Four pilots indicted

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by flyingron, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Axtel4

    Axtel4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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  2. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    And 39 years old no less. Jesús shortsighted Cristo. I'm no fan of the Big D hiring boondoggle antics and general disrespect for their interviewees, but this guy deserves to be made an example out of. A few of these cats are ruining it for the rest of the military cadre, and I'm not even entertaining that job for another 13 years mind you. I don't think the majority are pulling that stunt, but that's just it, it only takes 4 of these @ss clowns to ruin it for everybody.

    And I bet ya 20 bucks the undisclosed mental condition they can't ascertain in the article, is PTSD. Ah the stories I could tell y'all about PTSD in the pilot ranks. Embarrassing.
     
  3. Cruzinchris

    Cruzinchris Pre-Flight

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  4. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    From the AJC article:

    The FAA alleges that Asleson, who joined Delta in 2017 according to his Facebook page, omitted that he had sought help from the Department of Veterans Affairs for what the indictment described as a “major depressive disorder.” Instead, Asleson, who had been a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, is said to have told the agency he received the VA disability benefits for knee strain and tinnitus.
     
  5. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ve had these patients come in and they are very well educated to the process. They bring in the list of the standards and request what the want documented both from complaints standpoint and from exam standpoint. Telling me what percentage of flexion that they want document!!! Asking for letters to refute what a VA dr documented. So they can get rating upgrades. Some of these ppl actually work for the federal govt!!! Very frustrating!!
    I usually just refuse to do it or say that the documentation will stand alone, or send for a formal physics capabilities exam.
    Get to pushy then it’s I’m against vets..
    Delicate tightrope to walk.
    The system is broken, raped by the many that don’t even need it.
     
  6. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’ve known some that happen to be working is a State prison system(not WI) who have gone out on ‘stress leave’ then early retirement with PTSD. I’m not judging if they need it or not, it can be done as a way to ‘game’ the system.

    Such a diagnosis can come to bite one later as they get tripped up with a ‘mental’ condition. Again, not saying some don’t need it. I even know one lady getting divorced who found a diagnosis for herself as having PTSD over the divorce process., part of the game I guess.
     
  7. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The # of airline guys who are beginning to worry is phenomenal....
     
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  8. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I wonder if our airlines would be that much less safe if we had no oversight from the Feds on the one hand (FAA) and the Feds on the other hand (VA) threatening to take a bunch of sorely needed pilots out of commission. Make no mistake I'm not advocating lying on the form, I am wondering if those who were encouraged by the VA branch of our Feds to take PTSD disability are actually a danger. It seems to me a lot of meddling from both ends by the Feds; if they were totally out of the picture, would planes be falling out of the sky daily?

    In the meantime, the amount of tax dollars spent to 1.) pay out these PTSD disabilities and 2.) pay the FAA to horse around trying to catch them... are we getting anything like our money's worth?
     
  9. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Wanna see a polar opposite?

    Every penny in my account is from working with what's left of my body at a full-time private sector job and working a bit freelance.

    I've also lost about 60% of my hearing from the same event as my feet and hand.

    The military's disability policies are insane.
     

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  10. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Wow! You should be getting disability pay just as a reward for doing what you did for your country.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It’s about integrity. If they lied about not receiving benefits, then you can bet they lied about even having said disabilities in the first place. Every one of those disabilities they claimed could easily have been faked. I’d bet you anything, none of them have PTSD. I’d like to know how a fixed wing guy in the military gets PTSD in the past 20 years???

    I know plenty of guys that are over 60 % and out doing physical things in their off time that their “disability” shouldn’t allow them to do. Having asked around about Medexpress, I’d be willing to bet the majority of them aren’t marking “yes” on the form.

    If a guy who attained the pinnacle of Marine Aviation is lying like this, I assure you, there are others out there as well. So much for “Corps Values.”

    http://avstop.com/news_feb_2010/southwest_pilot_pleads_guilty_to_fraud.htm
     
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  12. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I understand your general point, but at least for the Navy, a lot of fixed wing pilots, Submariners and Surface guys have done plenty of boots on the ground time in the ‘Stan.
     
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  13. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    ...And I have a hell of a bone to pick with that mismanagement of our Forces; bordering on willful negligence on the part of senior leadership imo. But that's not on the individual service members, to be clear. The manning in Navy Reserve outfits is testament to how well that force management gem of a decision is working out for the Plantation Masters at the Dept of the Navy.

    The most egregious claims for PTSD I've heard from came one from an ARMY female clerical REMF, the other from a C-5 pilot (strat airlift...really?) in his primary duty code no less. A lot of maligning in the veteran ranks I'm afraid. This is a shame, but the 90/10 rule is valid in all facets of life, it seems.
     
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  14. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah but there’s a huge difference between their ground duties and someone kicking down doors for a living every day. Unless they were in an ANGLICO unit, they weren’t exactly “in the chit” over there. Most of the pilots I flew around were in liaison or in charge of Seabee projects. Not really PTSD type of work.
     
  15. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We’ve had plenty of people come under fire and even get killed in base camps over there. You don’t have to be a door kicker to get PTSD.
     
  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well, I suppose the threat of danger affects everyone differently. I’ve gone through numerous rocket / mortar attacks. Even burned my finger on a piece of shrapnel because I was stupid enough to pick it up...still waiting on my Purple Heart. The constant, but rare threat of getting hit didn’t affect me at all. Fireworks make me jump not because it reminds me of indirect fire, it’s just loud.

    Now, going out on patrol and kicking down doors not knowing if you’re gonna get your head blown off? Or, being at a COP in the middle of nowhere that’s always under attack, with a real threat of being overrun? Those guys get my respect and legitimately have PTSD claims. Thing is, I’d be willing to bet the majority of the guys (infantry, SF / SEALs) that saw real action don’t even claim it.
     
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I actually know a C-5 guy who saw some nasty stuff when he flew MEDEVAC in the Army in Iraq. Even saw an Apache get blown out of the sky right before his eyes. Not sure if he claims PTSD but I know it had a traumatic effect on him mentally.
     
  18. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Im sure dealing with this was a nightmare, but having your case deliberated on by the Supreme Court is pretty friggen cool! Few people would stand up for their rights to this extent.
    Gary
     
  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  20. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I hope every one of them gets caught. They are all senior to me
     
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  21. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get the "fixed wing guys have it easy" thing, but this is just a bit ignorant to categorically disregard it. Although the majority of the air war in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan has been low-intensity, that certainly isn't the case for everyone. There have been plenty of occasions over the last 20 years for legitimate and up-close combat action for fixed wing guys.

    Don't forget there were shoot-downs, POWs, and plenty of close AAA and SAMs just during March, April, and May 2003 in Iraq, not to mention the non-flying stuff outside the wire in all that other time since in the other theaters.

    I have two squadronmates I flew F-15Es with who both had lasting PTSD effects following the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, one of whom fortunately survived a suicide attempt as a result of struggling with PTSD for years afterward. He'd had two very close calls with SAMs and a harrowing experience providing CAS during the fight for Haditha Dam. This guy was an experienced O-4 wh'd been around the block plenty of times, not some disability-collection-hound faking it for the VA.

    The other, unfortunately, was involved in a well-known fratricide incident, and has had a very difficult time living with that.
     
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  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I apologize. It wasn’t my intent to say all FW guys didn’t get in the action. I know the initial stages of OEF OIF Kosovo there was significant ADA threat and plenty of ordnance dropped throughout. But, there were hardly any FW shotdown and after the initial stages, there was no ADA threat. Even in helos, while we bore the brunt of the loses, odds were very good that we’d come back in one piece. Even the friends of mine that had their aircraft shot up like Swiss cheese just pushed on and accepted it as part of the job.

    Not saying there aren’t those they seriously have issues, it’s just that the MAJORITY of what went on there was relatively safe vs other wars. Example, 4,400 Army helos lost in Vietnam. Total AD Army helos in the inventory today? About 3,700. That’s real war, war that almost all experienced. When I meet a Vietnam guy who has Silver Star, DFC and a million Air Medals, I know that he’s been in the ****. That’s the exception today and not the norm. How many books out of OEF or OIF other than “Viper Pilot” and “Apache” that are truly riveting? Just wasn’t that much to write about there vs previous wars.

    People always ask me about my “combat experience.” Yeah, I can claim the “big four” that the VA uses to help determine PTSD. I saw dead bodies, I have been shot at, been attacked / ambushed and have taken indirect fire. These are all things that I expected when I signed the dotted line. Things that also pale in comparison to people who saw and experienced the true horrors of war.

    Again, I apologize if I came off wrong with a generalization. I’m only saying that 1) a small percentage of servicemen saw REAL action over there and 2) the majority of them were on the ground and not in any particular airframe. Not to take away from aviation but for the most part, we had it pretty easy in all theaters. I think all the branches lost more in aviation training accidents than actual combat. And yes, I understand that while some thrive (Dan Hampton) during intense situations, there are a few who take “flight” and have serious traumatic issues later in life. My only hope is that those few aren’t being denied benefits because others (attached articles) scam the system.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  23. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    100% agree with every word of that.

    Except the part about "Viper Pilot". I nearly broke my eyes rolling them at much of what he wrote in there.
     
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  24. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What?! I love that book. A bit arrogant but hey, he’s a fighter pilot. Never even knew you all towed decoys til I read that book.

    “STRIKE EAGLE Flying the F-15E in the Gulf War” is another excellent book. Got it on my coffee table right now. Speaking F-15Es, our CEO is an old F-15E guy that flew in Desert Storm. Haven’t met him yet but everyone said he’s an awesome guy.
     
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  25. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    The PTSD thing has become a shameful scam. As for one of the pilots referred to by the OP, I don’t think he was trying to scam the system. From what I understand he followed the direct counsel of his AME, and it was unfortunate timing that made it appear suspect.
    I’m familiar with a young lady who receives PTSD disability and never made it out of basic training. A non-immediate family member died while she was in basic, and she left because she was so “traumatized”. A decade later, she still receives payments for it.
    The whole thing is disgusting but it creates an environment where people feel left out if they don’t get their piece of the pie. So people silence their conscience and connive to get their handout.

    Edit: one last thing. This VA disability process has upturned the merit based retirement system. I have seen several enlisted people (one junior enlisted) retire under me that will receive significantly more in retirement than I will b/c they are *disabled*. A twelve year E-6 that worked for me was medically retired for back pain, and his retirement + VA will be nearly double what I receive. It’s easier to game the system than it is to work for promotion and stay for 20.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
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  26. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I used to think of PTSD as what affects a soldier who underwent something like the trenches of the First World War. Extreme and sustained emotional trauma over a period of time. Not just seeing dead bodies but lying under dead bodies to hide from the enemy, having multiple close friends blown up in front of you, and enduring this for weeks or months on end.

    Then it seemed the definition was expanded. Only one traumatic incident could trigger it. Then it was expanded to include non-combat related trauma. A rape and now maybe even just a grope will cause a case.

    Right now I'm unsure exactly what PTSD is supposed to be. I've always been under the impression that psychologically healthy people will recover from a discrete or very short term trauma within months or a year or two, it's more a temporary emotional injury than a disorder. But to transform a person who started out healthy into a lasting PTSD disability I would think should take more sustained stress over a longer period of time, or an extremely broad stress affecting multiple areas of life such as having your wife, children, workplace mates and home all destroyed in a single natural disaster.

    Expanding the definition of PTSD beyond the most rigorous standard makes me suspect people of having underlying disorders prior to the event. I'm not saying it isn't real, but I'm implying that the traumatic event itself then becomes only a trigger, not the true cause. I don't know how well the military screens out such underlying disorders, some of which don't manifest until adulthood anyway, I can see how they'd be missed in 18 year old recruits.
     
  27. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bill Smallwood, the author of the Strike Eagle book, is a good dude. Had a chance to meet him several times during my time flying the dark gray jet.

    Many of the individuals featured in the Smallwood book were either squadronmates or leaders of mine, and it was fun to know and work with them after having read their exploits before joining the Strike Eagle community. Steep Turner's "Blow Me!" story is one of my favorites.
     
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  28. Hacker

    Hacker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When I read it, I was wondering if we'd participated in the same war or not...since he seemed to have single-handedly won it with HARM shots.
     
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  29. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    JMHO as someone who has been there, one of the "byproducts" of my civil complaint in 2006 was that a proposed database match comparing the VA disability beneficiary database against the FAA airman medical certification database was suddenly scrapped. I believe that the current indictments resulting from VA - FAA database matches are now lawful after the agencies ensured the required notices were published in the Federal Register and routine use notices changed. Anybody who is in trouble now wasn't paying attention a decade ago.

    Here is a page from a PowerPoint presentation I prepared detailing the Operation Safe Pilot fiasco.
    [​IMG]
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Lol! Yeah he seemed to have an unlimited supply. I didn’t know they had so many stinking decoys. Seems like those would be literally a serious drag on performance??? He sure didn’t like WSOs either. Made it seem like single pilot was the way to go and the GIBs were overrated.

    At any rate, I respect how he hung it out on the line to kill SAMs and help the guys on the ground...even if some of it was a little bit exaggerated. ;)
     
  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Been years since I read it but three things stuck out worth noting. First, it’s amazing the logistics and teething pains that occur with getting brand new aircraft ferried clear across the world. Jets were braking left and right. Second, there’s a fine line between letting the pilots flying at a safe tactical altitude and flying so low you’re a hazard. I could understand the pilot’s griping about a 200 ft hard deck but I could also understand the commanders trying to balance safety (not impacting the ground) with tactics (avoiding radar). Finally, the writer does an outstanding job of putting you in the seat of the aircraft. I could feel the intensity of those initial strikes and almost see the waves of AAA going up. Great stuff. Oh yeah, I hope those guys disregarded the ROE and strafed the hell out of those helos in Kurdish lands. Even though the author hinted at it, he didn’t come out and say it.

    Sorry, bit of thread drift, back to your regular programming. Yep, don’t lie on the 8500-8 or bad things could happen.
     
  32. 58driver

    58driver Filing Flight Plan

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    Very well said sir!! Especially about the gate guard
     
  33. 58driver

    58driver Filing Flight Plan

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    I would venture to say not just airline guys but any pilot not honest in the application process
     
  34. Globalpilot

    Globalpilot Filing Flight Plan

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  35. Globalpilot

    Globalpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey man. That is very good to hear. You give a lot of hope to guys like you who are in the same situation
     
  36. mryan75

    mryan75 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Then again he could've just not lied on his medical application in the first place. Or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth. Or the sixth.

    Just sayin'.
     
  37. Shopshirt

    Shopshirt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a shame they were claiming fraudulent benefits

    I will say that coming back from Iraq in 06 everyone and I mean everyone was required to register with the VA. That does not mean that you were claiming a disability, it could also be about education benefits etc...they registered you for both just so you would be in the system.

    That being said, I wouldn't trust VA records to be end all be all accurate either.
     
  38. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, the scandal is about the contract psychiatrists who do six evaluations per hour for the award....
     
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  39. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    So the tax dollars are actually going to 1.) Pay out these VA disabilities and 2.) pay the FAA to horse around trying to catch them AND 3.) pay the contract (private, for profit) psychiatrists to give the PTSD diagnosis.

    And now the lawyers will get on board too I guess.
     
  40. RRSprague

    RRSprague Filing Flight Plan

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    DISCLOSE

    If you have undisclosed VA Disability or Medical Visits to a Doctor, even for years (several medical applications) - DISCLOSE to the FAA

    A lot of opining and guesses on here - few of them knowledgeable other than bbchien and Stan Cooper is what prompted me to post.

    Call AOPA Pilot Protection Services. They will be able to tell you the outcomes of some other cases and provide some initial advice. Find a Lawyer that has a relationship with a trusted AME, and DISCLOSE to the FAA as soon as possible. Sitting on it is a ticking time bomb.

    I worked with a lawyer and AME to disclose my previously unreported VA disability conditions, and have a new medical and acknowledgment from the FAA. I imagine there are a number of pilots out there that failed to properly FULLY disclose their medical conditions from their VA Disability Rating and are waiting to hear of ACTUAL outcomes of those that have chosen to disclose after the fact. I disclosed fully, albeit unconscionably late and I am right again with the FAA.

    Do not continue to wait. See Stanley Cooper's story: Operation Safe Pilot - The Aftermath in the July 2010 edition of The National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association News where he describes about to disclose when investigators called him. Too late. "I was in the process of gathering my records to self-report when..."

    I was lucky to have a successful outcome and learned the lesson the hard way (lawyers and AME costs in the thousands). It could have been dramatically worse, lost pilot certifications and criminal conviction.

    This post is intended to emphatically encourage others to properly disclose on their medical application and if they haven't then to IMMEDIATELY disclose and explain that fact to the FAA through a lawyer (and AME).
     
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