BasicMed Is Here, and It’s a Big Deal!

By Mike Nowakowski On January 30, 2017

The topic of third class medical reform has dominated the attention of the general aviation community for years now. On January 10, 2017, the FAA announced its new BasicMed rule that will provide many with an alternative to obtaining a medical certificate. Pilots who no longer fly due to medical reasons and those who thought they would never be able to fly now has a renewed hope to get into the sky.

The new rule, released on January 10, 2017, states that pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time in the 10 years prior to July 15, 2016 may not need to take another FAA medical exam. This decade lookback period is not just for regularly issued medical certificates, but allows the same for special issuance medicals.

The FAA has also released an Advisory Circular (AC-68-1) titled: Alternative Pilot Physical Examination and Education Requirements.

This advisory circular (AC) describes how pilots can exercise student, recreational, and private pilot privileges in certain small aircraft without holding a current medical certificate. It outlines the required medical education course, medical requirements, and aircraft and operating restrictions that pilots must meet to act as pilot in command (PIC) for most Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 operations. This AC is intended to be used as a resource for pilots exercising the privileges described in section 2307 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. It is also intended to be a resource for state-licensed physicians who will be providing the required medical examination to those pilots.


Privileges outlined under the new BasicMed rule allows pilots to fly aircraft with no more than 5 passengers, fly aircraft under 6,000 lbs max certified takeoff weight, at an airspeed of 250 kts or less, and altitude below 18,000 MSL, and not for compensation or hire. One interesting caveat to the new rule is that it allows Certified Flight Instructors to operate under the BasicMed rules.

This opens up aviation to the those who long thought they could not fly any longer. Many of the pilots that no longer fly sold off their pride and joy because it would have just sat in their hangar not being flown.

At Cornerstone Aircraft Sales, we expect the market to show a reflection of the new rule by a sharp and deliberate increase in ask prices for newly listed aircraft, as early as Q2 2017, particularly in the Single Engine Piston market. Now is the time to begin looking for a new airplane before the market impact is felt!