Basic Med is an alternative way to fly without having to hold an FAA medical certificate. You must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Basic Med Option:
- You must have a current valid driver’s license,
- You must have held a medical certificate that was valid at any time after July 15, 2006
- You must not have had your most recent application for a medical denied
- You must complete a physical exam with a physician — it does not have to be an Aviation Medical Examiner —every four years
- You must complete an online medical course every two years.
- If you have a Physcologic, Neurologic, or Cardiac condition, you must obtain Special Issuance.
Basic Med is a great alternative to a 3rd class Medical, however it can limit the types of flying you are able to do. For example, you can only fly 5 passengers, plus yourself and the aircraft takeoff weight cannot exceed 6000lbs. All flights must be in the U.S or U.S territories at less than 18,000 ft and cannot exceed 250 knots. You cannot fly commercially or for hire.
What is a 3rd Class Medical?
A Third Class medical is for Student, Recreational or Private pilots who fly for pleasure or business use, but do not receive compensation. You must receive a flight physical from an Aviation Medical Examiner. Class 3 Medicals have the least restrictive requirements and are good for 5 year if you are under the age of 40 and 2 years if you are over the age of 40.
Differences between Basic Med & 3rd Class Medical
-Basic Med does not require you to have a flight physical with an Aviation Medical Examiner, while a Third Class Medical requires an AME.
-Basic Med expires on the actual date of your last examination and a third class medical expires on the last day of the month.
-Basic Med requires a physical examination every 4 years and the online course every two years while a 3rd class Medical is good for up to 5 years if you are 40 and younger.
At the end of the day, when you’re making a decision on whether to go with Basic Med or receive a 3rd Class medical, it comes down to what type of aircraft you are wanting to fly, if you want to fly outside of the United States, and how often you wanting to receive a medical examination. Something to keep in mind is that not all Insurance Companies will accept Basic Med, but all Companies will accept a 3rd Class medical for Pleasure and Business use. When shopping for insurance, consult with your Insurance Agent to see what the best option is for you. Contact one of our agents for more information, advice or for a free airplane insurance quote. Call us at 800-296-8595 or submit a quote request on our website.
Assistant Producer Team Lead