When can the FAA take action against your pilot certificate?

captainphil

Well-Known Member
I am terribly confused, I was told by my instructor today that the FAA is allowed without any reason to just take your certificate, with no cause. I would think that the PIC would need to break a regulation first before the FAA can take action against your certificate. If that's the truth, it almost seems unfair that at any time the FAA can just take away your certificate without cause when you spend tons of money on that flying and all that time training . Am I missing the big picture here? I understand that a pilot certificate is different from a license as in it is not a right to own one nor does any regulation say that you are entitled to one , but it seems unhuman that they are allowed to just take away a pilots certificate with no reason what so ever. Someone help me please?

P.S. I am supposed to have my private pilot checkride next week,let's hope it doesn't snow and delay me further.
 

Holocene

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

I am terribly confused, I was told by my instructor today that the FAA is allowed without any reason to just take your certificate, with no cause. I would think that the PIC would need to break a regulation first before the FAA can take action against your certificate. If that's the truth, it almost seems unfair that at any time the FAA can just take away your certificate without cause when you spend tons of money on that flying and all that time training . Am I missing the big picture here? I understand that a pilot certificate is different from a license as in it is not a right to own one nor does any regulation say that you are entitled to one , but it seems unhuman that they are allowed to just take away a pilots certificate with no reason what so ever. Someone help me please?

P.S. I am supposed to have my private pilot checkride next week,let's hope it doesn't snow and delay me further.
Under no circumstances are you to physically hand over your medical/pilot certificates to any official without due process.
 

Goonie

Never say die
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

I am terribly confused, I was told by my instructor today that the FAA is allowed without any reason to just take your certificate, with no cause. I would think that the PIC would need to break a regulation first before the FAA can take action against your certificate. If that's the truth, it almost seems unfair that at any time the FAA can just take away your certificate without cause when you spend tons of money on that flying and all that time training . Am I missing the big picture here? I understand that a pilot certificate is different from a license as in it is not a right to own one nor does any regulation say that you are entitled to one , but it seems unhuman that they are allowed to just take away a pilots certificate with no reason what so ever. Someone help me please?

P.S. I am supposed to have my private pilot checkride next week,let's hope it doesn't snow and delay me further.
Your instructor is wrong. Any FAA inspector can ramp check you and you must show your papers, but they can not take your certificate from you without due process. Like most government jobs there is a chain of command they must follow. Don't let them scare you and have a good aviation attorneys number saved in your cell.

Your instructor is not stupid....its just one of those aviation tall tales.

Here is a GOOD piece of advice when it comes to the FAA...

If they ask for your certificate or training record(if you're an instructor), don't give them ANYTHING without something in writing signed by them and their superior. Find out who the supervisor is of your local FSDO, they are the ones that you want to talk to ultimately. The inspectors can be very helpful but when things get dirty they dont do anything unless its in writing and they get the green light from their supervisor.
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Under no circumstances are you to physically hand over your medical/pilot certificates to any official without due process.
They do not have the authority to keep your certificates even if you physically hand them over. All you do by insisting that you hold them is make yourself look like a paranoid fool.
 

Holocene

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

They do not have the authority to keep your certificates even if you physically hand them over. All you do by insisting that you hold them is make yourself look like a paranoid fool.
By "hand over", I mean "turn in".

Yes that would be pretty lame thing to do.
 

Polar742

All the responsibility none of the authority
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

From the FAA 8900:

http://fsims.faa.gov/PICDetail.aspx?docId=3C1F8F2482F541028525734F0076670D
8900 said:
H. Section 709 of Part A of Subtitle VII of the revised Unites States Code. Section 709 of the Act is actually impossible to violate, but, on the basis of Section 709, the FAA can reinspect or reexamine and, when necessary, amend, suspend, or revoke a certificate.

1) If, upon request for a reinspection or reexamination, a person refuses to allow or fails the retesting, an enforcement investigation report must be prepared. Only Section A is required to be completed, to include the documentation of the need or justification for the reexamination.

2) Written justification for reexamination or reinspection may be in the form of:

· An accident report;
· An incident report;
· A complaint; and
· An inspector's personal knowledge of suspected or known incompetence.
http://fsims.faa.gov/PICDetail.aspx?docId=CF76765ABEE53FBD8525734F0076674A

8900 said:
14-86. RECKLESS OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT. Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) section (§) 91.13 provides that, “No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” Neither 49 United States Code (49 U.S.C.) nor the 14 CFR define “reckless” or “reckless manner.” The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), however, has in several cases dealt with the allegation that a particular operations was “reckless” within the meaning of 14 CFR § 91.13 and has thus contributed towards a definition of the phrase, “reckless manner.”

A. NTSB Case History. The cases studied by the NTSB indicate that recklessness involves deliberate and willful conduct, i.e., conduct that reflects a wanton disregard for others’ safety.

1) The inspector can infer a deliberate and willful disregard of the regulations or safety standards from the circumstances surrounding a violation.

a) It need not be established that a pilot intended to be reckless but only that he or she intended to engage in deliberate or willful action which resulted in a deviation from 14 CFR or from safety standards and which created actual or potential danger to the life or property of another.

b) For example, the NTSB said of a pilot whom it found to have been reckless when the pilot deliberately operated an aircraft within 50 to 200 feet of another aircraft for a period of 5 to 10 minutes—

“… so long as the respondent intends to do the particular acts complained of, and the resulting action widely departs from the norm of reasonably prudent conduct, a finding of reckless operation does not require proof of the state of the pilot’s mind but can be inferred from the nature of [the pilot’s] acts or omissions and the surrounding circumstances.”
2) In one violation the airmen flew visual flight rules (VFR) in formation and proceeded into a mountainous area in instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions at dusk without ascertaining the weather conditions. Neither pilot held an instrument rating and one aircraft had an inoperative radio. The NTSB declared that the conduct of such a flight was reckless. The NTSB found that the conduct was “… so devoid of basic safe operating practices and adherence to critical safety regulations that it constituted a reckless operation.”

B. Conduct Deemed Reckless. The fact patterns of some individual cases tried before the NTSB provide guidance about the kind of conduct that the NTSB will deem reckless. For example:

1) The pilot of an aircraft, in an attempt to land on a highway in a non-emergency situation, approached from the rear and struck a moving truck. The truck was substantially damaged, and the person who was sitting in the middle of the front seat of the truck was seriously injured. The NTSB, after considering the circumstances surrounding the incident, found that the respondent operated the aircraft in a reckless manner.

2) In another case an airman willfully and deliberately made several extremely close passes near a van for the purpose of causing apprehension or bodily harm to the occupants of the van. The NTSB wrote, “Such piloting can only be characterized as reckless operation which created a serious hazard to the van.”

3) The allegation of recklessness was affirmed by the NTSB in a case where an air carrier pilot operating an aircraft in scheduled air transportation took off from an airport after being advised that the reported visibility was 1/16 of a mile. The takeoff minimums were 1/4 of a mile. The NTSB held that the “… knowing violation of one of the standards applicable to air carrier pilots forms the basis of the finding of reckless operation.”

4) In another case where the NTSB found recklessness, the pilot violated several 14 CFR. The airman carried passengers on several flights when not rated in the aircraft, had no instruction or experience in the aircraft, the aircraft had not been issued an airworthiness certificate nor had been inspected for the issuance of the certificate, the aircraft had not undergone an annual inspection, and the aircraft carried no identification markings. The NTSB considered the entire range of circumstances and the broad areas of noncompliance with the regulations under which numerous flights were conducted, many on which passengers were carried, a reckless operation.

5) In another case, the airman was acting as pilot-in-command of an aircraft on a VFR, passenger carrying flight carrying parachutists for compensation. The pilot deliberately performed an aileron roll. The seriousness of this violation was accentuated by the fact that the aircraft was not certificated for aerobatics, two parachutists were in the air when the roll was performed, the roll took place at an altitude of 500 to 800 feet over a group of persons on the ground, and the flight was made for compensation. The NTSB found the respondent’s violations to be deliberate and knowing and, therefore, reckless.

6) In another case the pilot-in-command flew the pilot’s personal aircraft on a VFR, passenger carrying flight. During the course of the flight, the aircraft entered clouds and subsequently crashed into a mountainside. The NTSB held that the “… respondent’s continued VFR flight into clouds in the vicinity of mountainous terrain demonstrated inherently reckless conduct.”

7) A pilot was found to be reckless when that pilot ignored specific air traffic control instructions. Contrary to air traffic control (ATC) instructions, the pilot failed to report downwind, landed the aircraft instead of going around, made a 180° turn on the runway, and departed via a taxiway. The NTSB noted that the go-around instruction was given four separate times by the controller, yet the pilot persisted with the approach and landing. The NTSB also stated that, “… it appears that [the pilot] made up his mind to land the aircraft and no amount of instruction from the tower could keep him from that goal.” The pilot’s operation of the aircraft was characterized as reckless.

C. Conclusion. While there is no regulatory definition of the term, “reckless,” it has been defined in cases decided by the NTSB. A reckless operation results from the operation of an aircraft conducted with a deliberate or willful disregard of the regulations or accepted standards of safety so as to endanger the life or property of another either potentially or actually. Accordingly, any such reckless behavior violates 14 CFR § 91.13 .
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

It's not a matter of "taking" the certificate (as in physically taking it). It's a matter of revoking the privileges thereof.

Polar's post above pretty much says it all.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

They do not have the authority to keep your certificates even if you physically hand them over. All you do by insisting that you hold them is make yourself look like a paranoid fool.
Not so paranoid, atually.
If you physically hand over your certificate I've heard cases where the FSDO used that to say that you've surrendered your pilot certificate, despite the requirement in 61.27 that you have to submit something in writing.

I suggest anytime you hand your certificate to the feds you also include a letter from you indicating that you are not surrendering your certificate and in no way should they make that assumption.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Why would the FAA just take someone's certificate for no reason?
 

Goonie

Never say die
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Not so paranoid, atually.
If you physically hand over your certificate I've heard cases where the FSDO used that to say that you've surrendered your pilot certificate, despite the requirement in 61.27 that you have to submit something in writing.

I suggest anytime you hand your certificate to the feds you also include a letter from you indicating that you are not surrendering your certificate and in no way should they make that assumption.

Good advice, but any aviation attorney would have a field day with an inspector that just takes your cert without the paper trail. You would have your cert back the next morning and that inspector could lose his job.

I did a BFR for a guy that geared up his Bonanza in KSAT (proven mechanical failure) and a inspector from San Antonio FSDO called me and wanted all my training records. I asked a local DPE who worked for the FAA for 25 years and he told me that they cant ask for ANYTHING unless it is writing. I called the inspector back and told him to mail me a letter requesting what he needs signed by his supervisor....I never got it. :rolleyes:
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Remember a gentleman by the name of Hoover?
...and that was not a revocation for "no reason" (which was the original question).

Although the reason was bogus and eventually straightened out after a phenomenally ridiculous process, the inspectors who started that whole trainwreck observed actions that they felt showed a problem.

They did not just walk up to Hoover and ground him for fun.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Not so paranoid, atually.
If you physically hand over your certificate I've heard cases where the FSDO used that to say that you've surrendered your pilot certificate, despite the requirement in 61.27 that you have to submit something in writing.
Yeah, I've herd a lot of BS also. Name one of these cases that you've heard about that's verifiable.

There will always be people who think they can abuse authority. But I'm not going to refuse to hand over my drivers license and registration next time I'm stopped for speeding because I might have run into the one jerk who just might take it upon himself to walk away with it.

I'm with ryanmickG. Maybe not a field day, but it would be fun.
 

SFCC/UND

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

I took a aviation law class and you are supposed to yell bloody murder and find someone and tell them that he stole your license. Dead serious.
 

JDMcFly

New Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

I took a aviation law class and you are supposed to yell bloody murder and find someone and tell them that he stole your license. Dead serious.
Yeah, that's pretty much what my book said. Probably the same book. Make sure somebody is around to witness that you aren't voluntarily surrendering your documents.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

I took a aviation law class and you are supposed to yell bloody murder and find someone and tell them that he stole your license. Dead serious.
JDMcFly said:
Yeah, that's pretty much what my book said. Probably the same book. Make sure somebody is around to witness that you aren't voluntarily surrendering your documents.
Baloney.

This kind of BS reminds me of the article that appeared a few years ago in IFR that said that a private pilot flying his Mooney was subject to potential strict liability under Admiralty law.

Pretty much Grimms' fairly tales and Freddy Kruger - lets see how much we can scare the kids.

I especially like the "yell bloody murder" one. Let's see... You are ramp checked. The first thing the Inspector asks is to show him your pilot certificate, medical certificate and photo ID and holds out his hand. Instead of handing them to him for inspection like a normal human being, you start screaming like a lunatic. Yup, great strategy - especially if you want to piss off the Inspector so he finds a reason for you to receive a friendly Letter of Investigation from the FSDO or perhaps a letter from Oklahoma City politely asking you to take some psychological tests and send them the results.

Is this nonsense really that prevalent? Maybe I should pay more attention to it in my enforcement talk in a few weeks?
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Baloney.

This kind of BS reminds me of the article that appeared a few years ago in IFR that said that a private pilot flying his Mooney was subject to potential strict liability under Admiralty law.

Pretty much Grimms' fairly tales and Freddy Kruger - lets see how much we can scare the kids.

I especially like the "yell bloody murder" one. Let's see... You are ramp checked. The first thing the Inspector asks is to show him your pilot certificate, medical certificate and photo ID and holds out his hand. Instead of handing them to him for inspection like a normal human being, you start screaming like a lunatic. Yup, great strategy - especially if you want to piss off the Inspector so he finds a reason for you to receive a friendly Letter of Investigation from the FSDO or perhaps a letter from Oklahoma City politely asking you to take some psychological tests and send them the results.

Is this nonsense really that prevalent? Maybe I should pay more attention to it in my enforcement talk in a few weeks?
What about the one where the FAA approaches you, you say you need to use the restroom, and then leave?
 

JDMcFly

New Member
Re: When can the FAA take action against your pilot certific

Baloney.

This kind of BS reminds me of the article that appeared a few years ago in IFR that said that a private pilot flying his Mooney was subject to potential strict liability under Admiralty law.

Pretty much Grimms' fairly tales and Freddy Kruger - lets see how much we can scare the kids.

I especially like the "yell bloody murder" one. Let's see... You are ramp checked. The first thing the Inspector asks is to show him your pilot certificate, medical certificate and photo ID and holds out his hand. Instead of handing them to him for inspection like a normal human being, you start screaming like a lunatic. Yup, great strategy - especially if you want to piss off the Inspector so he finds a reason for you to receive a friendly Letter of Investigation from the FSDO or perhaps a letter from Oklahoma City politely asking you to take some psychological tests and send them the results.

Is this nonsense really that prevalent? Maybe I should pay more attention to it in my enforcement talk in a few weeks?
You entirely missed the point. It isn't if they ask to see your papers, it is if they start walking away with them and you haven't voluntarily surrendered them. The point is to have a witness if, by the rare chance, this illegally happens.
 
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