Aircraft Pilot Regulations
ABC News recently reported that a JetBlue airline pilot has been charged with flying while drunk by federal prosecutors. This case as brought light to aviation law and pilot licensing. It is only amplified by another case where an Alaskan Airlines pilot is also being charge with flying while drunk. This case will go to trial in July. With the news of these recent cases, one has to ask what licensing regulations are in place for pilots.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) each pilot must have a medical certificate from a FAA-certified doctor stating that the said person is medically fit to fly an airplane. This applies to all types of airplanes and all pilots, whether they are students or professionals.
The situation most pilots are confronted with is the failure to notify the FAA Medical Office of a drug or alcohol related motor vehicle conviction within 60 days of the conviction, as required by Federal Aviation Regulation 61.15. Even though the incident may not have been serious enough to warrant suspension or revocation of the pilot’s license, the failure to report the conviction is an independent basis for revocation.
The FAA also requires pilots and aircraft workers to submit to drug and alcohol screenings to ensure that pilots are following safety protocols. Random drug and alcohol tests resulted in the two pilots mentioned above being charged with flying while drunk. The FAA sets regulations to ensure that we can all fly safely, whether on a private or commercial flight.
The attorneys at McDonald & McDonald have decades of experience handling FAA licensing and regulation cases, as well as other aviation legal cases. We represent airmen, flight schools, repair stations, mechanics, owners, and insurers. Contact us today to discuss your case.