The HIMS Program

If you are a pilot in recovery from substance abuse, you need to understand the Human Intervention and Motivation Study (HIMS) program and how it can impact your job. Specifically, the HIMS process might not be an appropriate method for pilots to obtain medical certification after being identified as having a disqualifying medical condition.

Our attorneys at The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers are certified pilots. We thoroughly understand the HIMS process and complex aviation laws and regulations. We have practical and technical knowledge of the aviation industry, which gives us an advantage when advocating for pilots and aviation professionals.

If you have a question or concern about the HIMS process, contact us at 855-322-1215 for an initial consultation today.

How The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers Can Help You if You Experience Problems With the FAA HIMS Program

Have you self-admitted that you have a substance abuse problem or been arrested for DUI or another substance abuse charge? If so, your ability to fly could be taken away from you. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may require you to participate in the HIMS program. However, that might not work out for all pilots.

At The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers, we assist pilots with certificate defense when the FAA takes steps to revoke their ability to fly or forces them into the HIMS program. When you hire us, you can expect us to:

  • Explain the HIMS program and how it impacts your situation
  • Review your medical and criminal records to determine whether forcing you into the HIMS program is justified
  • Work with you and your medical providers to prepare a response based on the facts of your case
  • Help you locate medical providers to evaluate your condition and provide expert testimony when necessary
  • Aggressively represent you during all proceedings, litigation, and appeals

When facing entry into the HIMS program, a pilot needs an attorney to counsel them about their rights, advocate for them with the FAA, and prepare them for each step in the process. Call The Ison Law Firm Aviation Lawyers today to schedule a consultation.

What Is the FAA HIMS Program?

The HIMS program is an occupational substance abuse treatment program for pilots. The FAA recognizes chemical and alcohol dependency as a disease. The HIMS program was established to provide a system for pilots to receive treatment and return to flying.

A pilot may enter the HIMS program through self-referral, DUI reports, a referral from pilot managers, or formal intervention. The FAA medical application may be deferred because of an alcohol-related accident or incident. When this happens, the FAA will require you to obtain a substance abuse evaluation.

The steps in the HIMS process include:

  • Substance abuse assessment
  • Formal treatment plan
  • Intensive treatment program
  • Follow-up and involvement in AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings
  • Neuropsychological and psychiatric evaluations by HIMS-trained addiction specialists
  • Flight physical examination
  • Ongoing monitoring

For some individuals, the HIMS program is the only path to receive a medical certification to fly. However, it might not be the best path to recovery for all pilots.

The process is time-intensive, costly, and has many delays that prevent the pilot from getting back into the air. The HIMS step-down plan subjects a pilot to years of being monitored for years.

Do You Belong in the HIMS Program?

The HIMS process works for many pilots with substance abuse problems. The structured approach to recovery and the accountability provided by the program can help some pilots overcome their substance abuse problem to obtain medical clearance to fly.

However, many pilots are forced to enter the HIMS program when they do not belong in it.

The FAA uses criteria outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (FAR 67.107) to determine whether a pilot has a substance dependency disorder. However, these criteria are regulatory and differ from clinical criteria.

A critical problem is that the regulatory criteria have a higher standard than the clinical criteria your doctor would use to diagnose a substance dependency disorder. Therefore, a pilot might be healthy based on the clinical criteria for a dependency disorder. However, when the FAA evaluates the regulatory standards, the pilot might not qualify for a medical certificate.

Once a pilot is deemed to be substance dependent or a substance abuser under the regulatory criteria, the FAA has the authority to require the pilot to participate in the HIMS program. At this point, the pilot can undergo treatment or appeal the decision. Before deciding how to proceed, it is strongly recommended that the pilot consult with legal counsel about their options.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Aviation Lawyers

Do you have questions about the HIMS program? Contact our office to schedule a case review with a nationwide FAA aviation attorney. The HIMS program can be confusing and frustrating. Get help from experienced aviation lawyers who understand its pros and cons.