Basic Med Safety Pilot
Any intel on whether (and if so: when?) the FAA will correct the "required crewmember" regulation that mandates a medical certificate to act as a safety pilot?  It seems reasonable to me and consistent with the intent of Basic Med to authorize Basic Med to be used to act as a safety pilot in the airplanes that Basic Med authorizes a pilot to fly as PIC.
2 Replies
This is one of the questions ​I have been asking since the Basic Med Reg came out and there has been little movement on it that I am aware of. One reason I went and got my third class medical renewed. The difference in cost for the exam was very small in my case between the two. . 
Ronald Levy
1432 Posts
You can blame Congress, not the FAA, for this one.  The law passed by Congress very specifically limits BasicMed to acting as PIC and no other pilot duty.  The FAA was able to do a partial workaround of this for Safety Pilot and instructing by interpreting the regulation so you can under BasicMed act as Safety Pilot or, as a CFI,  give training as long as you’re also acting as PIC, but otherwise, the FAA was stuck writing the rugulation exactly as Congress wrote the law in order to avoid the normal full rulemaking process.  For CFI’s, this isn’t a big deal, since CFI’s are normally acting as PIC when giving training anyway.  However, there are a lot of additional issues which arise when a Safety Pilot acts as PIC in someone else’s airplane, so it is a bit of a problem for folks like Bruce and Philip who just want to be someone else’s Safety Pilot or have someone do the same for them.

The FAA could fix this, but only by going through the entire rulemaking process including having the Aviation Rulemaking Committee study the issue and create such a rule, then publish it as a proposed rule with all the necessary justifications, then have the comment period and review/address all the comments, and finally create and publish a Final Rule.  This process takes about 18 months minimum if all goes well and consumes a lot of FAA resources.  My perception is that the FAA doesn’t consider this issue worth that effort — they have other issues they feel are more worth the resources.