Now that the FAA's Third Class Medical Reform has passed and the criteria have been expanded, any thoughts on how this might impact Zenith builds if the builder so chooses (e.g., EAB vs. the LSA limits)? Or how it might affect what your build?

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What John said. In the wee hours of the night, I totally forgot about the fact that one needs a 3rd Class Medical before you can get the BasicMed. But literally, everything that John said is the way to go, including the certification at LSA, unless you can improve your health and stop taking Effexor.The CPAP isn't a deal breaker (lots more hoops to jump through, which is the main reason I went to BasicMed), but the meds can be.

John, Thank you for a clear and concise response.  There is a high probability that 50lbs of weight loss with a strength building regimen will eliminate the marginal blood pressure meds and perhaps the C-PAP.  The Effexor is at such a small dosage it can be eliminated also.  (Doc said I didn't really need it however there wasn't any reason to stop modest mood leveler.).

So, 1) keep building LSA 800lb CH750, 2) get back to fighting weight (my knees and hip will thank me.), 3) later make the decision whether to risk certified medical exam or continue LSA.

Thanks to everyone.

I think this remains very situational based for each pilot.  It would be nice to qualify under BasicMed if one has the recent 3rd class and your family physician will cooperate (notice how many "ifs" already).   I can't imagine needing to go to 18,000 (never did previously) or cross-country at night (never did previously), or carrying more than one passenger (I dare say that 95% of my non-training/BFR hours were solo), etc., etc., but other private pilots will have their own unique situation.   In any case, my family physician has indicated that he isn't interested in signing a form with federal government implications (good doc, but not a pilot...), and 1320# gross is more than enough for me with full fuel and a grandchild and other than occasional C172 or Cherokee 180 hours, I doubt I've ever flown above LSA speeds (just not in a hurry I guess, that's why they have airliners...). BasicMed is not a game changer, just another bureaucratic game; very useful to some -- inconsequential to others.

 

On the previous note of flying over #1320 gross (assuming the aircraft to be capable, like the CH750).  It isn't just a legal question, which probably won't arise very frequently -- but check your insurance, as exceeding gross may have sizable implications there...

My physician also refused to sign it. 

They had no problem hooking me up to all kinds of monitors and running all kinds of expensive tests in the search for a reason to say "no", but after all that the doctor just said, "this isn't something I'm comfortable signing".

Getting another 3rd class is NOT an option, because if anyone rolls those dice and loses, they're OUT, even as a Sport Pilot.  IMHO, gambling on a 3rd class is about the same is looking down the barrel of a gun and pulling the trigger to see if it's loaded.

This was the same problem I had with my regular physician with BasicMed. In the end, I found an aviation doc to issue it. But I had to find one willing to do it. Several AMEs wouldn't do BasicMed. I just didn't want to jump through the hoops with my CPAP, and BasicMed was the simpler way to go. A lot of docs appear to be very apprehensive of BasicMed, which I think I understand, but still...

I'm a retired doc and even my doc was a little hesitant to sign my BasicMed, but he did.  I've been told that if your personal physician won't do it, try a doc that does D.O.T. (commercial drivers, truckers, etc.) physicals.  They've already gotten past the perceived liability issues and are used to signing-off government forms!

When I first approached my doc about BasicMed, he said, "I'm not a pilot!  How in the world would I know if you're fit fly an airplane?"  The biggest mistake they made on BasicMed was making the physician sign a statement that the applicant was fit to fly an airplane.  Instead, they simply should have been required to sign that they did a physical - period!

John

John

I'm quite sure that was no oversight on the part of the FAA - anything to discourage a regulation they had jammed down their throats by Congress...

That is so true, Alistair!  And if you think about it, BasicMed is really just a 3rd Class Medical that has been dressed-up for public consumption.  That "teeny-tiny" provision slipped in there that you have to have had a previous 3rd Class Medical in the last 10 yrs negated the whole premise for a substantial percentage of the pilot population.  It turned out to be a far cry from a "driver's license medical" that has worked so well for LSA and has totally been a non-issue as far as pilot incapacitation, accidents, or deaths!

OK - I feel better ... back to our regularly scheduled programming!  ;>)

John

And I'm not sure where the 25,000 pilots flying under Basic Med data came from, how many were Third Class that went to Basic Med (and IMHO don't count) and how many were genuine returnees.

I suspect the Alphabets have to shine the best light on this since they abjectly failed to achieve what we wanted - a Drivers License Medical...

Rant off...

I went with my regular FAA doc for Basic Med, mainly due to CPAP and not wanting to do the paperwork. I was only the 2nd such exam he did and we both learned.  First thing he handed me the cup and said "sample." I said I don't think that's necessary.  He read the form and indeed it wasn't.  He asked a lot of questions on how my CPAP was working for me, but didn't require papers. Overall, it went smoothly.  He did charge the same $$.

Another thing this doc has done on a regular basis: Once he starts the FAA exam, he has to report anything required to FAA and either fail or request higher up OK.  However, if desired, he charges $25 for a pre-FAA exam and goes through the common failure items so if you fail that he doesn't have to report and never starts the official FAA exam so you can fly light sport or whatever. If you pass, he does the FAA exam and it costs you $25 more, but well worth it for us older guys.

Patrick,

What options do you have?

I lucked out and fell in the 10 year window to get basic med, the great thing about it is that I could now fly my 601xlb at night and it makes cross country flying a little bit easier.  Since I haven't flown at night in over 8 years I took the wings course flying at night and got back in the saddle.  Two weeks ago I got 2 hours of night time and 10 landings on big bright moon lite night.  But I still love my light sport and have no intention of moving up to bigger aircraft.  Though most of my time is in C-172's, the Zodiac is still a fun plane to fly!  

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