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Old 08-15-2008, 12:26 PM   #1  
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Default FAA Requesting Criminal History?!

Hey guys, I am new here and am facing an interesting "dilemma". Almost 2 years ago I was convicted of battery against someone. The charges were misdemeanor and not felony charges. I applied for a 2nd class medical certificate in July of 2007 and indicated on the application about the incident in 2006. I was issued a 2nd class medical and didn't hear from the FAA about anything.

Fast forward to present day. I am going for a checkride for my Multi-engine Commercial on the 27th of this month and just got a letter in the mail today from the FAA Medical Cert. Division saying:

"This will acknowledge your recent phone call to our office and your report of physical examination has been received. Based upon our review of the information submitted, we are unable to establish your eligibility to hold an airman medical certificate at this time.

For further consideration, please submit copies of the court records regarding your history of a misdemeanor.

Upon receipt and favorable review of the above requested information, we will issue you a corrected medical certificate.

Please note that your medical certification has not been denied at this time; however, if no reply is received within 30 days from the date of this letter, we will have no alternative except to deny your application in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR's), Section 67.413.

Sincerely,
Kelly Cunningham"

The reason I contacted them was to correct a name issue on my medical certificate, there was an error in typing my last name correctly. I called the FAA Medical Cert. Division and asked for a corrected one sent to me and instead got this letter.

I read 67.413 of the FAR's and there is nothing in there saying I have to provide them with criminal background information. It only mentions medical background.

Can someone please help me with this, I have no problem sending court copies and letters from my attorney to them , I just don't think what they are asking is justified enough at this time.

Thank you for your time!
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:30 PM   #2  
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First off, you should probably get an aviation lawyer. AOPA might be able to help if you have their legal plan (that plan is a good idea for non-airline pilots).

The FAA can deny any class medical for substance abuse issues. They might be wondering if this was alcohol related.

Since an ATP requires the holder to be of "good moral character", I believe they can deny a first class medical based on criminal history.

Also, I suspect the FAA might consider a criminal history to be indication of mental or emotional issues, which ARE grounds for denial per FAR 63.

If you're lucky they will simply determine that this was a one-time only event, and not indicative of your mental state.

Also, if you are planning on working for an airline, be advised that there is a long list of crimes which will disqualify you from working at an airport for ten years. This is a federal law, the airlines have no say, they simply cannot employ you...better check that list and make sure your conviction is not on it.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:28 PM   #3  
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Thanks Rick, I called Oak. City and asked them why they were asking me to send a copy of the court documents over a year after I applied for a medical. They told me that they weren't aware of it until I made a recent request to correct the way my name appears on the medical certificate.

He stated that "a criminal background is a medical background and thus part 67.413 applies to their request", which I am going to have throw the B.S. flag on. He told me that I need to send them a personal statement of what happened if I can not get court records.

As for working in the States with a criminal background, I am a citizen of a European country so I have a clean sheet over there. I am only working on my ratings here to move back. Unfortunately I got into a fight with someone and was charged with battery while being here.

I just don't think a criminal background should be look at as a "medical history". Two different terms, which terminologically mean different things. If they want to make sure I am mentally stable they should look up my medical records or send me to a shrink or Psychiatrist.


Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:40 PM   #4  
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The FARs are not "normal" law in the US. The are "administrative law", which leaves the government wide latitude in how they interpret and apply the regs.

Ultimately flying is a privilege, not a right, so there are fewer legal protections for us.

I don't think they are using the criminal thing as a basis to disqualify you, but rather a basis to further investigate your medical history (specifically mental health). I'm sure the circumstances you describe will not be a big deal.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:07 PM   #5  
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I see.

Well I guess a brief explanation of situation and a letter from my attorney should be enough then. If they decide to be jerks anyway I will just take the checkride on the 27th anyway with my old medical which is valid until September 9th since they say I have 30 days to respond.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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