Has AOPA considered petitioning FAA to allow BasicMed holders to be safety pilots in the same circumstances as holders of Class 3+ without their having to be PIC? The latter workaround is not always practical and it is constraining the pool of potential safety pilots.
Petitioning the FAA won't help because the FAA can't fix this. The Basic Med restrictions were written by Congress into the law they passed which directed the FAA to establish the relevant regulations. The FAA can't change anything without Congressional amendment of the law. Only people whom you can petition with the power to change this are your Congressman and Senators. I don't see AOPA spending any of its Capitol Hill political capital on this because they have many much more important fish to fry there.
And yes, I think AOPA is well aware that finding a safety pilot who is qualified to be PIC in your Bonanza or Cirrus both By FAA rules and your insurance policy's open pilot clause can be difficult, especially if you'll be operating under IFR. I don't think Senator Inhofe either thought this through or at least consulted with any aviation regulation experts when they wrote that law. And that's too bad, but now we're stuck with it.
I'm figuring it was an oversight by Congress, rather than specifically excluding this particular case.
As I said above, I agree with that speculation.
So I fail to see the FAA would be restricted from publishing a proposed change like this to Part 61.
Nothing but the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946. They'd have to put it through the full rulemaking process, including drafting it, running it past FAA Legal and through the Aviation Rulemaking Committee, then create a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), put that through the FAA Administration, then up to DoT for SecTrans approval, then publish it in the Federal Register, then allow 3-6 months for public comment, then digest the comments and address each one, then put together a Final Rule, and finally publish it in the Federal Register. All told, 18-36 months and a ton of staff hours. The question which the FAA has to ask itself is whether this issue is worth that effort when there are so many other more important issues competing for their resources, and I think the answer will be "no" (or maybe already is -- I know they're well aware of it since it's a knowledge question in the IR-A ACS).
I just don't see FAA "getting around to us", and I certainly don't see them ceding any authority.
Example: Every doc in the country is doing virtual consultation due to Covid. But the AMEs got the order that there would be no virtual Flight Physicals. Therefore, just under 50% of AMEs responded by simply closing their doors ; "See you when this Covid thing is over". That's why you go the email blast that "a majority of our AME offices are open". The "ethos" is give up no ground....and you can reach me in our bunkers.....sadly.....
......sign me, "also CFI"
It's just the way it is. I don't see getting CFI matters resolved. One just has to be very careful and in mutual agreement as to how, what is logged.