Have you completed BasicMed?

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Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by John Hamilton on Apr 28, 2017 9:13 am

Has anyone completed the online course, and been to see their doctor?  Tell us about your experience.
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Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by James Hays on Apr 28, 2017 4:45 pm

I've taken the course and passed but have not seen my doctor yet.  With BasicMed, I have to see the Doctor every 4 years.  With my Class 3, I only have to go every 5 years.  I plan to take the form into the doctor at my next checkup, but there's no real rush at the moment.  The online course, though, is a good refresher for personal flight planning decisions and well worth the time to just take.

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by John Hamilton on May 1, 2017 3:18 pm

We’ve already had more than 1,300 pilots successfully complete the self-assessment, physical exam, and online course who are ready to fly under BasicMed today.  Are you one of them?  Please share your experience.

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Peter Vines on May 8, 2017 5:41 pm

Yes, it was quite simple. I'm good now for 4 years, was able to use my own doctor, and insurance will probably cover the entire cost. The online assessment is very well done and I recommend it for all pilots. 

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Rodney Kennan on May 9, 2017 3:58 pm

The online course is straightforward and well put together.  Unfortunately my doctor declined to participate due to his lack of FAA qualifications and perceived risk of exposure if anything were to go wrong...

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Dennis Thrasher on May 12, 2017 2:59 pm

I don't think the medical ed course counts unless taken after your physical exam date.
Dennis Thrasher MD

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Ian Mc Donough on May 13, 2017 7:34 pm

I was able to schedule my physical exam with my Primary Care Physician (PCP) on 01 May 2017 and completed the AOPA online Self Assessment on 05 May 2017. The physical exam was very easy and my PCP had no qualms about completing the form. All costs were covered by my health insurance. However I went in with a very carefully scripted explanation of the process and what was being asked of a "state licensed physician." I'll be glad to provide that script upon request. It should be noted that my (now former) AME's office seemed to have a very poor understanding of BasicMed, and wanted to charge me a 50% premium for the exam based on my "new problem" (a surgery since my last Class III which does not require a special issuance). The AOPA Self Assessment course was excellent - informative, germane, and easy to complete. Delighted with the outcome; hope to back in the cockpit ASAP.

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Stephen Bateman on May 15, 2017 9:44 am

Yes - did it the other day.
I used a local MD, who was also a Rusty Pilot of mine who is now back flying again - what a wonderful community!
The course was interesting - good to remind ourselves of our responsibilities as pilots.
 

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Doug Powell on May 22, 2017 6:57 am

I completed both the on-line course and the physician's visit at the beginning of May.  I had briefed my personal physician about the upcoming BasicMed stuff and delivered a copy of the exam form as well as some of the URLs so she could get the information about the process before my appointment.  I used this as my yearly wellness exam since there was really nothing on the checkoff sheet that she doesn't do for my normal wellness visit so my insurance paid for the exam as well.  It was a fairly simple process but I'm glad I was able to prepare the physiciam ahead of time so I didn't have the hassle of having the exam denied.  Hopefully it won't be long before Canada, the Bahamas, etc. accept the new BasicMed credentials. 
A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is one that you can walk away from and still use the plane.

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by John Dalton on May 22, 2017 12:39 pm

As a private pilot with a special issuance, third-class medical certificate, I have anxiously awaited the start of BasicMed.  Maintaining my special-issuance 3rd class medical has increased the cost of flying by approximately $40/hour and limited my flying to 10 months each year.  Fortunately, the stars (and AOPA efforts) aligned with the BasicMed effective date of May 1, 2017; my third-class special issuance was set to expire May 31st. Still, I was a little concerned about being one of the early users of BasicMed.  As it turns out, I successfully navigated the process, but there are a few kinks in the system that, hopefully, will be worked out in the upcoming months.

First, there is a twist to finding the necessary FAA materials.  One would think, as I did, to look under on the FAA’s webpage under Medical Certification.  It appears that the FAA does not consider BasicMed to be medical certification and has placed all the information under Airmen Certification.  After navigating to that portion of the FAA site, the BasicMed material is readily available.

Second, medical professionals need to be educated.  I had doubts that my family physician would have any knowledge of BasicMed or be willing to certify that he was unaware of any condition that could interfere with my ability to safely operate an airplane; I chose to go to an AME instead.  Two weeks into BasicMed, the front staff at the AME’s office had never heard of it and insisted that I give them my MedXpress number.  I tried to explain about BasicMed and also provided them with AOPA’s Physician’s Guide.  They took this information and went to talk to the AME.  Forty minutes later, I was called in for my examination.  The AME took the position, since she was now taking responsibility for my ability to safely operate an airplane, that I would be subject to the eye examination required for a second-class certification.  This was administered by a staff member, with less than favorable results.  When I finally met with the doctor, we discussed BasicMed in general.  She apologized for the earlier staff confusion.  She knew that BasicMed was coming, but had decided to deal with it when it arrived.  That had happened that morning when I walked in the door.   We next discussed the eye examination. She eventually agreed that the requirements for a second-class certificate were inappropriate.  I provided additional information from my eye doctor and ultimately passed that aspect of the physical.  The rest went smoothly.

Third, I ran into some issues with the Medical Self Assessment course.  Upon following the link on the FAA web page, I was presented with a blank page for approximately 20 seconds.  This is an eternity in the Internet world and I thought I had reached the dreaded 404, Page Not Found, but the page eventually loaded.  I originally started the course on a tablet, but some of the page transitions and balloons did not work.  After switching to a laptop running Firefox, the material flowed well, although some balloons would only partially appear unless they were clicked on.  I also ran into two issues in completing the course certificate.  After filling in the required information, I chose the link to double-check my information with the FAA airmen registry.  I couldn’t find myself in the registry, presumably because I have opted out of sharing my information.  Also, upon returning to the certificate page, all my information had to be re-entered. 
Given that this is a new process related to a government function, it was better than I had anticipated, but not as smooth as I would have hoped.  In the end, all the issues were minor and will most likely be resolved over time.  For other pilots pursing this option, I would recommend:
  1. Be sure to take all pages of the FAA checklist to the physician.  I mistakenly thought the physician would not need the introduction or the paperwork reduction notices, but not having those pages only raised questions by the physician’s staff as to why I was giving them only pages 3 through 9 of the form.
  2. Give your physician the AOPA material in advance of your appointment and take a copy with you, as well.  It may not be read in advance, but it is good to have it available.
  3. If you are seeing a physician that is not familiar with your history, take backup material with you, documenting your fitness to fly.
  4. Be patient.  The process is new for everyone.
Many thanks to AOPA for bringing this option to pilots,
 
John Dalton
 

Re: Have you completed BasicMed?

Posted by Mike Barbee on May 22, 2017 9:54 pm

I just completed BasicMed.  It'll definitely be nice to go back to my doctor in 4 years versus the 2 years required by my previous 3rd class medical.  Having said that though, BasicMed seems like it's a far cry from the "Driver's License Medical" initially proposed by AOPA.  Having additional options is better than NOT having options, and I'm sure for those on an SI, this is far superior process, but as a (currently) healthy 57 year old, it wasn't clear to me that the checklist or the actual medical exam was a significant administrative improvement over my previous 3rd Class form/medical.  

My GP refused to perform the exam due to liability issues so I simply went back to my AME.  Having gone through many 3rd class medicals with him, I really can't say there were any significant differences between my BasicMed exam with him when compared to my typical 3rd class medical.  I've still got to do the BasicMed course in 2 years.  Overall, I'm disappointed in BasicMed (when compared to the "Driver's License Medical" initially proposed).  Of course, if I were flying under an SI, I'm sure I'd feel very differently.