I am putting together an article for the Newletter about the process I went through to now fly a broader range of Aircraft under BasicMed. The article will include all the links and forms .
For those that think, this is like LSA rules, you need to do some research. There are a number of components. One is you have to review those conditions that automatically or at least partially eliminate you from using BasicMed. This also includes a list of Medications, some of which also disqualify an applicant, which you actually are, rather then just holding a valid drivers license and not KNOWINGLY having any disqualifying conditions. As with the regulations for LSA, there is a requirement of self disqualification for a number or conditions or knowledge that you could not pass a basic physical. All, as per the FARs requiring self grounding.
Next you need to download all the documents, which include about 9 pages.
There is an actual Registration Process, though it is not stated as such. You need to take the on-line self evaluation course and at the end you need to have the License Number and State of Registration for the Physician(s) that will be providing the medical exam and signing the check list. So, have at least one doctor's license ready and it should be at least one of the ones that sign off on the checklist.
Certificate of completion of the Self Evaluation Course provides you with proof of registration and if you take it through the AOPA (you do NOT need to be a member to do this) they will automatically notify you by E-mail when it comes time to retake it to continue qualification.
All of this in hand, back to your doctor(s).
The reason I have been showing "doctor(s)" as possibly plural is that when your primary care physician looks at the check list, they may feel they can not perform all of the exams required. For my BasicMed, I used three Physicians, One for my general physical condition, one for my cardiac exam areas and one for vision. Why not one? When you look at the check list, those of us who are used to taking FAA First Class Medicals, will see, with the exception of the need for an EKG every other 6 month cycle, this physical is MORE intense than any 1st Class FAA one that I have taken and is more specific about areas like vision, hearing etc., which some doctors may not have the required equipment to conduct. There is a guide for your doctors to read regarding the requirements also.
You also have to fill out and have available a copy electronically or printed, of the FAA Medical Application Form, just like you have used in the past. There are some areas that you no longer need to fill out and declare, but all the other stuff, like traffic violations etc. are asked. The difference here is that you do NOT have to turn these in, but must again, make them available if asked for them by a valid authority.
According to the AOPA and the FAA, the best thing is to just carry a copy of the Signature Page of the Check List(s) -- I have three, one filled out for the appropriate exam areas and signed by that doctor and a copy of my Certificate of Completion of the Self Evaluation.
So with a more stringent exam and all the paperwork, what is the hype of the great advantage of BasicMed? Surprisingly there is some serious advantages:
1. - You can use the same doctor(s) that you normally use, that may be covered by your insurance and may already have recently done a number of the exam items on the check list.
2. - You only have to have the exam once every 4 years.
3. - Your doctor(s) can sign off even with some conditions that would have normally required further review and testing from the FAA. And a possible waiver, needing to be renewed every year.
Based on some of the Designated Medical Examiners I have seen in past years for FAA Medicals, using BasicMed, really provides you with a thorough worthwhile physical exam, which after having all the prior medical issues I have had, is in my opinion a good thing.
One thing to keep in mind. Your Doctor(s) have to provide their license number and contact information and I have already heard from pilot friends of mine that their doctors were not willing to sign off on these forms because of liability issues. Even when your doctor is your friend, in my experience, they want to make sure that they are not signing on something that might come back to bite them.
As a last note, since you can not fly commercially under BasicMed (but you can instruct as you are being paid to teach and not to fly as clarified by the FAA) and cannot fly equipment with more than 6 seats along with other rules, if you can pass a First Or Second Class FAA Medical, in my opinion, it is easier and less costly to take the FAA medical.
In my case, I went the BasicMed route to allow me to fly aircraft I have not been flying as PIC for the past few years and because my specialist physicians could legally sign me off on their own examination, where for the exact same conditions, if I had gone the FAA Medical Route, I would have had to have Review by the FAA Surgeon General and the issuance of a waiver needing renewal ever 12 months.
As an example, I am a cancer survivor and the type of cancer I had is not on the disqualifying list. It does however require a set of tests. The FAA will only accept a full Body MRI set (two scans of three body areas) as the main test for the waiver, but my insurance company will not pay it as they do not believe it is the best test for this. I would therefore have to pay the full cost, which is about $5,000 for the two different MRIs. My oncologist thinks it is stupid as I have an annual CT Scan with and without Contrast and a PET Scan if anything at all shows in the CT Scans, which he believes are much better tests and are paid 100% by my insurance and with my physician sign off, I am only required to go through this again in 4 years unless I develop some new symptom, rather than go through the waiver renewal process every year. For my pacemaker, the only requirement under BasicMed was that for 2 months after installation, I could not fly alone until my cardiologist signed off that it and I where both working correctly.
So if you are going this route, make sure you read up on it first. The three insurance companies I am covered by for flight insurance all wanted copies of the Certificate Of Self Evaluation Completion and my Physician Signature sheets as did the three places where I am current to rent aircraft.
P.S. - If you have the Premium AOPA Medical Assist Coverage, a medical professional authorized by the AOPA will walk your through this all over the phone.