May 2017 Me and BasicMed Reform
I’ve been talking to pilots for years about the pipe-dream known as Third Class Medical Reform – the long touted savior to pilots young and old, the perfectly fit and the less than perfect. I’ve read many an article and kept up with the ever changing renditions as they surfaced. I’ve hashed over the subject time after time with other pilots, and sometimes bitten my tongue and listened while opinions were spewing all around me. For years, the topic has infiltrated EAA meetings, pancake breakfasts, flyins and wherever pilots gather. And through all the years of debating, while others were patient and optimistic, I was the most cynical, skeptical pilot out there. Medical Reform was never going to happen. Never. Ever. Period.
Fast forward and we know I missed that one by a mile – and I couldn’t be happier to eat my words. BasicMedÂ became law May 1, and I, a Type 1 diabetic, was one of the first 1,000 people to fulfill the requirements to fly under BasicMed. For those who wonder what that entails, it requires:
- receiving a medical exam by a state-licensed physician and completing a 2 part Comprehensive Medical Exam Checklist; individual and physician sections
- completing an on-line medical course and passing a 20 question quiz
- printing a certificate of completion
I was worried I’d have trouble finding a physician willing to complete the form but only one told me “Absolutely not!” The exam was a piece-of-cake, even with a brand new doctor and my diabetes. I will say, I was very prepared and took along fairly recent blood work results, even though it wasn’t required. My visit went smoothly and I was easily signed off, but it was comforting to know I had control. If I had found my new physician had ridiculous expectations about my health relative to my flying a small aircraft, I could have simply said “thank you very much” …. and found another physician.
OK, ok, enough of that. BasicMed doesn’t mean squat unless you fly, and in my case, today I finally got to fly something besides a Light Sport aircraft! Boyd was happy to see me grinning ear to ear as I taxied by in his very cool RV-7. Â It’s a 180 hp, fuel injected, constant speed prop, non-light sport aircraft – a lot more airplane than the Rans S7 I’ve flown for years.
And that, my friends, is what the win/win of BasicMed is all about! 🙂
An enormous THANK YOU to AOPA and EAA for spearheading this movement. It is truly a monumental accomplishment.