Starting May 1st, general aviation pilots like me will have an easier time getting aviation medical endorsements:
Starting on May 1, pilots will have the option to maintain their 3rd class medical, or opt to use the BasicMed rule. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete an online medical education course every two years, undergo a medical exam every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions. The medical exam will include a four-page FAA form to be completed by your doctor and kept available by the pilot for FAA inspection. Your regular doctor can complete the form, and they don’t need to deal with the FAA at all.
The aircraft and operating restrictions under BasicMed include: pilots cannot operate an aircraft weighing more than 6,000 pounds and cannot have more than six people on board. IFR operations are allowed, but pilots must fly at less than 18,000 MSL and no faster than 250 knots. Pilots using BasicMed also cannot fly for compensation or hire. To qualify for BasicMed, pilots also must have held a medical that was valid any time after July 15, 2006.
So instead of a $200 aviation medical exam every 2 years (at my age), I can just fill in a form and keep it in my flight bag? Sign me up. I'll take the online course just as soon as the FAA releases it.
So maybe I'll get bck in the cockpit this spring? I haven't flown for a while because it's expensive and I don't live near the airport...and also because I haven't gotten off my ass to renew my Class III medical certification. Well, here's one fewer thing I need to do.