Gap in Third Class Medical issuance
Answered By AOPA
I have held a Third Class Medical for many years.  A year ago I decided to fly under Basic Med.  There is a possibility that my aircraft insurer may require that I MUST re-obtain a Third Class medical in order to renew my aircraft insurance policy.
I believe I should be able to pass a Third Class medical exam.  My question is: Is there any protocol to follow to obtain a new medical with a gap of a year and a half since the expiration of the last FAA medical?
4 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
The advice from both Ronald Levy and Bruce Chien are right on the money. Dr. Chien's caution about any new conditions or medications since you had your most recent FAA Medical Certificate is critical. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact AOPA Medical Certification at 800-872-2672, option #3. We will be happy to answer your questions.
No protocol other than any other application -- get on MedXPress, fill it out, and go from there.  The only caution would be if you think there's any change in your medical condition which might be a problem.  If you have any such concern, talk it over with your AME in a "consultation" before you submit that application on line.
Remember, Richard, it's not so much the exam as it is the meds and conditions that led you to go a Basic.  I advise against "going for exam." the exam is pretty trivial.  It's the documentation to FAA's satisfaction of all the deviations form "Normal natural health" per "or its equivalent as determined b the Federal Air surgeon on best external medical advice", that is the troublesome item.
I feel re-assured that (when I am free to do so) I should have no problem renewing my third-class physical.  My only situation is blood pressure which has been controlled by an ace inhibitor and a beta blocker for over 25 years.  I just bring a letter from my primary physician citing three observed blood pressure readings and a statement from him that my blood pressure is under control.  I prepare it, he signs it, and my AME charges me $25 to put it in his file.
There are two reasons I went with Basic Med a year ago.  First was the convenience of a four year interval for its duration.  The second was my opinion that my primary physician is in the best position to assess my overall health position, having seen me several times a year for twelve years now.
Thank you all for comments and reassurance.
Rich Hare