Aeronautix, a small Missouri-based aviation engineering firm, has created an STC for seven-seat Piper PA-32 and PA-34 models that lets owners remove one seat to take advantage of medical certification reforms under BasicMed. Best of all for aircraft owners, the STC is free.
FAA regulations stipulate that aircraft flown by pilots under BasicMed can have a maximum of six seats. A number of PA-32 and PA-34 models are certified with seven seats but are otherwise BasicMed compliant. The STC restricts the airplanes to six seats so that owners can comply with BasicMed, which eliminates the need for pilots to visit an aviation medical examiner and obtain an FAA medical certificate.
Aeronautix originally charged $500 for the STC, but opted to offer the certification for free after AOPA introduced a similar STC for PA-32 models that went on sale for $99 to nonmembers and is free for members. The Aeronautix STC is less restrictive than the AOPA approval since it is an AML STC that applies to a longer list of Piper models, including the Cherokee Six, Lance, Saratoga and Seneca, and can be expanded in the future.