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A site devoted to aviation law, safety and security.

September 28, 2008

Denial Of An Airman Medical Certificate

If you have experienced any health problems since obtaining your last medical certificate should you be worried about your next FAA medical examination? Could you end up being grounded for some period of time and, possibly, permanently? What happens if the AME denies your medical certificate? If you find yourself in this situation, you do have some limited recourse. For more information on what to do if the FAA denies your medical certificate, please read my latest article on the topic here.

Posted by Greg

September 10, 2008

Can You Assert A Mechanic's Lien Against An Aircraft Engine?

Recently a client called asking whether he could assert a mechanic's lien against an aircraft engine to which he made significant contributions. Although the engine was not yet installed on an aircraft, the client did not want to assert a lien against the aircraft to which the engine may ultimately be attached. In order to answer the question, the laws of the state in which the contribution was made must be reviewed. State law will dictate (1) whether a mechanic's lien can be asserted against an aircraft engine and (2) what actions the lien claimant must take to "perfect" the lien claim.

Typically, assertion of a lien against an aircraft, rather than an aircraft engine, requires that the lien be recorded with the FAA Registry in order to be perfected and valid against third-parties. However, assuming a lien may be asserted by the lien claimant against an aircraft engine, and unlike assertion of a lien against an aircraft, a lien claim against an aircraft engine will not be accepted for recording by the Registry. Rather, perfection of such a lien will be governed solely by the requirements of the applicable state law. Sometimes this will require that the lien claimant retain possession of the aircraft engine and, in many instances, perfection will also involve filing of a lien statement and/or a UCC-1 Financing Statement with the appropriate state and/or county offices. Each state's requirements are different. It is imperative that a lien claimant review the applicable law to fully understand the lien claimant's rights and obligations with respect to assertion of a lien against an aircraft engine.

Posted by Greg

September 08, 2008

Airman Receives 16 Month Jail Sentence For Making False Statements on his Application for FAA Airmen Medical Certificate

According to a Summary of a DOT Office of Inspector General investigation, a Nebraska airman was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 16 months imprisonment and 36 months supervised release for submitting a fraudulent statement on an FAA Application for Airmen Medical Certificate. According to the OIG, not only did the airman falsely answer negative to a question regarding his history of non–traffic conviction(s), but he also provided a false social security number and a false date of birth on his application. The airman ultimately pled guilty to making a false statement and agreed to voluntarily surrender his Private Pilot Certificate. He also agreed that he would not apply for any type of FAA certificate during his lifetime.

This sentence would probably be considered extremely severe if the airman had only failed to disclose his non-traffic conviction(s). But, when that failure to disclose is coupled with what appears to be a blatant intention to deceive the FAA by giving a false birth date and social security number, the sentence, although still severe, may be more appropriate. Possibly the worst part of the sentence, the lifetime ban on an applying for an FAA certificate, should be a wake up call for anyone considering playing fast and loose with their answers on an application for medical certificate. With this prosecution and plea deal, the OIG is sending a message regarding its view on falsification cases. The message: If you make false statements, the consequences will be severe.

My advice: Don't do it.

Posted by Greg

September 04, 2008

Are You Current/Legal To Carry Passengers?

If you fly a variety of aircraft, you may think you are current/legal to carry passengers when, perhaps, you really are not. One of my clients recently had to deal with this very issue. To determine whether you are current/legal to carry passengers, you first need to start with FAR 61.57 which provides that an airman may not act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers unless (1) the airman has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days; (2) the airman acted as the sole manipulator of the flight controls for the takeoffs and landings; and (3) the takeoffs and landings were performed in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required). For an airman flying multiple classes of aircraft (single-engine land, multi-engine land etc.) or "type" aircraft, it is this last requirement that sometimes causes problems.

In order to be current/legal for carrying passengers, the required takeoffs and landings must have been performed in the same class or type aircraft as the aircraft in which you will be carrying passengers. That is, if you will be carrying passengers in a single-engine land aircraft, three takeoffs and landings in a multi-engine land aircraft within the last 90 days will not cut it. The takeoffs and landings must have been performed in a single-engine land aircraft if you want to carry passengers in a single-engine land aircraft. Similarly, if you want to carry passengers in an aircraft that requires you to have a type certificate in order to operate that aircraft, you will need to have logged three takeoffs and landings in that type aircraft in order to be current/legal to carry passengers in that aircraft.

If you fly a variety of aircraft and carry passengers, you need to pay particular attention to make sure your takeoffs and landings match up with the class of aircraft in which you will be carrying passengers. If they don't match, you could be exposing yourself to enforcement action if the FAA ever finds out and could risk insurance coverage if an accident or incident occurs during a flight in which you thought you were current when, in fact, you really were not.

Posted by Greg

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The information contained in this web-site is intended for the education and benefit of the Reigel Law Firm, Ltd.'s clients and prospective clients. The information should not be relied upon as advice to help you with your specific issue. Each case is unique and must be analyzed by an attorney licensed to practice in your area with respect to the particular facts and applicable current law before any advice can be given. Sending an e-mail to the Reigel Law Firm, Ltd. does not create an attorney-client relationship. Advice will not be given by e-mail until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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