FAA Certificate Actions & NTSB Appeals

It can happen to even the most experienced and competent pilot.  You’re 500 feet high on an airway, 200 feet low on an approach, or enter Class B when you thought you had a clearance to do so.  The controller says: “When you land, please call this phone number.” The number is to the FAA’s Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), and that’s where the not-so-fun begins.

Most pilots feel compelled to answer any questions the FAA asks. You don’t! Unless there is an “accident” as defined under 49 CFR 830.2, you have every right to remain silent.  Some airmen have the mistaken belief that their complete cooperation will help avoid a certificate enforcement action.  It might, but it also might help the FAA make their case (or even discover an additional violation they did not know about).  Upon any contact with the FAA for what could remotely be an investigation leading to a certificate action, pilots should immediately seek advice of aviation counsel to represent them. While no attorney can guarantee a complete dismissal without consequence of an FAR violation, we work with the FAA to minimize penalties, and in some cases, eliminate them through alternative remedial training.

If an airman’s certificate is suspended (or heaven forbid, revoked), we can appeal your case to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The violation may be overturned, or the penalty imposed by the FAA reduced.  If our client is still not satisfied with the ALJ’s decision, we can appeal their case to the full National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  We don’t rest until we have exhausted every possible remedy.  After the hundreds of hours (and thousands of dollars) you’ve invested to earn and maintain your pilot’s license, shouldn’t you do whatever it takes to defend it?

If we successfully defend your certificate, you may be entitled to have your legal fees reimbursed under the Equal Access to Justice Act (49 CFR 826.1).

Please visit any of our drop-down menu pages to the right for more specific information on your topic of interest.