Four pilots indicted

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

  1. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Thank you. That issue (July 2010) of the NTSB Bar Association News is online at http://www.tatsco.com/July_Newsletter.07272010.pdf.

    My article starts on page 13, and Mike Dworkin's article starts on page 17; Mike was my attorney when I appealed the emergency revocations. These articles were written after the three judge panel in the appeal to the Ninth Circuit ruled unanimously in my favor, but before the government appealed the Ninth Circuit ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    They got my name wrong on the front page table of contents (it's Stanmore, not Stanley), but got it right on page 13. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  2. 58driver

    58driver Filing Flight Plan

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  3. 58driver

    58driver Filing Flight Plan

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    RRSprague:
    Sir..THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for posting this and I feel 10,000% better for disclosing EVERYTHING like you mentioned earlier. I am kind of on the fence of pursuing the medical because of the cost of AME's etc. I started the process back in JULY of 2018, got the letter from the FAA on what to do and am now searching for HIMS/AME. Yes....the process is in the THOUSANDS. Fortunately, I am retired military and have other options. I retired with around 2600 RW time and catch myself looking at the sky at the EMS Helicopters and the occasional UH-1 with the CBP. I also think that it would be cool to take the misses for a ride sometime around the pattern. BUT, I am doing everything by the book and it is going to take time and money. Once again, thank you so much for the post and I am glad all is well with you sir
     
  4. 58driver

    58driver Filing Flight Plan

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    Sir, would like to echo what I said to RRSprague, thank you for all you have done and keep the info coming sir! Fly Safe!
     
  5. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just remember, FAA is really really HARD on liars.
     
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  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    So what's the SI protocol for congenital liars? ;)
     
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  7. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Slightly off topic but I was just reading about a guy who specializes in getting vets VA ratings for sleep apnea. How is it possible to prove one’s sleep apnea is service related?
     
  8. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Two years in Congress to start.
     
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  9. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The food made you fat.
     
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  10. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    ...or in the White House.
     
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  11. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    What happened to these guys? I never saw much follow-up on this.
     
  12. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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  13. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can say with certainty that my 50% Combat Service Related VA disability is accurate and is a direct result of 25 years and over 8,500 hours flying helicopters while wearing body armor and heavy helmets and NVGs.

    Most people don't understand what that 50% means. Ignoring all the other details behind the rating, it basically means I can only do about 50% of the work of an unaffected person.
    Whether the way the disability is computed is stupid or unfair, I believe it is totally accurate in my case. Yes, I was employed as a professional pilot and worked with other pilots who were less than half my age and the wear and tear inflicted on my body made it very difficult to keep up.

    I always checked the box on the form to indicate I was receiving disability benefits (funny, they don't ask if you are disabled, only if you are receiving benefits.) As long as there was a corresponding remark in the box, the few questions I got were satisfied. No PTSD for me...

    Luckily, I no longer fly for a living. I would be in really bad shape if I tried.. I still qualify for an FAA First or Second class medical, but I also know when to stay on the ground when i am not fit to fly...

    Any operation involving honest disclosure will be gamed by the [poo poo] heads to steal unearned gains from an incompetent bureaucracy. Burn 'em!
     
  14. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    I thought at least one (Chrisman) was back flying. Looking at the Airman registry, he has a current medical (recently renewed).

    Re: the last post. Many of these guys were claiming VA benefits that included PTSD and depression. I'm glad they were caught as I wouldn't want to be on a plane knowing that the dudes up front had psychiatric issues.
     
  15. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Interesting. Would be interesting to see more info on this particular case.
     
  16. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    Again, though, he was the one who made the decision to misrepresent the truth. I can totally envision these guys not having any mental health issues but claiming they do so they can get a little extra scratch from the government, thinking it's not big deal because they know they are fine.

    These disability cases make me even more angry because these guys are defrauding the taxpayer. These are not victimless crimes - that's OUR money.

    I can't even imagine having such a wonderful job and life and risk throwing it all away for a couple extra bucks.
     
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  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think with the current FAA philosophy, the risk is very small and getting an extra $1,200-1,300 tax free per month (like several I know) is a bit different than a “couple extra bucks.” That’s a house payment.

    Heck, if it’s PTSD combined with other claims, you’re looking at possibly 100 % and over $3K tax free per month. Well worth the risk.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  18. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    ***TLDR warning rant***

    Buddy, you have no idea how prevalent and rampant the attitude of gaming the VA rating system is. You have to understand that although these airline pilots (by implication commissioned officers) and their high salaries, seem especially egregious by the relative lack of financial hardship of a 200K+/yr earning airline job PLUS military officer retiree (presumably these folks are also retired after 20 years flying in the AF or USN), the majority of VA payment recipients are enlisted who do less than 4 years, and yet attain equally egregious amount of disability ratings. I personally know a cool dozen acquaintances of my wife (mostly Army, which is also a trend, though my wife was enlisted AF), all who are gainfully employed, perfectly capable and functioning but who have come to rely on that money to keep up with their overextended lifestyles in civilian life (that and the sticker shock of earning a paycheck that is 100% taxable, aka no more BAH to tax exempt 25% of your gross income).

    Now, the consumer overextension has nothing to do with being prior military, that's just being a typical American. The fact remains though, they're all maligning after a very short non-casualty REMF period of service. Some as little as 90 days before they ringed the bell, and the military put them on ice for 3 years before med discharge, all the while receiving active duty pay and benefits while they wait. But it's considered unpatriotic to accuse a veteran of such a thing. Thing is I'm not a civilian, so I can and do. And the VA raters, doctors, and counselors are all in on it.

    The psychology behind it is that "everybody does it", aka tragedy of the commons. If you don't do it, you're doing so at your own expense since it's candy for the taking. Add a bit of financial hardship by the enlisted crowd with lower earning potential on the outside, and VA payments become a de facto lifetime pension for maligning for 90 days on active duty. And Lord strike me down if I'm lying, I know one of the said dozen fits that narrative literally. My own now deceased uncle, who I never had a relationship with and who fought my father over inheritances and money squabbles for more than 30 years, did 30 days at Ft. Benning during the Vietnam draft, claimed mental breakdown, and was given a medical discharge out of BMT and a payment for life. He was a sick soul, and I gain nothing from stomping on the memory of someone I have never considered a military peer nor one whose service was ever honest nor honorable in my eyes. But the fact remains we have hundreds of thousands of people like him on the VA rolls. Billions in payouts, I looked it up this morning at the DOD's Office of the Actuary (they collate VA payment info with their retirement system info).

    I know two people who I won't describe their affiliation to me, as most people know where I work and I don't wish to start another flame war. These cats both have 90 pct ratings and fly for two major airlines AND are in active flying status in the military. The ratings were a result of a very well employed series of appointments with rating-happy doctors and bureaucrats; contact information that is passed around the squadron like almost officially sanctioned guidance as part of outprocessing. It may be legal, but it's dishonorable in my eyes.

    And I'm not talking from the cheap seats: I don't have a VA rating and neither does my wife, and she had an episode of her undiagnosed condition (at the time) while in Active Duty (unknown pathology, not duty connected that we could prove without maligning, treatment and management which I pay for out of pocket mind you). Technically we could have easily maneuvered for some allocation of payment for life. According to the gallery we're suckers for leaving money on the table. Nah, we're just Honorable, because that word means things in this house. For people who squabble paycheck to paycheck, those principled stances are considered a luxury. Of course they don't recognize the "long ball" behind living like they do vs living like I do, and how these things make a difference in outcomes, but I'm not gonna convert anyone so I just digress.

    BL, I don't have any compunction in recognizing that just like there's welfare abuse on the civilian side, we have bona fide welfare abuse on this side of the fence too, and I dare anyone question my patriotism in casting a critical light on the VA maligning cohort.

    The system is broken, and in need of sweeping cuts and reform. The majority of payments are not justified, the military recognizes the signs of maligning (PTSD trends were the latest canary in the coal mine, but there have been plenty), but it has become normalized as a freebie pension on your way out from a touch n go in the military, ime. Ultimately, it hurts the truly afflicted, those who legitimately have a level of debilitation that makes gainful employment vis a vis a competing civilian a true disadvantage. We're all innocent in Shawshank though, and one's plight is always the worst, but that doesn't make it so. I've seen the truly broken, and it's a "you know it when you see it". Then I see the majority of people receiving VA payments, and I just shake my head. I'm telling you, it's not outliers, it's a majority trend. Flame suit on.
     
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  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    @hindsight2020 is probably the best summation that I’ve read on the VA disability cash grab. You won’t see too many people speak out about the problem because you’ll get ridiculed of being “non patriotic.” You see, we’re heroes and if we’re getting paid for our so called “sacrifices,” the vast majority of Americans have no problems with it. Doesn’t make the system right or ethical for doing so though.

    As H2020 said, the system is broke and when you’ve got a system that wastes more money than the annual military budget of some countries, that’s a problem.

    https://www.nextgov.com/it-moderniz...d-almost-2-billion-failed-it-projects/145626/
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  20. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Dang, reading all this makes me somewhat embarrassed trying to get the VA to help with hearing aids after spending 1000 hours just inboard the props.
     
  21. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Did you find out if Chrisman's case was dropped? Seems odd that all these cases went silence, so to speak.
     
  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Oh come on, tell us how you really feel!
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, I'm surprised that any of them are outside of PACER.

    Here's a hint. If you use PACER sparingly, they won't ever bill you. They only send out a bill if you run over a non-trivial amount of charges. Even if you do get billed the charges are chickenfeed.
     
  24. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Good information, thanks! Obviously each case is judged according to its merits. Maybe Chrisman had a diagnosis but was not medicated and that helped? I assume much of the outcome depends on the whole picture regarding his medical history and we don't get to see that from the docket.
     
  25. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    Just guessing here, but I suspect the government wants to prosecute Chrisman on the charge of violating 18:1001(a)(2) False Statements, which is a felony. This is based on a failure to list his VA disability benefits on his medical certificate applications. The fact that he got his medical and airman certificates back doesn't mean squat to the DoJ.

    18 U.S. Code § 1001. Statements or entries generally
    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully -
    (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; ...
     
  26. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Lots of questions remain... What are the extent of the lies? How many medicals did he obtain while claiming disability benefit? I wonder what his DV rating is? A PTSD rating of 10% is very different to one of 50 or even 70% and highly medicated. Don't get me wrong, I understand a lie is a lie but I think the degree also plays a large factor in outcomes.

    You still have to wonder how he got his Med and Certs back though. From all I've heard/read once the FAA catch you then you are unlikely to be flying anything with a motor for a while.
     
  27. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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    All good questions, which is why I'm going to try to attend the trial. There's an "aftermath" chapter in the book I'm writing about Operation Safe Pilot.
     
  28. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Chrisman is indeed charged with 18.1001 (2 counts).

    Schedule for the trial is:

    Pretrial Conference 08/28/2019 at 10:00 AM
    Jury Selection 09/11/2019at 08:30 AM
    Jury Trial 09/13/2019 at 08:00 AM (they allocated three days for the trial).

    I've attached the indictment.
     

    Attached Files:

  29. old_biker

    old_biker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a friend, he has PTSD bad, he was in first wave into Vietnam, in the past he talked to me about what horrors he went through, he had to help transport dead, rotting corpses of Americans killed, many he knew, he was shot twice, has 2 purple hearts, but he can't function in society, so he doesn't go out much, stays home in mountains, and his friends visit him.
     
  30. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You're unclear because you are misinformed about PTSD. Your trivialization by referring to a sexual PTSD as stemming from a GROPE shows your bias. The stressor has to be a serious traumatic event and YES a single event can be the trigger. This can be death, serious injury, or sexual violence that was directed to the patient, or witnessed by him, or in things like medics, who have to deal with the aftermath of such. It's not a trivial upset over having seen these things, but the diagnosis involves definite issues with regard to recurrence, reaction to repeats of the stressor, and alterations to behavior. It's not a diagnosis that's handed out casually. In addition, the amount of actual "disability" varies as it is broad.

    Yes, not everybody who goes into mortal combat or deals with death or serious injury gets PTSD. If it were, nearly everybody who comes out of combat or works in law enforcement or EMS or whatever would be afflicted. Many of us cope with the stress, in some part by early intervention after the stressor. I've watched people die and I can tell you the hardest hitting were not the goriest but the ones that were patients that I thought I could have/should have saved but didn't.
     
  31. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    I for one hope he's convicted. He's been basically stealing from the taxpayer and lying about it.
     
  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He's not charged with that, nor is it apparent that he is doing that just from the indictment.
     
  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    He is charged in that indictment with lying on a government form, nothing else.

    While collecting any money taken by the government by force from citizens could be considered receiving stolen property in some sense, a lot of people do it. But if he was receiving less than he and his family paid in, it could be considered recovering what is rightfully yours.
     
  34. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    What troubles me most about this is the thought of getting on a commercial airliner with someone who has a PTSD diagnosis.
     
  35. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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  36. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    You might want to look at the VA rating scale. Also, maybe speak to a M.D. about this. PTSD & flying is very dangerous. Ask the doctors on this forum.
     
  37. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Shouldn't be worried at all if the PTSD diagnosis is false. That’s what we’re getting at here. Odds are, these people claimed something they didn’t have to get the $$$. Then, they withheld it from the FAA so it wouldn’t affect the precious extra cash they were getting each month.

    Now, how can it be done so easily? Simple, after 2010 the VA stopped investigating PTSD claims. The system was overloaded and they just didn’t have time to look into finding proof of PTSD. As far as the combat related PTSD, all one has to do today is have served in a combat zone and give a stressor statement. There are websites out there that actually coach the individual in writing the stressor statement which almost guarantees the psychological rating for PTSD.

    For me, with over 1,100 combat hrs in both Iraq and Afghanistan and been under the threat of death everyday, I’d have no problem getting rated for PTSD disability. Throw in a little back pain, joint pain and tinnitus and I’d easily top 80 %. That’ll pay for the house and the car! As some of my friends have said “the money is there for the taking so why not get your share?”
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  38. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    PTSD diagnosis ≠ PTSD. The VA rating has become a scam, and it is now backfiring on a few. I know of probably a dozen people with a 100% rating that are healthier than I am. Several barely served and now live solely off the VA. I know many people who made a determined effort to get 100% and were willing to push (and even violate) the truth to get it. I know the easiest way for many to get a high rating is a claim of PTSD. After having gone through the VA process, my opinion is that honesty is punished and gaming the system is rewarded. I'm certain that I would have qualified for a PTSD rating even though I am perfectly fine in that regard.
     
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  39. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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  40. Bill Weber

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    My sister is an M.D. (Psychiatrist) for the U.S. Navy. She too told me that even if you just fly over a war zone you qualify. From what I understand the rating is assessed based on quite a few factors. Problem is, even if you are doing if for the monthly paycheck (and to qualify) you've probably got some history with medication (be it SSRIs or sleep aids) and these drugs can obviously affect performance and mental state, especially if you take them without any regimented routine.

    Vel123 -- sounds like you have some integrity. That's what they used to teach back in the good old days.