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Old 10-02-2018, 12:19 PM   #1  
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Default FAA medical review with pending charges

I just started flying a couple of months ago, and have already decided that I want to do this for a living. When I went to get my medical, my AME advised that I go ahead and apply for first class since I have a DUI in my past; he said it will make it easier down the road to just get approved now. My case is somewhat complex, partially because I have a DUI from two years ago that resulted in no conviction. Of course, I had to report this on my medical application and as a result I am now under review for the next two months or so until I find out whether I am denied or cleared. Normally, due to the nature of my offense, it would be nothing to worry about. The AME is confident that my DUI offense is not grounds for denial.

What's become a headache is the fact that I am also pending trial for a separate misdemeanor charge. It's a long story, but I got harassed by police even though I committed no crime and charged with indecent exposure. It has become more of a pain than I imagined to get this charge dismissed. Ultimately, I am 100% innocent and it will get dismissed, even if I have to go to trial, but all of this is happening while I am pending review for my first-class medical, due to the past DUI. Without the DUI, I would have gotten the medical issued on the spot, even with my current pending charge. I did not have to report this charge under 18w on the application. Now that I am under review, things are different. So, I have a few questions.

I have not found ANY information as to how the FAA handles pending charges. It seems this is not a common occurrence and there is no set protocol for pending charges unrelated to drugs or alcohol, only convictions. As I have no conviction yet and will not get one, will they even consider the issue, or just treat me as innocent until proven guilty? Will they perhaps want to delay my medical until this case is resolved, and then make a final decision? It is likely that they will look into my case before I get this charge taken care of. Or they may be reviewing it mid-trial. It all depends on what happens with the court system. Will they even see the pending charge? I can't even find out whether they run a criminal background check or not when someone applies for a medical. Is this type of crime grounds for denial, even with a conviction? I am also aware of the "good moral standing" requirement for ATP pilots, which I am applying for. Part of me wonders if they may use that as grounds for denial, even with no conviction yet. This seems to fall into the murky water category, as I can't find a single clear answer no matter how much research I do. Any additional input would be appreciated. Apart from the DUI (which was dismissed one year ago), and my current pending indecent exposure (Class B misdemeanor in my state), I have nothing else on my record.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #2  
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Contact an aviation lawyer. But I think this is what he'll tell you...


Arrests:
1) 18(v) includes arrests,as well as convictions and admin actions, but only for DUI-related issues (although the education/rehab language is poorly worded and could be taken to apply to any crime).


Convictions:
1) 61.15 requires that you report (separately from the medical, within 60 days) any DUI convictions or admin actions. This applies if you hold a pilot cert, I think regardless of the status of you medical. Hopefully you did this.

2) 18(w) requires that you report convictions for non-traffic crimes. But that's on the medical form, so it only needs to be done when you apply for a medical, and only if you have an actual conviction.


So, I think what you want to do is nothing yet. Let the DUI process play out and get a medical. If as you say the other issue is dropped, then the FAA will never have any requirement that you report that, since it's not DUI related and no conviction.

Worst case, you get a minor misdemeanor conviction. In that case I would simply report it on your NEXT medical. That way the DUI will be resolved, and then you just have to address the other one. 61.15 does NOT require that you report non-DUI convictions within 60 days.

Note that a pattern of multiple infractions can lead the FAA to assume a personality/mental health disorder, which could be a certification issue. I would pull out all the stops to beat the second infraction... just need to avoid a conviction. If you're going to make any deals, better talk to a lawyer about exactly what the threshold is for checking the conviction box.

And avoid any further legal entanglements.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:23 PM   #3  
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Rickair's comments are correct; nothing to add there.

Regarding the original post, however, watch out for attempting to justify and deny; everybody is innocent. Everyone in jail was unfairly persecuted, prosecuted, harrassed, and the world was out to get them. They didn't do it. It's the siren song of the guilty. This doesn't mean that YOU'RE guilty, but the impression when you begin citing legal actions (all recent) and then professing your innocence is anything but.

You're entering a field in which any legal entanglements are viewed as serious impediments to progress. While the hiring climate, especially at the lower rungs, has run at a fevered pitch, pilots still remain a dime a dozen, and for every applicant with multiple arrests (and/or convictions), there are several thousand that don't have that baggage.

Remember that airlines, corporate departments, and other employers hire pilots for their judgement, rather than simply the monkey skills of manipulating the flight controls; getting the job is very much about character, every bit as much as holding a pilot certificate. What you do to day will follow you in your career for a very long time, and both your incidents are very recent (within the last year may as well have been yesterday). When you begin accruing incidents, the pattern becomes significant, too.

Employers, as opposed to the FAA, don't just look at convictions, but arrests, too, and most applications will ask if you've ever been arrested. You'll be subject to employment history checks, credit checks, criminal history and driving checks, depending on the employer. You're being trusted with the reputation of the company, the safety of the flight and passengers, and it's a big responsibility.

You may need to choose between a party life and a professional one.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:07 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
Rickair's comments are correct; nothing to add there.



Employers, as opposed to the FAA, don't just look at convictions, but arrests, too, and most applications will ask if you've ever been arrested. You'll be subject to employment history checks, credit checks, criminal history and driving checks, depending on the employer. You're being trusted with the reputation of the company, the safety of the flight and passengers, and it's a big responsibility.

You may need to choose between a party life and a professional one.
That^^^^

Nobody can FORCE the majors to hire you. You may have already disqualified yourself for some airlines by social postings you've made, things you said in your high school yearbook, tattoos you thought were really funny at the time. Run ins with the law will rarely be viewed as a plus, regardless of what happens in court.

Think before you act.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:24 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Contact an aviation lawyer. But I think this is what he'll tell you...


Arrests:
1) 18(v) includes arrests,as well as convictions and admin actions, but only for DUI-related issues (although the education/rehab language is poorly worded and could be taken to apply to any crime).


Convictions:
1) 61.15 requires that you report (separately from the medical, within 60 days) any DUI convictions or admin actions. This applies if you hold a pilot cert, I think regardless of the status of you medical. Hopefully you did this.

2) 18(w) requires that you report convictions for non-traffic crimes. But that's on the medical form, so it only needs to be done when you apply for a medical, and only if you have an actual conviction.


So, I think what you want to do is nothing yet. Let the DUI process play out and get a medical. If as you say the other issue is dropped, then the FAA will never have any requirement that you report that, since it's not DUI related and no conviction.

Worst case, you get a minor misdemeanor conviction. In that case I would simply report it on your NEXT medical. That way the DUI will be resolved, and then you just have to address the other one. 61.15 does NOT require that you report non-DUI convictions within 60 days.

Note that a pattern of multiple infractions can lead the FAA to assume a personality/mental health disorder, which could be a certification issue. I would pull out all the stops to beat the second infraction... just need to avoid a conviction. If you're going to make any deals, better talk to a lawyer about exactly what the threshold is for checking the conviction box.

And avoid any further legal entanglements.

Does this mean if you were charged with some other crime that wasnt DUI related, you would only need to report the next time you went for a medical?

Wouldn't this also mean you could always continue flying then under the new 3rd class medical reform and just never report it?
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:18 PM   #6  
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When will my fellow Millennials learn that they are responsible for their own actions? Crazy Idea, i know!

RadialGal

You kids get the hell off my lawn!
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:44 PM   #7  
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The people that hire and fire definitely look at these types of legal issues.
Both the pilots in the Teterboro crash had issues.
https://www.flyingmag.com/teterboro-learjet-crash-raises-questions-about-crew-qualifications
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:06 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minimums View Post
Does this mean if you were charged with some other crime that wasnt DUI related, you would only need to report the next time you went for a medical?

Wouldn't this also mean you could always continue flying then under the new 3rd class medical reform and just never report it?
If it's not DUI related, you don't have to report an arrest at all, only convictions. If convicted, you report it on your next medical. You do not have to ground yourself, a conviction is not a medically disqualifying condition.

Read 18(v) and 18(w) carefully, they are different.
Not sure how that works with third class medical.
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Old 10-17-2018, 02:04 PM   #9  
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DUI / Indecent Exposure ?

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Drunken-Penis-Wagger employed in this Industry. (?)

Child Molesters, maybe. But, not someone involved in this type of Tomfoolery !

:)
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:06 AM   #10  
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It was actually topless sunbathing. Where I live it is perfectly legal to do so but officers were confused about the law and charged me anyway. I had no idea I would get harassed by police, since it's legal and I've seen other women doing it; otherwise I wouldn't have put myself in this position. This is what I mean when I say I am 100% innocent and the case will be thrown out. I never committed a crime. The prosecutor actually changed the charge to disorderly conduct (because indecent exposure only applies to genital exposure) but I didn't break that law either because I never harassed anyone. My attorney told me this is simply a game of poker: we have to force his hand to get the case dismissed, they don't care and just see you as a potential cash machine. If they can fine you somehow then they're happy. The issue is that a judge has not looked at my case yet. Once they do it will be thrown out, but that will not happen until the end of January 2019. Our legal system is a wreck so getting this resolved has been unnecessarily complicated. I understand the stigma toward pilots when it comes to legal trouble and owning your actions, and I did so with the DUI, but this was a rare case where my constitutional rights were violated.

Anyway, I've learned how these things work, and just want to put my past behind me and move on. I'm far more concerned about what the FAA will think as far as issuing my first class medical goes. By the time I'm ready to fly for the airlines, these hiccups will be far behind me and both expunged from my record. I will never have to report the disorderly conduct charge once expunged, because it only involved a citation and not an actual arrest. Only the DUI, which apparently is quite common among pilots from what I hear. I blew a 0.83 and it happened right after I turned 21; something tells me that at least one potential employer out there will understand that I made a poor decision in college.

I'm just worried that the FAA will refuse to issue my medical until after my disorderly conduct case is resolved, which will be a huge delay in getting my pilots license. I started training in August and I'm already stuck since I can't solo in the Cessna without the medical. Oh well, in the meantime I guess I'll log more time in the cub and champ that I can at least use toward my commercial rating.
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