BasicMed is brand-spanking new. And the topic has created nearly endless discussion. Merits, drawbacks, pros, cons, and more are all fair game. A good amount of mis-information — sadly — seems to be feeding the fire.
For example, I’ve seen discussions centered around indicated versus true or calibrated airspeed.
For the record, BasicMed allows you to operate at 250 knots (indicated airspeed) or less.
Two stories we posted on our website about the topic, Pilots flock to BasicMed and BasicMed: One pilot’s story have proven fertile for that discussion. I’m amazed at the variety of comments so far. I haven’t even had a chance to speak with my doctor about this yet.
The feedback falls into two general camps: Hopeful/positive and negative.
Larry Stencel, author of BasicMed: One pilot’s story, in response to a commenter says, “Anyhow … we can all hope that after a number of (successful) years of BasicMed implementation — in much the same way that Light Sport opened doors — that BasicMed will open more doors. They’re doing it that way in the UK and other countries … maybe the mythical ‘they’ will learn here, as well.”
I sure hope so.Nate D’Anna encouraged a fellow commenter to “go to the AOPA website regarding BasicMed. You will find everything there including a tutorial titled, ‘What the Physician Should Know’ which you can print out for your physician. I faxed this and the AOPA medical info sheet (that you can fill out online and print) one week before my scheduled appointment and asked my doc to contact me prior to the exam date if he had any questions or concerns. He never contacted me prior to exam date, and my exam went off without a hitch—and I was his first pilot with this for him to experience. He thanked me for the advance info I provided and stated that he didn’t consider BasicMed any different than approving an athlete to participate in sports. In other words, he has no liability concerns. Easy peasy.”
Hopefully many pilots will find this the norm. Time will tell.
“After my primary care doctor declined to do BasicMed I found three doctors who would with two phone calls,” says Tom. “Based upon some of the thoughtful comments I am surprised at those who feel BasicMed will not work for them. BasicMed is a first step in the right direction.”
That’s one of the benefits of BasicMed — options.
“I used to fly for recreation only until my FAA required med checks started amounting to a few thousand dollars every two years,” says Peter. “My primary doctor said these required checks wouldn’t change a thing as my medical history proved. I decided to wait for the new med rules and continued to support AOPA, although I sold my PA16. I won’t reiterate what the previous posts have stated, but just tell you what I did with my airplane money. I went out and bought a pristine example of the best sports car on the market today, a Porsche 996 Twin Turbo. I’m as ecstatic as I ever was flying and no hangar cost. Thanks for the effort Mark Baker, yet with all the momentum on your side, in the end you simply caved.”
Caved? Hmm. As I undertand it, the “driver’s license”-based medical we all hoped would happen became a non-starter in Congress. Faced with a choice between no medical reform or some medical reform, those pushing this boulder uphill chose the latter.
Right you are TL. From Advisory Circular 68-1 (18.104.22.168), “BasicMed standards divert from ICAO requirements, flights must be geographically linked to operations within the United States, unless specifically authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted.”
“Attempted to get a BasicMed physical from my primary care physician,” says Steve M. “I provided him AOPA’s “BasicMed Pilot and Physician’s Guide” to acquaint him with the new program. He refuses to do it (didn’t provide a reason). I have no conditions requiring a special issuance. Am scheduled for an AME to do the BasicMed physical rather than shop around for a willing primary doctor. He is going to charge me twice what he charges for a 3rd Class certificate. Looks like BasicMed is not really making it more affordable for someone not needing a special issuance. Maybe teething problems for the new BasicMed program. Would be useful for AOPA or EAA to build a list of willing local non-AME doctors. I will be suggesting that to those organizations.”
Steve, your situation feels like “teething problems.” BasicMed is new. It’ll take time to propagate.
I fear too many people — so far — are trying to cram the BasicMed square block through the AME round hole. They are different. Period.
There is still much to be done and learned with regard to BasicMed. Overall, having a solid and ongoing relationship with a doctor, I believe, will be where most people find success.
Flying is one part of my life. I want to be healthy for all parts of my life. My doctor helps me accomplish that.