Have you received a FAA Safety Hotline Complaint? Has someone (maybe your ex-wife, “old” friend, or at least someone that you won’t be talking to again) reported you to the FAA for what they feel is or was a violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations? If so, you’ve probably received a letter from the FAA requesting more information about what the informant said in his or her FAA Safety Hotline Complaint. It is important to remember that no matter how false the claim, no matter how unreliable the person is that reported you, and no matter how mad you are, the FAA won’t go away until they are “satisfied.” This can most easily be seen in cases of FAA Safety Hotline Complaints which are related to an airman’s qualification to hold an airman medical certificate.

A FAA Safety Hotline Complaint related to an issue of medical certification can often times indicate a reasonable basis that an airman does not meet the medical standards prescribed in 14 C.F.R. Part 67. As such, when there is a reasonable basis to do so, the Federal Air Surgeon may reexamine an airman’s qualification to hold an airman medical certificate. See 14 C.F.R. §§67.413(a) and 67.407(d). This means that the FAA, via the Federal Air Surgeon, can conduct an investigation (within the scope of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights) regarding the underlying facts of the Safety Hotline Complaint, any medical condition relating to the Safety Hotline Complaint, and/or require evaluations from a physician(s) to prove that the airman has an underlying, disqualifying medical condition. In doing so, the FAA may ask that the airman provide at least a personal statement and medical records.

There are two important things to remember if you have a medical related FAA Safety Hotline Complaint lodged against you. First, you should always be careful when drafting a personal statement to be mindful of your rights under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights. In other words, what you say can be used against you in any FAA enforcement action which arises as a result of the Safety Hotline Complaint. The second thing to remember is that if you don’t provide requested records within the appropriate amount of time (usually 60 days), the FAA could send your airman medical certificate to the legal department for enforcement action (revocation). It is prudent to have a FAA defense attorney assist you with gathering and reviewing records prior to submitting to the FAA.

If you have any questions about a FAA Safety Hotline Complaint, give your aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm a call. The Pilot Lawyer is standing by to vector you through legal turbulence.