May 1, 2020, marked the third anniversary of BasicMed, with nearly 56,000 pilots flying under the medical rule.
Under the FAR Part 68 medical rule, pilots can fly aircraft authorized to carry up to six occupants with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of no more than 6,000 pounds. Pilots can fly up to 250 knots indicated airspeed and up to 18,000 feet msl.
BasicMed pilots must have previously passed a conventional FAA medical examination or currently hold a valid medical certificate, including a special issuance, and then be examined by their personal physician. Once a pilot has successfully transitioned to the BasicMed program, he or she will not have to see an aviation medical examiner again unless a heart, neurological, or psychological condition arises. If that happens, the pilot will need to go through the FAA’s special issuance process only one time unless the condition worsens.
Also, pilots are required to take an online medical self-assessment course, which the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Mayo Clinic offer for free, every 24 months.
The BasicMed comprehensive medical examination can be performed by an AME or by a pilot’s state-licensed private physician every 48 months (calculated to the exact day) and requires that the physician use an FAA-approved checklist, AOPA officials explain.
Still have questions? AOPA has several online resources including an FAQ, video tutorial, and step-by-step eligibility guide on its BasicMed webpage.