100K ...many others almost twice that! But don't forget ...ya still have to build (and maintain) it yourself!

The aircraft industry now looks at things differently; The 'GA' (BUSINESS) aircraft industry makes over $20 billion a year in revenue by selling 2,000 executive aircraft at an average price of $10 million each. In order to make $20 billion in sales selling (little)airplanes, even at $100,000 apiece, they would have to sell 200,000 small airplanes a year. That's never going to happen ...there simply aren't 200,000 people who are interested in buying their own airplane each and every year ...or have the extra $100,000 lying around to do so. So the numbers are woefully against the 'rest of us' ...that is the reality.

We must all come to grips with the fact that 'General Aviation' is now solely 'Business Aviation' ...NOT the little guys flying around for personal or 'recreational' purposes in Cessnas & Cherokees. That is not what 'General Aviation' is anymore. The 'Aircraft Industry' sure knows this ...and that's why they made the (rational?) choice that it is not worth it.

And the "BasicMed rule will simplify our regulations and keep general aviation flying 'affordable'," ...and help save 'General Aviation'??

Repeat: General Aviation is now 'Business Aviation' ...Long Live The King!

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:51 PM    Report this comment

And while I'm not so naive (or young and foolish) or unappreciative to not understand that it was (is?) the engine of 'Capitalism' that made 'GENERAL' Aviation attainable to most of the masses in the first place, and 'Business Aviation' was indeed a (if not "The") very large and essential part of 'General Aviation' which fueled that engine ...unfortunately, it has become (painfully) obvious to me (and I suspect more than just a "vocal minority" of our "community") that the US Aviation 'Industry', along with its publications and all of our 'alphabet 'Associations', and dare I postulate, even the EAA, all who've been a welcomed part of my life during my 40 year love affair with Aviation, have morphed into what indeed it seems 'Corporate America' has equally mutated into ...'Business' entities, again whose SOLE purpose appears to be the pursuit of profit ...SOLELY for its own sake, and the unlimited enrichment of their upper echelons.

...But I digress.

...continued next;

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:52 PM    Report this comment

...continued last Part 7 of 8:

Well, so that's the problem. And now at least knowing what the problem is just maybe we can start looking for solutions. But the solution is not to just root for 'Business Aviation' ...and bankroll their lobbying fights in rotten DC. And yes ...as has just become overwhelmingly apparent with our last election fiasco, WDCorruption is a very real truth. Unfortunately, it is exactly that kind of lobbying of (our) 'Special Interest' groups that is/has been the problem.

And the little guy (privately) flying around in piston airplanes is all but extinct already. That's why we hear the message all the time that what is good for 'Business Aviation' is good for the little guy. This has been a mantra at 'Flying' (magazine) publications for quite some time ...even as the little guy aviator continues to wither away ...while Bizav continues to grow and prosper.

In the late 70's, I struggled to put myself through school (let's not even get started on the costs of a college degree these days!) and pay for my flight training (mostly through loans) to pursue a dream of being a Professional Pilot. Now, 40 years later, after having been fortunate to have flown everything from parachutes to 747's, this subject has been a particular heartbreak for me ...as I seriously doubt I could succeed in that endeavor today ...and wonder how any of today's young(er) folks, or even us 'older guys' (of even 'above-average' means) ever could as well.

I'm afraid these greedy times we're a livin' and the EXPONENTIALLY accelerating rate of expense, will only serve to hasten the time when the final nails are driven. We're rapidly destroying 'General (Recreational) Aviation' in this country ...making it solely a 'Rich Mans Sport'.

And as to the reasons for its demise? Surely, if you're (intellectually) honest with yourselves, (and you know who you are) you understand the point of this (lowly 2-cents-worth) comment. If not, then ...no offense ...uplifting, hopeful enthusiasm notwithstanding, but with none of the cold, clear logical pragmatism so necessary for one to be a successful 'PIC' ...you're 'rowing down that famous long river in Egypt' ...or are of that myopic 'mindset' of those who have caused and /or are still actively involved in the death of General Aviation ...are in fact one of the many active and willing participants in it ...and, unfortunately, part of the problem ...certainly NOT the solution.

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:53 PM    Report this comment

The final, irrefutable evidence is not that our illustrious 'leaders' of AOPA & EAA are congratulating themselves on the fact that they essentially failed at securing what was actually requested and proposed by (their?) membership, and really all that was 'needed': an extension of the LSA rules to cover 4-6 seat light aircraft, VFR for primarily 'recreational' purposes (in fairness, not really all their fault as anyone can, no matter what their background, 'status' or financial where-with-all can fail in that 'Fiasco' we call the US Government)

...continued next;

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:54 PM    Report this comment

...continued last Part 8 of 8:

...NO ...they insult our intelligence (as well as their own) with 'SPIN' worthy of the best of what we've all been forced to endure from the Corporate-Congressional-Industrial-Complex over the last few decades ...by trying to con us into believing how "great this will be" ...what a difference it will make, when the 99% (no pun intended) of us who exist in the 'real world' know all too well to the contrary! It's now all too evident that 'They' in essence have become and are no different than 'Them' ...but how devastatingly unfortunate for all of us that they (ALPA & EAA) are, for the purposes of representation, the only game(s) in town.

We (as in ALL of us) have just witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind in this country (no ...this IS NOT "Class Warfare" talk here ...just an honest, objective assessment of the data & facts) ...and our beloved and nearly extinct 'General Aviation' has just simply been one of its many and most obvious casualties.

"Why" ...the rapidly decreasing pilot population? ...the rapidly downward spiral of total logged hours? ...a Pilot shortage?? ...sluggish sales factors?? ...continuing decline in attendance at Oshkosh? And now ...a (continuing) trend towards decreasing BIZAV sales!! (Oh My!)

...very, very sad indeed.

Again, apologies for the (long) rant folks. I'm just a 4-decade-experienced Airline, Air-taxi, 'Corporate', Flight School and 'Recreational' General Aviation flunky, currently grounded (due to ...you guessed it ...(expired) Medical ...'expense' and regulation) aircraft owner.

So yea ...you would be reasonable to conclude that the above was just the 'ranting/raving' and whining of a 'disgruntled', disappointed, defeated ...sad SOB.

Or, if you're truly intellectually honest with yourselves....

Thanks for puttin' up with me

Posted by: B.M. D. | May 3, 2017 4:57 PM    Report this comment

BMD, while I essentially share your opinion about the AOPA, I do conclude your multipart rant is the whining of disgruntled and sad SOB. I support the American Bonanza Society with membership cash but not the AOPA for maybe a decade.

I had my BasicMed paperwork in place by noon on the 1st... I hoped to go flying that day in celebration but, as luck had it, I wasn't feeling well enough with a virus du jour. Back to 98.6F, feeling fine today, maybe will go throttle forward in a couple hours.

My expired 3rd class was a regular issuance, and barring any of the listed special issuance conditions that negate BasicMed authoriations until after a fresh FAA certificate is issued (knock on wood), I'm good to go, my hull and liability insurer willing, and I've been told they will require a 3rd Class or better once I pass my 70th birthday. Still a few years off.

My only true aggravation with BasicMed was the delay in getting the effective date set in stone. My MD did not balk at the checklist or the declaration and I am delighted to have a simpler route to medical authorization that pushes medical decisions back into my court.

I will have to be properly apologetic the next time I see my AME, whose nice V35A is one hangar row over from mine. I hope not to have to see him professionally again but worse things can happen.

Posted by: Greg Goodknight | May 3, 2017 6:17 PM    Report this comment

BMD says:
"The average price of an airplane was 2-3 times that of a new car. ...
The average cost of a piston plane in 1978 was $58,000 (INCLUDING light/medium twins ..."

I don't know what 1978 car you drove, must have been a Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limo at MSRP of $20K or Jaguar XJ6L at $19K 'cause it sure wasn't a Buick LeSabre at $5,700 or a commoners car like a Chevy Nova ($4,100) at even less cost.

Posted by: david pompea | May 3, 2017 11:04 PM    Report this comment

I don't know what they heck B.M.D. is wasting our time with here? I think you just disqualified yourself from using BasicMed because one of the three conditions that require a one time special issuance before using BasicMed is Mental. Sorry to be so blunt but ... that's the way I see your rant (your descriptive word). Greg ... I'm with you on this one.

I AM a brand new BasicMed pilot as of late this afternoon on May 3rd. As of Tuesday, AOPA says that 1354 pilots have totally completed the process. So add one more ... me.

I've been flying for 46 years, want to do at least four more and hopefully something more. Since January, I've been closely following the rollout to include attendance at an AOPA forum at Sun-N-Fun and taking the free King courses on eligibility. I found the process easy to deal with although requiring a bit of a learning curve. I really haven't had a personal care physician before this year because I haven't really needed one. But knowing I did, I sought out a local doctor in February, asked him if he would be willing to help me out with the exam and he agreed. I wrote him a 'Primer on BasicMed' explaining the gestation of the law and process once the tentative AC 68-1 was released in January and he complimented me on saving him time understanding it all. Yesterday, I carried another package of now official documents into his office to include my Section 2 - Personal Information. When I got there today, he was ready for me and we took care of it as part of a follow-up office visit. DONE! And guess what ... my insurance paid for it because I was there for similar reasons anyways.

Then I came home, logged into the AOPA BasicMed course website which I previously established, spent a couple of hours going through the course with a fine tooth comb and took the 20 question exam. I got one of 20 wrong ... I felt it was an unneeded and 'trick' question but ... so what. I needed 80% and got 95%. Once I finished, I printed my completion certificate and I'm done.

I, too, have been mad at AOPA for things over the years but BasicMed sure as heck ain't one of 'em.

I have owned a nice C172 for 32 years and did not want to give it up to buy a light sport airplane with less performance and at four times the cost. BasicMed will allow me to continue flying my airplane for at least four years ... and hopefully more IF I don't develop one of the three disqualifying conditions. I didn't have to sell my beloved airplane or buy a lackluster performance LSA. What more can I say?

Now then, I DO have a pilot friend who phoned me asking if I had found a physician willing to sign the form because he was having a problem with that. AOPA will likely work on this ... maybe print a list of willing doctors?

I am indebted to Sen. Inhofe, et al, in the Congress, AOPA and EAA and anyone else who helped force the rule onto an otherwise unwilling DOT/FAA. THANK YOU!

Posted by: Larry Stencel | May 3, 2017 11:19 PM    Report this comment

I went flying today (well., now that was yesterday) but as I was completing the preflight with the plane pulled out of the hangar another pilot drove by... a CFI with a C172, retired marketing guy, he was also at an MD Monday morning. He knew I was also with an expired medical waiting for the BasicMed day so seeing the plane about to fly was a cause for a mutual backslapping,

We were both happy but a key might have been we weren't shopping for a doctor, we both had one who was familiar with our flying needs. The expense of mine was higher but I hadn't had a real physical for a few years (I was one of those folk who liked their doctor and their insurance but didn't get to keep either) until a change and once again had this doctor "in network" on 1 Feb., and so I got poked and prodded more to make sure something didn't go awry in the meantime.

Finally, let's not pat the AOPA too hard on the back for this one, they've gotten very good at running out in front of the mob after the a consensus emerges. There were many who carried water for GA pilots to get BasicMed and I suspect Sen. Inhofe deserves a lion's share of our thanks.

For folks who really wanted simple aircraft such as the venerable C172 or PA28 to be handled more like Light Sport, I agree that should be done... but my former ride. a PA-28-161 could barely make it over some of the mountain passes here out West and BasicMed packages up the authorizations I was hoping to keep... IFR/VFR, night/day, below 18000' with a max gross of 3550# and 110 gallons of fuel. Non commercial below the flight levels GA aeromedical authorizations have just taken a big step forward.

Posted by: Greg Goodknight | May 4, 2017 4:28 AM    Report this comment

Add one more to the list of those who's AME nor personal dr will sign off, citing no liability ins coverage. FAA ins that covers AME's won't cover BasicMed. It occurs to me that the acronym for BasicMed is BM, which describes it quite adequately, in my opinion...

Posted by: Brent Lee | May 4, 2017 7:55 AM    Report this comment

Greg, I spoke with Sen. Inhofe directly after his Saturday forum at Airventure 2016. He stated that he worked really hard to push the driver's license only medical but MY Sen. Nelson in Florida insisted that a doctor's involvement was necessary or he'd see to it that BasicMed wouldn't pass. Because of the "perfect storm" situation of FAA funding and Sen. Inhofe's tireless insistence, BasicMed was modified and raised enough support to pass. If it hadn't included the doctor signature, we'd STILL be waiting for long overdue relief.

If you think back a few years further to the AOPA/EAA petition for exemption from the third class medical that wound up sitting somewhere in the DOT bureaucracy, BasicMed IS better and fits YOUR situation with a high end Bonanza much better. Had the original petition passed, you wouldn't be able to use it to fly that beautiful airplane and even if you could, it'd be with one passenger only; now, you can fill it up, fly IFR and go up to FL180. The AOPA and EAA may not have been directly involved in the final BasicMed legislation but you can be assured that their combined membership constituencies played a big part. And, AOPA's lobbying efforts didn't hurt.

It was a LONG and arduous journey to get just this far and I, for one, am very thankful to Sen. Inhofe, Rep. Rokita and all the others plus the alphabets. I'm sure you are, too. I was up until 0300 ... too wound up to sleep. Instead of having to sell two beautiful airplanes in a poor market and treble the investment to get an LSA, I can now add ADS-B and pocket the rest for something else. The only 'loser' in the transaction is the FAA who probably never thought they'd be "ordered" by the Congress to implement a law they never saw coming. I was there at Airventure 2014 and 2015 listening to the Administrator flap his jaws about how the exemption was "stuck" in the DOT process and that he couldn't reveal what was in it for ex parte reasons. Well, can you hear us now, Sir? :-)

All of those of us who use BasicMed ought to write the Sen. and Rep. a letter of thanks. I will.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | May 4, 2017 8:45 AM    Report this comment

The Veterans Affairs VA need to be able to give BasicMed physicals. I went to an AME to do BasicMed physical and went through the complete process of the physical at the end he said I need a letter from my doctor saying I'm fit to fly. This is why I went to the AME in the first place because I don't have a regular doctor just the VA AOPA or some Aviation organization needs to educate the VA on the BasicMed program

Posted by: Lawrence Babb | May 12, 2017 9:21 PM    Report this comment

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