As the details of the new third class FAA medical came to light, I made the mistake of letting my enthusiasm for the overall concept color my reaction to the actual rule. The new regs, BasicMed, were supposed to represent the FAA’s regulatory translation of what we really wanted: to get rid of the Third Class medical and replace it with our driver’s license as proof we can safely get around in a small transportation vehicle. I think we all wanted to do away with the FAA medical altogether, never think about it again, and just go flying. Like most of you, I was fine with there being limits on the new non-medical, including the size and speed of what we fly, as well as how many passengers we carried. That makes sense.
But instead of putting our long-awaited driver’s license medical into the language of the FARs, the FAA created a whole new kind of medical certification that, for most of us, will be neither easier nor cheaper.