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What can put a pilot’s license at risk?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2024 | Professional License Defense

Pilots spend a lot of money and put in a lot of time to get their license. For many pilots, flying is their source of income, so it’s critical that they keep their pilot’s license in good shape.

There are many laws and regulations that pilots must comply with to keep their license in good standing. Any of these actions can lead to a pilot losing their license temporarily, or – in some cases – permanently.

Actions related to drugs and alcohol

One of the most severe offenses is the misuse of alcohol and drugs. The FAA enforces strict no-tolerance policies regarding the use of substances that could impair a pilot’s ability to operate an aircraft safely. This includes the prohibition of flying within eight hours of alcohol consumption or while under the influence of any substance that impairs mental or physical capabilities. Pilots are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. Failing these tests can lead to immediate license suspension.

FAA regulation violations

Non-adherence to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) can also result in disciplinary actions against a pilot license. These regulations cover a wide range of operational aspects, including flight rules, maintenance requirements and crewmember qualifications. Common violations include flying without the necessary qualifications or certifications, failing to adhere to ATC instructions or neglecting to complete required pre-flight checks. Each of these infractions can be seen as jeopardizing the safety of both passengers and crew.

Failure to report medical conditions

Pilots must maintain certain medical certifications. Failing to report a medical condition that could affect their flying abilities is a serious offense. Conditions such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder or any significant heart condition must be reported to the FAA.

Criminal activity

Engaging in criminal activity, particularly offenses that involve moral turpitude or imply character defects, can impact a pilot’s license. This includes serious crimes such as fraud, assault or any criminal activity that calls into question the person’s suitability to operate as a pilot. Drunk driving charges are one that’s specifically addressed by the FAA. Even certain traffic violations, such as reckless driving, can be considered under this category if they suggest a disregard for safety.

Failure to file required reports

The FAA requires pilots to report specific accidents and incidents, such as collisions, engine failures or any situation that could lead to an investigation. Failure to report such incidents, or falsifying reports, can lead to severe penalties, including the loss of their license.

Pilot’s license defense is critical in these cases, especially when a pilot counts on flying in order to earn their income. Seeking legal assistance from someone who understands what’s at stake is critical in these cases, because they can become rather complex.