I'd originally intended to ante up and get one more "proper" FAA physical when it was due in August, mainly because I didn't want to have to educate my doctor on the process, and because I was thinking it might turn into a bit of a confrontation, and I'm just a wimp when it comes to that kind of stuff.

So I made my appointment with the AME, prepared to pay him $150, but there was a SNAFU when I showed up, and I brought the previous (two-years ago) medical, rather than the newly printed one, and despite having the username and password to print it from their office, they reschduled the appointment for two weeks later and sent me packing. That ticked me off a bit, and since I was only a few blocks from my doctor's office, I dropped by and asked if they'd ever heard of the "BasicMed" process for a pilot's medical exam. As luck would have it, they HAD, and I was told that if I'd email them the form, they'd get it signed and back to me the next day. Great!

So that night I read up on the process (see , took the test, filled out the forms (identical to the previous medical forms for the AME), and emailed it the doctor's office the next day. A few hours later, I had the signed form in hand, legal to fly, at NO COST at all! I cancelled the AME appointment, and have been flying ever since.

It that's easy....except I did a little more research and found that the physical has to have been done AFTER April 31, 2017, and he used my physical data from my previous physical in October of 2016. Close, but no cigar! This was not listed anywhere on the form that we had to fill out. No problem...I'll wait until my next physical and get him to fix it then.

Then my doctor died suddenly (he was about my age), so no more doctor. But through some very tenacious hurdle jumping, his nurse practicianer enlisted another doctor to take over the business, so my physical was rescheduled for yesterday. Again, I wasn't wild about "breaking in" another doctor to BasicMed, but showed up with all forms filled out, and even brought some color-blindness charts just in case he didn't have those (and he didn't).

So right off, I asked that he save five minutes to go through the BasicMed thing, and he read it over, said "we'll use this checklist to do your physical", and proceded to knock it out. Turns out he's colorblind (he already knew that), and he missed every one he tried! We had a good laugh over that, but he awarded me credit "by exclusion" (I rattled through every one and then he kind-of saw them), and it was done! No extra charge....simply over and done with, and more importantly, GOOD FOR FOUR MORE YEARS!

The point of this post....don't be afraid of the devil you don't'll be easier than you think, even if you have to throw the guy a $50 bill or something. And just in case, take some color-blindness test plates with you. See , and print them out in color, nine to a piece of paper.

Mark Langford

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