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Unregistered
March 23rd, 2012, 11:42 AM
For example, If you undeliberately and accidentally made a pilot deviation to a clearance because you got fixated looking for the airport which was about 6 miles away and the controller got your attention. Then you said it was hazy and couldnt do the visual and asked for vectors to the ils and everything went smooth from there. How do you know if the man wrote you up? Also, no loss of separation was caused.



In other words if you evidently screwed up and dont get the notorious phone number to call after landing are you safe? Or can you get a letter on the mail several weeks or months from the incident letting you know you are in trouble?





It was one of those bad flights people tend to have every once in a while.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 11:58 AM
For example, If you undeliberately and accidentally made a pilot deviation to a clearance because you got fixated looking for the airport which was about 6 miles away and the controller got your attention. Then you said it was hazy and couldnt do the visual and asked for vectors to the ils and everything went smooth from there. How do you know if the man wrote you up? Also, no loss of separation was caused.



In other words if you evidently screwed up and dont get the notorious phone number to call after landing are you safe? Or can you get a letter on the mail several weeks or months from the incident letting you know you are in trouble?





If a deviation occurred usually the controller will tell you because he will have to file it. He will also give you a phone number to call and discuss with you also and get some information.

If that didn't happen I wouldn't worry about it.


It was one of those bad flights people tend to have every once in a while.

They happen. Learn from it and move on.

Steve Foley
March 23rd, 2012, 12:17 PM
If that didn't happen I wouldn't worry about it.



I would file a NASA form just in case.

AcroBoy
March 23rd, 2012, 12:31 PM
They have to contact you within a given time frame, which i recall being around 15 days. They will ask you if you still live at the address listed on your certificate. If not, they can violate you for failing to notify them of the change of address within 30 days.

You are not obligated to answer their questions, incriminate yourself, or help with their investigation. Why do their job for them by admitting you did a violation?

Ron Levy
March 23rd, 2012, 12:39 PM
The controller's handbook requires the controller to notify you immediately of a pilot deviation unless the controller's workload does not permit it.

2-1-26. PILOT DEVIATION NOTIFICATION
When it appears that the actions of a pilot constitute a pilot deviation, notify the pilot, workload permitting.
PHRASEOLOGY-
(Identification) POSSIBLE PILOT DEVIATION ADVISE YOU CONTACT (facility) AT (telephone number).
REFERENCE-
FAAO 8020.11, Aircraft Accident and Incident Notification, Investigation, and Reporting, Para 84, Pilot Deviations.
If it is reported to the FSDO...


9.
Pilot Deviations.
All preliminary reports of pilot deviations, including reckless flying observed

by Air Traffic, are to be completed by Air Traffic on FAA Form 8020-17 via ATQA and sent to the
appropriate FSDO or CMO



.

a.


Investigation of reports of pilot deviations, including reckless flying, should be completed

and recorded on FAA Form 8020-18 via ATQA within 90 days of the initial notification date.
b.



The incident report number assigned sequentially by ATQA on FAA Form 8020-17 will be

displayed in the upper right-hand corner of FAA Form 8020-18.
c.



For reckless flying incidents reported to Air Traffic by the public or others but not observed

by Air Traffic, a verbal report of the reported incident will be made to the FSDO or the caller will be
asked to call the FSDO. For those such incidents and reckless flying incidents reported to the FSDO
directly, the FSDO will then transmit information via the ATQA web application from



FAA Order

8020-16


to the appropriate addressees by NADIN message via the Cornerstone Regional Operations

Center and complete and file FAA Form 8020-17 via ATQA as specified in


paragraph 114h with:

(1) The regional Flight Standards division.
(2) The Flight Standards District office responsible for the investigation.
d.



The investigating office shall print an original of completed FAA Form 8020-18 and

distribute one copy each of completed FAA Form 8020-18 with the attached FAA Form 8020-17
within 90 days of the initial notification of the pilot deviation to:
(1) The regional Flight Standards division.
(2) The Air Traffic



service area director.

(3) The responsible Air Traffic facility.
(a) If a pilot deviation report is to be reclassified, complete FAA Form 8020-19 via
ATQA. If a pilot deviation report is reclassified as “an Operational Error or Deviation,” a “Report
Number Correction,” "insufficient evidence to investigate" or "no incident," the related information
will be added/removed from the FAA information system. Print an original of FAA Form 8020-19
and distribute one copy each as soon as possible by mail to the addresses in paragraph 9d.
(b) If a pilot deviation investigation is transferred to the Aviation Safety Action Program
(ASAP) for processing, the FAA office having jurisdiction over the event coordinates with the
certificate holding district as to which office will complete the pilot deviation report. See FAA Order 8900.1


However, based on what you wrote, it does not appear the controller thought a pilot deviation occurred, and I don't even see one in your story. Certainly file a NASA ASRS report, including the full details of what happened, why it happened, and how others can avoid it happening to them, as others may benefit from the report even if you don't need the waiver of sanction protection it provides.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 01:01 PM
You are not obligated to answer their questions, incriminate yourself, or help with their investigation. Why do their job for them by admitting you did a violation?

FWIW,

If you cooperate with the controller and answer a few questions (name, address, etc) and it gets turned over to the FSDO to complete, having a compliant attitude goes a long way into resolving the deviation with either verbal counseling or maybe a letter of warning (depends upon the situation).

Being combative, refusing to cooperate only makes it tougher on the Inspector and the person who is the subject of the deviation.

We all make mistakes. Hopefully we learn and move on.

They will ask you if you still live at the address listed on your certificate. If not, they can violate you for failing to notify them of the change of address within 30 days.


Usually when an address change is overlooked the Inspector will ask why then advise the airman to get it changed and tell them how to do it (faa.gov).

The chances of getting a violation for address change are fairly remote.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 01:02 PM
I would file a NASA form just in case.

Always a good idea.

AcroBoy
March 23rd, 2012, 02:20 PM
If you receive a call from the FSDO asking about the events of a specific day, you are not obligated to answer, and I would suggest that most aviation attorneys would provide the same advice. If you admit guilt or a violation of an far, you have done the job of the FSDO investigator. Under administrative law, you apparently are not protected by Miranda against self incrimination.

Cooperation is great, but how do you know the FSDO inspector is going to let it go, or use your statements for further proceedings against you?

If there is a true far violation, you might consider a nasa form and a brief consult with an aviation attorney.

cirrusmx
March 23rd, 2012, 02:25 PM
Always be polite, but don't answer questions you do not have to. They probably are already lawyered up and now exactly what to look in order for them to build their case.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 02:43 PM
If you receive a call from the FSDO asking about the events of a specific day, you are not obligated to answer, and I would suggest that most aviation attorneys would provide the same advice.

Correct. You do not have to cooperate, but the Inspector may continue his investigation without your input, and if it warrants an LOI and further enforcement he may proceed.

The Inspector can pull the ATC tapes, radar tracks and get a statement from the controller. He may also get information from the FBO you arrived at, plane rental info (if applicable), etc, etc.

In other words, depending upon the severity of the deviation simply refusing to cooperate will not stop the investigation or subsequent enforcement action. FAA Order 2150.3B advises to take the attitude of the airman into consideration



If you admit guilt or a violation of an far, you have done the job of the FSDO investigator. Under administrative law, you apparently are not protected by Miranda against self incrimination.



See above.



Cooperation is great, but how do you know the FSDO inspector is going to let it go, or use your statements for further proceedings against you?

If there is a true far violation, you might consider a nasa form and a brief consult with an aviation attorney.

How do you know that by being evasive and inhibiting the investigation it will simply "go away"?

Fortunately in my experience 95% of all PD's (pilot deviations) the airman is cooperative, the conversation is good and constructive, something is learned and it goes away with informal counseling (phone call).



If there is a true far violation, you might consider a nasa form and a brief consult with an aviation attorney.

Never a bad idea.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 02:49 PM
Always be polite, but don't answer questions you do not have to. They probably are already lawyered up and now exactly what to look in order for them to build their case.

The lawyers (FAA) don't get involved unless it moves to an enforcement.

The goal in a PD is safety. Obviously something that could or may have compromised safety has happened. The Inspector will investigate, see what the causes were and discuss ways to mitigate such a deviation. Information derived from PD's are fed into a database to find trends and help solve safety issues in the NAS.

Ron Levy
March 23rd, 2012, 04:15 PM
Back before 9/11, B-space violations and even P-40 violations almost always ended in remedial training rather than an enforcement action -- unless the pilot acted like a jerk with the Inspector, in which case the hammer would be dropped. Since then, airspace violations in the DC area carry mandatory enforcement action because the security folks got involved and insist on it. However, I suspect that in the rest of the country, fixing the problem rather than hammering the pilot remains the order of the day -- jerkism not withstanding.

Just remember that if the controller gives you the Pilot Deviation spiel over the radio, unless you're really sure you didn't actually do it, you can assume there is sufficient evidence in the radar and tapes to convince an ALJ that it is more likely than not that you did the deed. And claiming that you were not the pilot is equally unlikely to succeed given all the tools available to the FAA to identify you. So, stonewalling the Inspector is highly unlikely to succeed in avoiding the consequences, and as R&W hinted, highly likely to turn what could have been a simple counseling into a violation that stays on your record for life (no more five year expungement, thanks to Congressman Mica).

Sometimes there is good reason to involve an attorney, but choose wisely, and remember that attorneys don't get paid for not getting involved.

AcroBoy
March 23rd, 2012, 04:29 PM
An enforcement action does not first go to an ALJ, it goes to the FAA attorney, who is the judge and jury. Only on appeal will it go to an ALJ, and ultimately to the full NTSB. The FAA is required to demonstrate that you are the pilot- so you can admit you were there and suffer the potential consequences, or politely say you are not sure and use your constitutional right to not incriminate yourself, and let the FAA have to prove that you were in the plane at the time (do they have a witness see you get into the plane alone? Who was PIC?).

There is a difference between cooperation and self incrimination. If you exceed a speed limit do you automatically turn yourself in or would you rather let law enforcement prove you were speeding?

Unregistered
March 23rd, 2012, 04:33 PM
What are the odds a PD where altitude was busted or a clearance such as fly vor radial xyz and the gps sequenced the airplane on anther direction is enforced? no loss of separation or harm was done? just a bad flying day mistake.

Skylane81E
March 23rd, 2012, 04:35 PM
If you exceed a speed limit do you automatically turn yourself in or would you rather let law enforcement prove you were speeding?

Depends of if I get caught or not. If I've been caught I'm hosed and honesty is the best policy.

Now I don't tell Angie at night "Oh btw I was 12 over in (insert city here) today"

Steve Foley
March 23rd, 2012, 05:19 PM
So, stonewalling the Inspector is highly unlikely to succeed in avoiding the consequences, and as R&W hinted, highly likely to turn what could have been a simple counseling into a violation that stays on your record for life (no more five year expungement, thanks to Congressman Mica).


It's too bad you get punished for exercising your rights under the Constitution.

I believe it should be otherwise.

RotorAndWing
March 23rd, 2012, 05:39 PM
It's too bad you get punished for exercising your rights under the Constitution.

I believe it should be otherwise.

I understand what you are saying.

But understand the FAA's primary mission is safety, and if safety is compromised it's better to get to the root cause, evaluate and mitigate. No bent metal, no lost lives.

jsstevens
March 23rd, 2012, 05:40 PM
To see what happened to a real pilot who busted class Bravo see this thread:

http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39513

John

AcroBoy
March 23rd, 2012, 05:48 PM
The exact response will depend upon the nature of the violation, the impressions of the inspector, and input from the FAAAttorney. There are a lot of variables that can affect the outcome that are not in your control, but if it was truly unintentional, you can submit a nasa form and consult with an aviation attorney prior to responding to any requests from the FAA inspector.

Ron Levy
March 23rd, 2012, 06:43 PM
An enforcement action does not first go to an ALJ, it goes to the FAA attorney, who is the judge and jury. Only on appeal will it go to an ALJ, and ultimately to the full NTSB.That's not quite correct. The Inspector investigates, and makes a recommendation to the RC. The RC proposes an action, and the Notice of Proposed Action is sent to the respondent, who may then request a formal or informal hearing with e RC. If no resolution is obtained, the case is tried before an ALJ. The ALJ's decision may be appealed to the NTSB, the NTSB's decision may be appealed to the US Court of Appeals, and that decision may be appealed to the US Supreeme Court. The RC is in no way judge or jury.

The FAA is required to demonstrate that you are the pilot- so you can admit you were there and suffer the potential consequences, or politely say you are not sure and use your constitutional right to not incriminate yourself, and let the FAA have to prove that you were in the plane at the time (do they have a witness see you get into the plane alone? Who was PIC?). The FAA does not need a witness. They need only show that it is more likely than not that you were the pilot, and that is usually pretty easy to prove to that standard.

There is a difference between cooperation and self incrimination. If you exceed a speed limit do you automatically turn yourself in or would you rather let law enforcement prove you were speeding?Your statements suggest you do not understand the difference between administrative legal proceedings and criminal legal proceedings. The procedures and standards are very different, and it is far easier for the FAA to obtain a finding of a violation from an ALJ than it is for the local DA to obtain a speeding conviction in a court of criminal law.

AcroBoy
March 23rd, 2012, 10:17 PM
Ron, your responses support my points. If a pilot chooses to meet with the FAA attorney and investigator, the attorney is the one who proposes and decides the enforcement action. If the decision is unacceptable to the pilot, then the case can be presented to an alj.

Instead of arguing your interpretations and opinions, the op asked how long he had. The answer is that the FAA is required to start the investigation within a mandated amount of time, which I recall is 15 days.

I suggested that as in any potential legal action, the pilot never admit any guilt or culpability, since any such statements could be used against the pilot in an enforcement action. Your advice that the pilot "cooperate" with the FAA investigator could only put the pilot into a position of doing the FAA's job for them and making it easier to establish a violation.

This violates the basic principles of any legal case- why not ask an attorney for their opinion?

Unregistered
March 24th, 2012, 12:46 AM
I always enjoy these discussions.

Every now and then, someone ignores a request from a FAA Inspector calling to follow up about some incident, occurrence, accident or "possible" pilot deviation (PD) 8020-17, or says, "I will only talk to you through my lawyer".

Think about this. This may be the only chance you get to talk to a pilot, as all Ops Inspectors are. They speak your lingo, have probably seen or done the same thing many times themselves in a previous life. 95%+ can get handled with little muss or fuss by showing a compliant attitude.

I would wager before you get a call from an Inspector, they already have everything they need to proceed with an enforcement, should they decide to go that direction. Before that decision is made, they want to hear your side of the story. You are very rarely in jeopardy of raising an investigation to a full blown enforcement with your statement, only mitigating it down to an administrative action as R&W said earlier in this thread.

As R&W also stated, attitude weighs heavily on how the Inspector uses the latitude afforded them during the investigation stage. Tell the Inspector to pound sand, and you will most likely find the Inspector has a big sand box and an even bigger hammer with which to pound sand into places you never imagined. Cooperate, and more often than not, the Inspector will decide just a conversation will get compliance and safety is served and the case is closed.

Or in simpler words, if the event (PD) can be handled at the Inspector level, it is easier on everyone involved. Make it Inspector work hard, involve the Regional Council etc. they will tend make it worth their while. Once the Inspector is forced to start an Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) it is out of their hands and takes on a life of its own. Lawyers get to do their lawyer thing. As you may surmise, most Inspectors don't want to get lawyers involved (yours or theirs) and keep it between pilots, abet one that works for the administrator.

Another thing to think about. A lawyer costs money. Win or loose, the Barrister gets his fee. One fellow, who did not rely on his ticket for a living, told me later he spent $12,000 dollars on his case (which the FAA had already waived the 15 day suspension sanction before going before the NTSB ALJ on appeal, for a timely NASA report) to take his appeal through the full board, which he lost again. That is not taking into account insurance hits for years to come.

As it was related to me early in my aviation career, arguing with the FAA is like wrestling with a mean old mama pig, you are going to loose and the pig likes it. Cooperate, graduate I always say.

RotorAndWing
March 24th, 2012, 10:54 AM
I always enjoy these discussions.

Every now and then, someone ignores a request from a FAA Inspector calling to follow up about some incident, occurrence, accident or "possible" pilot deviation (PD) 8020-17, or says, "I will only talk to you through my lawyer".

Think about this. This may be the only chance you get to talk to a pilot, as all Ops Inspectors are. They speak your lingo, have probably seen or done the same thing many times themselves in a previous life. 95%+ can get handled with little muss or fuss by showing a compliant attitude.

I would wager before you get a call from an Inspector, they already have everything they need to proceed with an enforcement, should they decide to go that direction. Before that decision is made, they want to hear your side of the story. You are very rarely in jeopardy of raising an investigation to a full blown enforcement with your statement, only mitigating it down to an administrative action as R&W said earlier in this thread.

As R&W also stated, attitude weighs heavily on how the Inspector uses the latitude afforded them during the investigation stage. Tell the Inspector to pound sand, and you will most likely find the Inspector has a big sand box and an even bigger hammer with which to pound sand into places you never imagined. Cooperate, and more often than not, the Inspector will decide just a conversation will get compliance and safety is served and the case is closed.

Or in simpler words, if the event (PD) can be handled at the Inspector level, it is easier on everyone involved. Make it Inspector work hard, involve the Regional Council etc. they will tend make it worth their while. Once the Inspector is forced to start an Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) it is out of their hands and takes on a life of its own. Lawyers get to do their lawyer thing. As you may surmise, most Inspectors don't want to get lawyers involved (yours or theirs) and keep it between pilots, abet one that works for the administrator.

Another thing to think about. A lawyer costs money. Win or loose, the Barrister gets his fee. One fellow, who did not rely on his ticket for a living, told me later he spent $12,000 dollars on his case (which the FAA had already waived the 15 day suspension sanction before going before the NTSB ALJ on appeal, for a timely NASA report) to take his appeal through the full board, which he lost again. That is not taking into account insurance hits for years to come.

As it was related to me early in my aviation career, arguing with the FAA is like wrestling with a mean old mama pig, you are going to loose and the pig likes it. Cooperate, graduate I always say.

Very well stated. :thumbsup:

gismo
March 24th, 2012, 04:35 PM
An enforcement action does not first go to an ALJ, it goes to the FAA attorney, who is the judge and jury. Only on appeal will it go to an ALJ, and ultimately to the full NTSB. The FAA is required to demonstrate that you are the pilot- so you can admit you were there and suffer the potential consequences, or politely say you are not sure and use your constitutional right to not incriminate yourself, and let the FAA have to prove that you were in the plane at the time (do they have a witness see you get into the plane alone? Who was PIC?).

There is a difference between cooperation and self incrimination. If you exceed a speed limit do you automatically turn yourself in or would you rather let law enforcement prove you were speeding?
If you know they clocked you on radar and their radar isn't 25 years old there's no real downside to admitting you were speeding, if you're going to get ticketed, you're going to get ticketed. I did escape one time when pulled over in a 30 MPH zone for "excess" speed. The (female) officer asked if I knew how fast I was going and what the limit was and I (truthfully) answered "I don't have any idea on either" as I had been uncharacteristically preoccupied with something else at the time. She let me off with a warning for doing 17mph over the limit saying "At least you're honest". I don't know if she was just fed up with driver's making obviously false claims of innocence or perhaps was impressed with my good looks (NOT!) but I was happy to get some slack.

I suspect it's the same with the FAA, at least at the local inspector/FSDO level. You may not want to go on record admitting something you don't think they have any evidence of and certainly don't want to blurt out something about an unrelated transgression that happened on the same flight but I wouldn't think you'd have anything to lose by admitting to what you know they know, and refusing to talk at all isn't likely to help either.

Piloto
March 26th, 2012, 12:41 PM
The controller can not write you up unless he/she has your name and address as indicated on the certificate. The aircraft tail number alone is not enough to figure out who is flying it. The plane could be registered to a corporation flying club or flying school.

José

saracelica
March 26th, 2012, 01:00 PM
The tail number is enough. Because they'll send the letter to the club for "infraction" then it's our job (the club officers) to figure out who had the bird on that particular day - not hard to look on the scheduling calendar; which also has back ups so if the offender deleted their appointment after the fact it's still on the back end (love aircraftclubs.com)

In regards to talking to the FSDO they seem nice (at least the one in Cleveland) Feel free to go search for my "deviation" Mid February of 2011. Class D. Made the call with my CFI (I'm a student) on conference call. They reemed him out for not instructing me well and then I got a reeming. Eventually the local FSDO called not only my CFI but the safety officer and the president of the club! At the end the guy said "Thanks for your help - I hate making these calls, but I want to get this paper off my desk; I don't think you'll hear about this again" (Now one year later I have heard nothing and it was definetly a good lesson to learn!)

Ron Levy
March 26th, 2012, 01:08 PM
The controller can not write you up unless he/she has your name and address as indicated on the certificate. Not so. The controller can write it all up with the N-number and pass it to the FSDO for further investigation as to the pilot's identity.

The aircraft tail number alone is not enough to figure out who is flying it. The plane could be registered to a corporation flying club or flying school.The FAA has plenty of ways to figure out who was flying any particular plane on any particular day. If the airplane is registered to a corporation, they need only see who owns the corporation -- and if it's a pilot, they'll start with him. If it's a club or flight school, they need only get their records to see who had that plane on that day at that time, and the FAA can make it very painful for them if they do not cooperate. If it's an individual, they are generally entitled to the presumption that the owner was flying it unless the owner can prove otherwise, and once the owner claims s/he was not the pilot, refusal to tell who was is obstruction of a Federal investigation and is not covered by the Fifth Amendment.

Remember -- this is not a criminal proceeding. The FAA need not prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, only convince the ALJ that it is "more likely than not" that the person they're charging was the PIC, and they do not fail that test very often.

Here are the only two cases I could find in the NTSB files where pilot identity was an issue, and the FAA batted 2 for 2.
http://www.ntsb.gov/legal/o_n_o/docs/Aviation/3831.pdf
http://www.ntsb.gov/legal/o_n_o/docs/Aviation/4075.pdf
If anyone knows of a case where someone beat the rap on the basis of unproven pilot identity, I'd like to see it.

Ron Levy
March 26th, 2012, 01:10 PM
The tail number is enough. Because they'll send the letter to the club for "infraction" then it's our job (the club officers) to figure out who had the bird on that particular day - not hard to look on the scheduling calendar; which also has back ups so if the offender deleted their appointment after the fact it's still on the back end (love aircraftclubs.com)

In regards to talking to the FSDO they seem nice (at least the one in Cleveland) Feel free to go search for my "deviation" Mid February of 2011. Class D. Made the call with my CFI (I'm a student) on conference call. They reemed him out for not instructing me well and then I got a reeming. Eventually the local FSDO called not only my CFI but the safety officer and the president of the club! At the end the guy said "Thanks for your help - I hate making these calls, but I want to get this paper off my desk; I don't think you'll hear about this again" (Now one year later I have heard nothing and it was definetly a good lesson to learn!)What's your gut feeling, Saracecilia, on how that would have ended had you and the others involved told the FAA you didn't want to talk to them -- call your attorneys instead?

saracelica
March 26th, 2012, 01:57 PM
Probably would've ended my student pilot days. :( Glad the club wants to get more people flying. They all cooperated. Possible my CFI/president of the club talked to the safety guy before he called the FSDO guy back. My CFI knew it was a mistake (I did aviate first and foremost)

ajstoner21
March 26th, 2012, 02:43 PM
I don't understand some peoples fear of the faa or peoples unwillingless to cooperate. If you screwed up, take responsibility in a mature manner.

Ron Levy
March 26th, 2012, 03:11 PM
I don't understand some peoples fear of the faa or peoples unwillingless to cooperate. If you screwed up, take responsibility in a mature manner.C'mon, Andrew -- this is 21st century America, where nobody is responsible for their own actions and it doesn't matter what you did, only what they can prove in court.

bbchien
March 27th, 2012, 11:55 AM
The controller can not write you up unless he/she has your name and address as indicated on the certificate. The aircraft tail number alone is not enough to figure out who is flying it. The plane could be registered to a corporation flying club or flying school.

José
From where do you get this degree of misinformation? IT takes about 30 minutes to figure out who's flying.....:rofl: