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From the Desk of the Safety Office

FROM THE DESK OF THE SAFETY OFFICE

Michael May, Standards Officer WVFC mike@wvfc.org

BasicMed and WVFC

On May 1st the FAA officially rolled out 3rd Class Medical reform, also known as BasicMed. BasicMed has been years in the making giving pilots an alternative to the 3rd Class medical certificate requirement, allowing many that may not be able to pass an FAA medical exam a way to stay in the air.

I’m very pleased to inform you that WVFC is accepting BasicMed and have already gotten the necessary update to Schedule Master completed. The membership has expressed a high level of interest in BasicMed and several members have already turned in their paperwork, so we hope that this article will help shed some light on how BasicMed works, what the differences are, and where to find resources for those interested in participating.

Unlike the Light Sport option, BasicMed allows pilots to fly every airplane that WVFC operates under most circumstances. Pilots that choose to use BasicMed are prohibited from conducting commercial operations (WVFC member regulations also prohibit this), cannot fly at or above FL180 (although you can still fly airplanes that are certified to fly above FL180 as long as you stay below that altitude), cannot fly outside the U.S., and cannot fly an aircraft that is certified to carry more than 6 occupants. These are the restrictions that are likely to be relevant to WVFC operations but this is not a complete list, so if you intend to fly outside of WVFC you should familiarize yourself with the full list before deciding which medical option to use.

In order to qualify under BasicMed, you must have had a valid medical certificate within the 10 years prior to July 15th, 2016. You must complete an online training course every 24 months, and visit a physician’s office every 48 months to have a medical exam and form completed. As you can imagine, there are still a litany of medical conditions and medications that may be disqualifying under BasicMed, so it’s highly advisable to get more information if you think you may not qualify. It’s also important to note that there are significant differences in how medical conditions and/or medications affect a traditional medical certificate vs. BasicMed, so do not assume that a disqualifying condition/medication for a medical certificate will disqualify you under BasicMed. Again, if you fall into this category it’s strongly recommended that you get additional information based on your situation.

Once you’ve completed all the requirements, in order to fly under BasicMed you must carry your State-issued Driver License and your pilots license with you when you fly. You must store with your logbook or keep an electronic record of, your completed medical checklist and certificate of online training. You do not need to have these on your person when you fly. To comply with recordkeeping requirements, WVFC will require copies of the certificate of online training and the signature page of the medical checklist. For privacy reasons you should not send us the full checklist.

If you’re interested in learning more about BasicMed, AOPA has an entire dedicated website that explains the program in detail. Visit their website at https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/pilots/medical/third-class-airman-medical-reform to learn more. BasicMed provides a long-overdue alternative to a medical certificate, and WVFC is excited for our members that would otherwise be facing the possibility of being grounded, as well as our new and returning members that are finally able to fly again.

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