PRIA Guidance for Part 135 Operators

  • ON Mar 06, 2018
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

PRIA guidance for Part 135 operators can be difficult to come by. While the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) provides official PRIA guidance to Part 135 carriers in their PRIA advisory circular (AC-120-68), that “guidance” oftentimes requires an understanding of other regulatory cannons, industry practice, and the FAA’s legal interpretation of PRIA. So, while the advisory circular does provide some PRIA guidance for Part 135 operators, it doesn’t necessarily put all the pieces of the puzzle together for the Part 135 start-up company (or existing Part 135 company that is auditing their PRIA processes). Don’t be mistaken, the FAA’s advisory circular is the foundational PRIA guidance for Part 135 operators – it just doesn’t provide a practical system for PRIA processes for Part 135 operators.

What are some important considerations for Part 135 operators that are either creating or recreating their PRIA processing system? First, Part 135 operators should keep in mind that they should always have a rigid “system” in place for responding to PRIA requests from outside air carriers and for requesting PRIA documents from outside air carriers. This means that every request should have the same process – from start to finish. For example, a startup Part 135 carrier can’t afford to miss the 30-day response period for providing records to an outside carrier and ultimately get hit with a civil penalty from the FAA. Having an individual or department that is consistent in its PRIA process can help alleviate oversight and potentially those civil penalties. Second, Part 135 operators should develop a “review” element to their PRIA processing in order to prevent “personnel records” from carelessly floating into an airman’s PRIA records. Including personnel records in an airman’s PRIA records and worse yet, sending personnel records to an outside carrier, can potentially produce scorn/liability from both the airman and the FAA. A definitive process, developed by a clear understanding of PRIA and industry practice can help prevent these types of errors.

All Part 135 carriers should make an attempt to streamline their PRIA response and request processes to ensure accuracy and regularity. In doing so, the Part 135 carrier will make great strides in preventing liability. If you are a Part 135 company and require assistance with developing a PRIA process, call The Pilot Lawyer at The Ison Law Firm; your PRIA attorney is standing by to vector you through legal turbulence.

Helicopter Accident Representation

  • ON Mar 05, 2018
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

Following a helicopter accident, it is critical that you obtain competent, helicopter accident representation. What tips should you consider when interviewing attorneys for helicopter accident representation? Well, when looking for helicopter accident representation you should always try to have an aviation attorney on your team. Usually, when you add an aviation attorney to your helicopter accident team, you are adding someone that is familiar with not only the intricacies of aerodynamics and the basics of piloting, you are also adding a key team member that is likely to contribute great insight to your case’s strengths and weaknesses.

One such contribution that an aviation attorney might be able to add to your helicopter accident representation team may be in a very practical sense. In that, an aviation attorney will likely have a better understanding of how to manage a forensic investigation of the accident site, which will allow your helicopter accident representation team to better assess potentially case-winning evidence. An aviation attorney will also likely be able to give clear guidance on how to work with inspectors from both the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board throughout the investigative process. Determinations from the NTSB regarding the cause of the accident can have a huge impact on your cause of action. Furthermore, an aviation attorney can help your helicopter accident representation team by contributing knowledge of the aviation industry and other information that might help determine what happened in the helicopter crash and why.

Unfortunately, helicopter accidents happen more often that fixed-wing, general aviation accidents. Nevertheless, due to the versatility of helicopter operations, potential plaintiffs in helicopter accident cases include flight nurses, emergency rescue personnel, sightseeing passengers, and chartered passengers, and a whole lot more. If you or a loved one was involved in a helicopter accident and are seeking helicopter accident representation, call The Pilot Lawyer at The Ison Law Firm today. Your aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm is standing by to vector you through legal turbulence and provide clarity and aviation knowledge to your helicopter accident representation team. Call toll-free at 855-322-1215.

FAA Safety Hotline Complaint

  • ON Mar 04, 2018
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

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.

 

Aviation Accident Representation

  • ON Mar 01, 2018
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

After an airplane or helicopter accident, you or your loved ones may be wondering about aviation accident representation. First, if you are reading this and you or your loved ones have been injured or killed in an aviation accident, please accept our deepest sympathy. It is truly saddening when technology that is meant to enhance our lives brings us harm. Nevertheless, if you find yourself wondering what to do after an aviation accident, your first step should be to call an aviation attorney. In that, an aviation attorney can give you guidance from early-on, as to what type of evidence should be preserved, how you should interact with the Federal Aviation Administration and/or National Transportation Safety Board, insurance companies, manufacturers, and so on. More specifically, an aviation attorney can identify early on whether you can bring a lawsuit for money damages against the party (or parties) responsible for the accident.

Who can be responsible for money damages after an aviation accident? When there is an airplane crash or helicopter crash, depending on the facts and circumstances of the aviation accident, the liable party could potentially be the pilot or pilots, the manufacturer of the aircraft and/or the components of the aircraft, the air carrier (if this is a commercial aviation accident), those that maintained the aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration, and others. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to say with any immediacy who is at fault in an aviation accident and lots of times, it depends on the investigation and decisions made by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Who can sue the responsible party after an aviation accident? While every case is different, a surviving, injured party can bring a claim of action (sometimes along with his or her spouse) against the party responsible for the aviation accident. In the event where an individual dies as a result of an aviation accident, a surviving spouse and/or child may be able to sue the responsible party for wrongful death following the airplane accident or helicopter accident. Aviation accident representation by an aviation attorney will be able to determine whether you have “privity” to sue the responsible party for damages.

Aviation accident representation should always start with an aviation attorney. An aviation attorney usually is a pilot, as well – either by trade or as a hobby. It is important that your aviation accident representation be conducted by someone that has an understanding of aerodynamics, piloting, and the relevant aviation regulations and workings of the FAA and NTSB. While it may be necessary for your aviation attorney to enlist the help of other attorneys on large cases, it is always important to make sure that at least one attorney on your team is a pilot.

If you are looking for aviation accident representation, let The Pilot Lawyer at The Ison Law Firm assist you during your time of need. Call today to speak with The Pilot Lawyer by calling toll-free 1-855-FAA-1215.

Failure to Report A DUI to the FAA

  • ON Feb 01, 2017
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

Did you know you that you can have your medical and/or airman certificate(s) revoked for failure to report a DUI to the FAA? What’s more is that you can have your medical and/or airman certificate(s) revoked even if you weren’t convicted of DUI, but you failed to report to the FAA either an administrative suspension of your state-issued driver’s license or a “plead-down” lesser, offense. In fact, the federal aviation regulations (“FARs”) require a certificate holder to file a report with the FAA within sixty (60) days of a “motor vehicle action.” The FAA considers a “motor vehicle action” to include:

    1. A conviction for the violation of any Federal or state statute relating to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a drug, while impaired by alcohol or a drug, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug;
    2. The cancellation, suspension, or revocation of a license to operate a motor vehicle by a state for a cause related to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a drug, while impaired by alcohol or a drug, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug; or
    3. The denial of an application for a license to operate a motor vehicle by a state for a cause related to the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or a drug, while impaired by alcohol or a drug, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

It is important for every FAA certificate holder reading this article to understand that the FAA requires SEPARATE reports for administrative actions and convictions. That means that if an airman’s driver’s license is administratively suspended or revoked prior to conviction of a DUI and then the airman is subsequently convicted of DUI or even potentially reckless driving (depending on the statute in the convicting state), the airman will have to file two separate reports! One tip to remember for airman is that refusing to “blow” for a breathalyzer can in many states automatically trigger an administrative suspension of the airman’s driver’s license…triggering an automatic report to the FAA! Beyond that, alcohol related “motor vehicle actions” are also required to be reported on an airman’s medical application (look for more information on this in a separate blog article).

 

If you forget to report your “motor vehicle action” to the FAA within the 60 time limit – it’s time to contact an FAA enforcement attorney. Generally, the FAA will work with an airman that reports a “motor vehicle action” after the 60 day time limit – however, the FAA looks for very specific language in these reports and what and airman says or doesn’t say in this report can either trigger certificate revocation or other FAA enforcement action, or it can lead to leniency from the FAA.

 

If you are a pilot that has received a DUI and need assistance reporting it to the FAA or if you’re a certificate holder that failed to report a DUI to the FAA, it’s time to call your aviation attorney at The Ison Law Firm. Your FAA enforcement attorney is standing by to help you with all your DUI reporting requirements.