Top Letters And Comments, June 9, 2023
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Top Letters And Comments, June 9, 2023

Jan 27, 2024

It is the perfect storm. As airplanes age they need more maintenance but the supply chain is withering as suppliers consolidate or simply close with no other enterprise providing the part.

Parts costs are rising at an almost exponential rate exacerbated by the regulatory administrative burden to certify low demand parts and the cost of insuring the vendor against a potential huge liability.

The GA maintenance infrastructure is in also decline. There is a shortage of mechanics and GA maintenance shops are finding it hard to compete with large corporate and airline shops which can offer more attractive wage and working conditions.

Finally the worst thing you can do to an airplane is not fly it. It is hard to justify spending a lot on maintenance when an airplane is flying less than 10 hours a year. Sadly I think we are going to see more and more light aircraft that are deteriorating past the point of no return.

Ultimately however as was pointed out in the article, it is up to the owner to maintain his or her aircraft. Failure to do so has consequences that can't be ignored.

David G.

There's deferred maintenance…and there's DEFERRED maintenance. Cracks in the royalite instrument panel cover? deferred is probably not a safety of flight issue (unless they’re so bad pieces are obstructing instruments)…cracks in the muffler, loose cover plates, missing structural hardware, frayed wiring, hoses past their ‘sell-by’ date…corrosion…Nah.

But inspections, IRAN’ing of marginal appliances, and all the other ‘nickle and dime’ stuff you think needs attention…just do it. We have a legal obligation, as well as moral, to maintain our ships in an airworthy condition. That's the obligation we assumed when we signed the title application. Besides…there is that ‘pride of ownership’ thing. No plane is perfect…and ‘good enough’ is the lowest we should accept. In 30+ years of ownership…I’ve had annuals where the owner-assisted inspection and maintenance took a few days with minor squawks…and others where the dreaded phone call "you’re making metal" arrived to a sharp intake of breath (and an object lesson in why aircraft overhauls cost what they do…).

I hear/read stories like this and just shake my head.

Bryan B.

Honestly, I don't see why more pilots don't avail themselves of the BasicMed option. It costs WAY less, lasts twice as long, is much easier to use and eliminates exposure to the potential of an overly enthusiastic AME. If the limitations don't affect you, I do not see the downside.

Regarding non-AME doctors being reticent; a rational discussion and a few minutes research ought to do it. My doctor originally was not on board, but promised to look into it. That was four years ago. He told me the other day he now has about 4 or 5 of us in the area that he does this for.


For my last 2 BasicMed physical exams, I ended up going back to my AME who issued my 3rd class medicals. My primary physician didn't seem interested when I broached the subject. My AME guessed that something like 90% of primary care docs wouldn't sign off on the BasicMed checklist due to fears of unknown liability. As an AME, he thinks he's not liable for any issues that may get missed on the checklist since he doesn't have a "clinical relationship" with the pilots (e.g. he's not responsible for treatment or providing medical care).

I live near the border with Canada, so there is a plausible reason to keep getting 3rd class medical since Canada does not recognize BasicMed.

Craig L.

I jumped on BasicMed as soon as it was offered. I don't fly for a living, and never will. I just sprung it on my doctor one day. He thought a medical checklist for my physical was a great idea and took to the form immediately. I think it broke up the mundane checkups for him. He never once asked me about any liability. He just read through the forms and said let's get to it. But then he's always been fascinated by aviation and a good portion of my visits are talking airplanes. Bottom line is that my doctor and I both like BasicMed. AME's are getting hard to find in my area.