FAA Releases BasicMed, Third Class Medical Reform

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

By Rob Mark, FLYING

Pilots operating under FAR Part 91 who have held an FAA medical certificate within the past 10 years will have an alternative, voluntary path to certify they are healthy enough to fly.

The FAA said it supports the new rule called BasicMed because it “will simplify our regulations and keep general aviation flying affordable.” BasicMed, written into a new Part 68 of the FARs that takes effect May 1, 2017, means pilots will be able to fly certain aircraft without holding a medical certificate, providing they comply with a number of FAA provisions.

The BasicMed rule requires pilots opting to use the no-medical-certificate route possess a valid driver’s license and have completed a medical education course within the previous 24 months. The rule also restricts pilots to operating airplanes carrying no more than six people and weighing no more than 6,000 pounds — rotorcraft and turbine-powered are included — but below 18,000 feet and not faster than 250 kias. Both VFR and IFR day/night operations are permitted under the new rules.

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