There is a big change afoot in the aviation community that plenty of pilots have been anticipating! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced new BasicMed rules stating that pilots who meet certain requirements can now prepare to fly without FAA medical certificates. This change is expected to affect hundreds of thousands of pilots – keep reading to learn what it could mean for you!
One of the biggest changes included with the new BasicMed plan states that pilots who meet certain criteria can earn their third-class medical qualifications by taking a free online course and skip periodic visits to an Aviation Medical Examiner. The course must be taken every two years. The requirement for a physician visit has also been lowered from every two years to every four years, allowing aviators to save money on costly doctor check-ups.
In addition to the aforementioned requirements, pilots must fill out the official BasicMed Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist with a physician. The plan allows pilots to fly non-commercial VFR or IFR flights day or night in planes with up to 6 seats. Pilots are restricted to altitudes under 18,000 feet and speeds under 250 knots.
The new BasicMed rules went into effect on May 1st. Any private pilots who previously held medical certificates in the past 10 years (prior to July 15th, 2016) are eligible to opt into the new BasicMed plan, while any pilot who has never obtained an FAA medical certificate will still need to obtain one. For more information, see here: http://www.flyingmag.com/is-basicmed-right-for-you