Previously Unreported Convictions

DesperadoPilot

New Member
I am new here, and I have beaten myself up pretty badly over a serious mistake I made, and I need some serious advice on how to handle it.

Seven years ago, the kids were finally grown and out on their own and I was finally able to pursue a lifelong dream of acquiring a Private Pilots Certificate. Right before I soloed, I applied for a 3rd Class Medical. When fillng out the form, I came across the question that asked about prior convictions. I told the AME I had two felony drug convictions from 18 years ago when I was a much younger man, and that I also had 3 or 4 misdemeanor convictions for minor offenses when I was a teenager and in my twenties and early thirties. I am now 56. Never a DUI/DWI or driving offense. I mentioned this to the AME, what should I put down, and he said, "I would just put down the felonies, I think that is the main thing they want to know about." So that is what I did, put down the two felonies, one from 1986 and one from 1992. I was issued a 3rd Class Medical. A couple of months later, I got a letter from the FAA saying that my 3rd Class Medical was approved, and that if I ever had another drug conviction in the future my medical certificate would be in jeopardy. That is basically all it said.
Two years later, I reapplied for another 3rd Class and it was issued. In December 2005, it expired. Around that time I read about the Operation Safe Pilot fiasco in California, and then recently I read about the new questions on the new GG Form of 8500-8 regarding arrests/convictions, etc. This is what got me to thinking back about the entries on my first and subsequent applications for a medical certificate, and the omission of the misdemeanor convictions.
I think I am now in deep doo-doo, for falsification. There was no intent to deceive, I would have told them about it but I was led to believe it was insignificant when I filled out my first application, and entered "Previously Reported" on the second one.
I consulted with a doctor at AviationMedicine.com and was told to just leave it like it is and keep putting down "Previously Reported" as long as there were no new arrests/convictions, etc. He said the FAA probably already checked my record when the first 8500-8 was submitted and they probably didn't think it of any significance, and not to worry about it.
Well, I do have a problem with that. It is on my conscience, and I do not want to continue falsifying each application, I want to set the record straight once and for all. I do not want to get into any trouble over this, and I know if this isn't handled properly, I could get into a lot of trouble with the Feds, which I simply cannot afford to do.
So what are my options? Repetitive falsification of the 8500-8 is not an acceptable option with me. Does that mean my flying days are over? I could probably just be happy to fly as a sport pilot, and it may or may not ever become an issue in the future. However, I would prefer to be on the straight and level with the FAA, but I am afraid and do not know how to go about getting this straightened out without getting into trouble. The only thing I ever wanted to fly was a Cessna 150, and that is what I own. But I don't fly it, because I am not legal and do not want to violate the FAR's by flying it illegally. So, it just sits. I haven't flown in about 3 years now, and would love to get back in the sky again. This is killing me on the inside, and I have beaten myself up pretty badly over this. I need some serious advice. Please help. This is tearing me apart. What should I do?
Does the FAA offer any type of Amnesty for self reporting previously undisclosed information? And if so, how do I go about applying for it? I am at my wits end over this and need some serious answers. And I am sure there are others on here in the same or similar situations. Please Advise.
 
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