"Basic Med" versus the Third Class Medical Certificate

The FAA made some changes to its medical requirements for private pilots as of May 1, 2017 that are commonly referred to as "Basic Med." Angel Flight West does accept Basic Med as a qualification for serving as a Command Pilot on an Angel Flight mission.

If you are a new member or have not yet completed your Command Pilot Orientation, you will provide documentation of medical certification as a part of the Orientation, either your First, Second or Third Class Medical Certificate, or documentation that you meet the FAA's medical requirements under the new FAR Part 68.

If you are already a Command Pilot, you can fly an Angel Flight as a Command Pilot as long as you meet the requirements specified in 61.113(i) of the FARs for that flight.

For your information, the Air Care Alliance has provided a brief overview of Basic Med as it applies to Charitable Flying Organizations like Angel Flight West. If you are interested in how the Air Care Alliance has interpreted the new regulations as it pertains to Charitable Flying Organizations, and why Angel Flight West has allowed Basic Med as medical qualification, please review the Air Care Alliance report.

Background Information From the Air Care Alliance

Pursuant to §61.113(i) of the FARs, private pilots will be able to exercise the privileges of their pilot certificate without a medical certificate effective May 1, 2017. In order to do so, pilots will have to comply with the medical requirements contained in a new FAR Part 68, known as BasicMed. 

BasicMed is an alternative to a 3rd Class Medical Certificate issued by the FAA. Pilots will have the option of complying with the BasicMed regulations or continuing to obtain their medical certificates as in the past. In addition to a physical examination and certification by any licensed physician every 4 years, pilots will have to complete a course on aero-medical issues every 24 months.

In general, pilots must have held a valid Medical Certificate at any point after July 14, 2006 which has not been suspended or revoked and their most recent application for a Medical Certificate must not have been denied, suspended or revoked.

There are also restrictions as to the aircraft and operations under which pilots can operate with BasicMed.  In summary: Aircraft must be authorized by the FAA to carry not more than six occupants and its maximum certified takeoff weight cannot exceed 6,000 pounds. Flight operations are limited to the United States including Puerto Rico and US possessions. No flight may be conducted in excess of 250 knots or above 18,000 feet MSL.

The above is a summary and there are many other important details. Therefore, pilots must become familiar with the BasicMed regulation at FAR 61.113(i) and through FAA Advisory Circular AC 68.1 which can be found at:


and/or information provided by AOPA at:


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