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BasicMed can be used as an alternative for pilots to legally fly without carrying an FAA medical certificate. But, pilots need to be aware that BasicMed only allows student, recreational, and private pilots to exercise the privileges of their pilot certificate.

FAR Part 68 and AC 68-1 provide valuable information about BasicMed, including limitations, operation requirements, and privileges while using it, as opposed to FAA medical.

Things to know under FAR Part 68

  • BasicMed does not apply to pilots exercising the privileges of a Commercial Pilot Certificate or an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate. Those that are exercising the privileges of those two pilot certificates are required to hold An FAA first-class or second-class medical.

  • Does not apply to anyone performing the duties as a designated pilot examiner (DPE).

What is required to fly und BasicMed?

  • Hold a current and valid U.S. driver’s license.

  • Hold or have held a medical certificate issued by the FAA (1st, 2nd, 3rd class medical or special issuance) after July 14, 2006.

  • Get your physical examination by any State-licensed physician

  • Take the free BasicMed online medical education course and maintain records after completion. There are two places to find the course:

    • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

    • Mayo Clinic

TIP: If you never held an FAA medical certificate, you will need to obtain one before applying for BasicMed.


The pilot may conduct any operations using your pilot certificate and third class medical, except the pilot is limited to:

  • No more than 5 passengers, meaning the pilot and passengers cannot exceed six total people onboard the airplane.

  • Has maximum takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds. This weight limit encompasses a wide range of general aviation aircraft. This covers variety of single and multi-engine piston aircraft.

  • Limited to only flying VFR or IFR within the U.S., at or below 18,000 feet MSL.

  • Aircraft cannot exceed 250 knots. Most general aviation aircraft can’t even fly that fast.

  • Pilots are not allowed to fly for compensation or for hire. Pilots who wish to fly for hire or work as a flight instructor must obtain an FAA medical certificate.

How to maintain BasicMed privileges?

  • Maintain records showing you are currently being treated by a physician for those medical conditions.

  • Current course completion certificate issued by BasicMed within the past 24 calendar-months.


Maintain a healthy lifestyle, visit your doctor frequently, and ensure that you are confident in your ability to perform your duties as a pilot.

For more information refer to FAR Part 68, AC 68-1 or visit the AOPA or Mayo Clinic websites.


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