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Decided to come clean to the FAA.

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Decided to come clean to the FAA.

Old 01-29-2024, 07:56 AM
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Default Decided to come clean to the FAA.

I will start by saying the reason I am posting this here is that it is my hope that other people can gain from this information, add to it, or just know that there are many of us in this predicament and that we are not alone. I will add to this post as the process moves along.

I understand that what I did was wrong and it has weighed heavy on my heart for a long time, so please spare me with the holier than though rhetoric. Everybody makes mistakes, has skeletons and their reasons for secrets. It is a tough position to be in.

I have decided to self-disclose a prior medical condition and the medication I used to treat it to the FAA. I am a part 121 Airline Captain. I started my aviation career as a helicopter pilot in the Army. Like so many others, I participated in the middle east catastrophe known as "The War on Terror". At one point in my time in the Army I went through some hard times and was diagnosed with Depression. I was grounded for 6 months and received treatment in the form of medication and therapy. After the 6 months I was granted a waiver from the Army and resumed flying while still taking the medication for depression.
I was unaware of the repercussions this would have on my civilian flying career (many of us were and still are). The FAA is much stricter on these matters than the military. I was tired of deploying to the middle east, so I left the Army and had a civilian flying job waiting on me. When I went to apply for my FAA medical, I realized that this would have to be disclosed, likely putting a major delay to my career, if not completely ending it. Out of fear and rationalization that the Army cleared me so it can't be that bad, I omitted this information. I went on with my life and attained a dual ATP, several type ratings, and thousands of hours of experience. I have never been violated, failed a training event, or have any other legal problems. However, over the years this has bothered me more and more. I am tired of the secret and have self-grounded myself. I have attained legal counsel and advised my union and airline of what’s going on and let the "chips fall where they may".

My attorney will gather all information regarding this and disclose on my behalf amendments to my past medicals (come clean). My goals in this process are obvious. 1, avoid criminal prosecution. 2, avoid airman certificate revocation. 3, perhaps attain a special issuance and continue flying at some point in the future. My attorney has all but assured that self-disclosure does not usually result in criminal prosecution or airman certificate revocation. The medical on the other hand will be a different issue and I am okay with that. In fact, I am okay with any outcome here and will move on and do something else, if need be, at least I will be free of this burden I created for myself.

We will see what happens and I am cautiously hopeful that I receive a second chance, and if not that’s okay too. I hope this information can help others or at the very least offer that you are not alone. The FAA medical system is complicated, and many people have things going on in their lives that they fear reporting. Everybody has their reasons, and we all know in a legal sense that it is wrong to not disclose.
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Old 01-29-2024, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PilotdadCJDCMD View Post
I understand that what I did was wrong and it has weighed heavy on my heart for a long time, so please spare me with the holier than though rhetoric. Everybody makes mistakes, has skeletons and their reasons for secrets. It is a tough position to be in.
It's easy to come out of the military and erroneously apply mil flight medicine culture (or VA culture) to FAA-land, you're not the first or the last. Doubt anybody here will have a holier-than-thou attitude, anybody who's been around a while knows full well the shortcomings of the FAA in this arena. Hope for the best for you.

I'd expect that you'll be able to work through it and get cleared to fly again. It's common knowledge that the FAA is vastly more forgiving if you self-disclose.
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Old 01-29-2024, 09:28 PM
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It sounds like you've done due dilligence at this point.

I would have strongly encouraged you to seek legal counsel before going further, and only disclose on advice of counsel, as directed by counsel.

I would strongly encourage you to discuss this thread with counsel and determine if it should be deleted. You have a pending legal action, and it may be in your best interest to not discuss this matter until it's been resolved. Let your attorney speak for you until resolution is complete. Give deleting this thread some consideration.
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
It sounds like you've done due dilligence at this point.

I would have strongly encouraged you to seek legal counsel before going further, and only disclose on advice of counsel, as directed by counsel.

I would strongly encourage you to discuss this thread with counsel and determine if it should be deleted. You have a pending legal action, and it may be in your best interest to not discuss this matter until it's been resolved. Let your attorney speak for you until resolution is complete. Give deleting this thread some consideration.


As I posted, I retained legal counsel on the matter, and he advised to self-disclose. If you are caught, then you lose everything and will lose on appeal.
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Old 01-30-2024, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
It sounds like you've done due dilligence at this point.

I would have strongly encouraged you to seek legal counsel before going further, and only disclose on advice of counsel, as directed by counsel.

I would strongly encourage you to discuss this thread with counsel and determine if it should be deleted. You have a pending legal action, and it may be in your best interest to not discuss this matter until it's been resolved. Let your attorney speak for you until resolution is complete. Give deleting this thread some consideration.
I consulted my attorny regarding posting this process to an aviation forum and he assured me its not a problem.
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Old 01-30-2024, 08:41 AM
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In that case, good luck.
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Old 01-30-2024, 02:20 PM
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Why even say anything? Are you more bothered by falsifying an FAA medical application or that you at have some medical history that never affected your normal functioning?

if you haven't disclosed to the FAA, you're setting yourself up for needless problems. If your doctors cleared you then there's no problem unless you say something.
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Old 01-30-2024, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BigKetchup View Post
Why even say anything? Are you more bothered by falsifying an FAA medical application or that you at have some medical history that never affected your normal functioning?

if you haven't disclosed to the FAA, you're setting yourself up for needless problems. If your doctors cleared you then there's no problem unless you say something.
Quote from a very smart Uncle…

“Don’t, just Don’t”
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Old 01-30-2024, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BigKetchup View Post
Why even say anything? Are you more bothered by falsifying an FAA medical application or that you at have some medical history that never affected your normal functioning?

if you haven't disclosed to the FAA, you're setting yourself up for needless problems. If your doctors cleared you then there's no problem unless you say something.
Well, just the fact that I was omitting that information year after year was just wearing on me. The possibility of getting caught and having everything revoked causes stress as well.
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Old 01-30-2024, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
In that case, good luck.
Appreciate it.
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