by Mark R. Baker
President & CEO Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Published in Midwest Flyer – June/July 2017 issue
No matter if you are an active pilot or if you’ve been away from the left seat for a while, AOPA is ready with the resources and expertise to help you understand and fly under BasicMed.
To help pilots take full advantage of BasicMed, AOPA has launched a suite of online resources called Fit to Fly, which is dedicated to helping aviators as well as physicians understand the new regulations. It’s available at aopa.com/FitToFly.
From the free AOPA Medical Self-Assessment Course to a guide designed to help physicians understand and perform the required examination, Fit to Fly has a wealth of information and answers to all your questions about the reforms that we fought so hard to achieve.
To take advantage of BasicMed, we encourage qualified pilots to first complete the pilot information and medical history portion of the FAA Medical Examination Checklist then schedule an exam with a state licensed physician who will complete the form. Following the exam, pilots should complete the free online AOPA Medical Self-Assessment Course, print the certificate, and keep it in your logbook along with the Medical Examination Checklist. Pilots must undergo the physical exam every 48 months and complete the free online course every 24 calendar months. Finally, make sure to meet the flight review and other proficiency requirements before getting back in the air.
AOPA’s online course is free, will take about an hour to complete, and you can save your progress to return later if you’d prefer not to finish it in one sitting. Additionally, if you do not pass the course on your first try, you can review the course materials and take it as many times as needed to receive the minimum score of 80 percent.
If you’ve been away from flying for a while, don’t worry. Find an instructor, or ask AOPA to help you find one, and sign up for a Rusty Pilots seminar. The program has already put 3,500 lapsed pilots back in the left seat and we are hosting seminars across the country that are free for members. You can learn more at aopa.org/rustypilots.
And if you have any further questions or issues, you can speak directly with AOPA’s experts in the Pilot Information Center by calling (888) 462-3976 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, or emailing email@example.com.