Four pilots indicted

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

  1. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nothing that exciting!

    Back in December, I put professional flying on hold and took a full time job teaching new Ensigns how to drive ships. I’m basically a sim instructor for ships. It pays well, keeps me home more and something I enjoy. But, working out of a building with crappy cell reception no desk computer and then going home to my wife/kids/puppy...etc, my online forum presence has been significantly curtailed.

    I love the new job, but it is a struggle just to find time to fly, let alone talk about flying.
     
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  2. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I can't speak for him, but I usually don't feel it worthwhile to engage in substantive debate that will only be read by one person. If I'm going to put in the effort, I prefer a larger audience.
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, that actually sounds like a cool job. I was looking at helo sim openings when I was retiring. Pay was good and makes for a stable home life. Couldn’t find one in a good retirement area though.
     
  4. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It will either be a religious discussion, in which case your reality will be based on your religion and your interpretation of that reality, or a discussion of human mores. The lady(?) in the article passed her FAA medical exams, and didn't lie about her previous medical procedures. She is competent as a pilot and, as a passenger, that's all I should care about.
     
  5. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Getting back to the four indicted pilots, it doesn't appear that the airman certificates were revoked by the FAA as the airman registry shows they all still have their airman certificates, and the three ATPs have their type ratings. Only one of the three doesn't show a medical certificate.

    This is a big change from the 2005 Operation Safe Pilot investigations where both the airman certificates and medical certificates of many of the pilots were revoked under emergency orders. The revocations were then followed by the criminal indictments.
     
  6. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Meet me and PMs and I’ll show you where you’re wrong. My guess is you won’t.
     
  7. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What is this? The on-line equivalent of "meet me behind the school during recess"?
    Sorry, I don't discuss religion nor force my beliefs on any one else.
     
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  8. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Are we to assume that the judgement has been disseminated? I assume that the other three pleaded guilty? Surely there is punishment coming...?
     
  9. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    there is candy in it for you... still not interested?
     
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  10. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yes, I believe they will either come to some plea agreement by pleading guilty on the criminal charges, or plead not guilty and go to trial (which appears to be what Chrisman is doing).
     
  11. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Nope, just an invitation for a discussion. Seems convenient to label an opposing view as religious and refuse discussion after commenting on it.
     
  12. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Only based on past history. This is not a swipe at your beliefs, which I do respect, and is another reason to table the discussion. I won't change your mind, you won't change mine, and we'll just become annoyed with one another. I'm no expert in LGBTQ and I don't think you are either. They don't bother me, and I don't bother them. I respect them as people and I'll treat them as I would anyone else, and that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject.
     
  13. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I think it’s a topic that should have been discussed, and should be discussed. We seem to only talk about things after the fact. If we can discuss PTSD and whether pilots should be able to carry passengers with that diagnosis, then we should be able to discuss gender disphoria and the suicide rates associated with it. With all the attention on safety, it’s seems irresponsible to exclude it from discussion.

    Either way, this may not be the place. I appreciate your position, I didn’t mean to sound confrontational.
     
  14. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Needless to say it seems to have gone quiet on the front of the remaining three. Stan, what pace did your case progress at?

    I assume there is some checks and balance though as how otherwise did one of them (a Delta F/O, I believe) get canned so quickly? Am I right to assume that we will never get to find out what happened to them?
     
  15. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In my case, the certificate revocations happened on March 22, 2005. I appealed the revocations, but this was before the "pilots bill of rights" and the NTSB ALJ (administrative law judge) essentially rubber stamped the FAA's revocations without providing me with a hearing. I appealed to the full NTSB, and again the FAA revocations were upheld and I was never afforded a hearing. That final judgment was on March 7, 2006.

    In the meantime, the criminal complaint in my case was filed on July 15, 2005, and on July 18, the indictments against forty Northern California pilots were announced in a press release from the U.S. Attorney charging all forty with concealing disqualifying illnesses on their medical certificate applications. Ultimately, rather than spend another $100,000 on a trial, I plead guilty to a single misdemeanor and paid a $1,000 fine and served a 2 year unsupervised probation. The sentencing was on May 26, 2006, fourteen months after the emergency revocations.

    Meanwhile, on March 22, 2006 (exactly one year after the certificate revocations), I petitioned the FAA to allow me to go through the recertification process which was approved. The process included sending all of my medical records for the previous ten years to OKC, taking the CogScreen-AE test, going to a Senior AME specified by the Western-Pacific Regional Flight Surgeon for a very thorough physical, and obtaining a special issuance third class medical, and then taking the private pilot written, oral, and practical flight test for my private certificate which was issued on September 11, 2006.

    In early 2007 with my new certificates safely tucked in my wallet, I filed a civil complaint against the DOT, FAA, and SSA for violating the Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended. The suit eventually wound up in the U.S. Supreme Court after judgments and appeals from the district court and the Ninth Circuit. The SCOTUS decision (FAA v. Cooper 10-1024) came down on March 28, 2012.

    So, all told it took seven years from the 2005 revocations to the 2012 SCOTUS decision.
     

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  16. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    How much did it cost to pursue the Privacy Act complaint through the district court, appeals court, and Supreme Court?
     
  17. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I was very fortunate to have pro bono legal services from Reed Smith LLP for the civil complaint, and for that I am eternally grateful. The billable hours my pro bono legal team put into the three cases (3:07-cv-01383-VRW in the Northern District of California, 08-17074 in The Ninth Circuit, and 10-1024 in The Supreme Court) would have amounted to more than $3 million. I did have to pay travel expenses for the lawyers to depose government witnesses as well as costs for transcription services and other incidental expenses which amounted to about $50,000. The cost to taxpayers for the government's defense lawyers is estimated to have been about $5 to $6 million.

    https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/federal-aviation-administration-v-cooper/
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  18. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    That's a lot of life. I'm sorry to hear everything you went through. I'm intrigued to hear how you feel about these pilots being indicted? I have my feelings on it but how do you see this whole case?

    thanks for sharing.
     
  19. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Bill, I'm conflicted about the current four cases. They are very different from my case.

    In my case, I collected SSA long term disability benefits for one year in 1995-1996 because I was very sick and dying. I did not fly as PIC during the time I was sick and collecting disability benefits. As soon as the HAART "cocktail" was approved in late 1995 and I began that anti-retroviral drug regimen, my health improved dramatically and I terminated my disability benefits and returned to work. At the time, the FAA was sending mixed signals about whether HIV infected pilots on anti-retroviral drugs were eligible for medical certification; as late as 1999 the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners flatly stated that such pilots would not be eligible for certification. OTOH, the word through the grapevine was that such pilots could be eligible if certain criteria were met, but wouldn't provide those criteria. I was afraid I would be arbitrarily disqualified. After reviewing all of my medical records when I went through the recertification, it became clear to the FAA that I had met the criteria since 1998 when I first falsified my medical application. In my view I did lie by violating 18:1001, but I didn't defraud either the SSA or the FAA because the reason for the revocations (ostensibly that I wasn't able to safely fly) lacked any materiality. In 55 years and thousands of hours as a certificated pilot I have never been involved in an accident or incident, or had any deviations.

    In the four current cases, it's pretty clear the pilots falsified their medical applications so they could continue to fly and continue to collect disability from the VA. It is fraud, and I think that is wrong.
     
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  20. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    I'm probably going to get struck down for this but here goes...

    Agree. I live in an area that is heavily populated by DVs. They run around in expensive cars, I see them park at the local airport in the disabled spots and then get out and hop in the left seat of a 737-900. That doesn't sit well with me. I'm not for a moment suggesting all of them are faking a medical but something seems off to me. I know quite a few of these guys and at the weekend they work on their homes with stamina and strength beyond mine. Btw, I can run a 1/2 marathon in 3hrs!
     
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  21. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I don't know how we got on the "LGBTQ+" topic but nobody in an official capacity lumps those together. The only issue the FAA (notably CAMI) has is that someone with some body dysphoria may have unresolved psychiatric issues as a result. Once these are dealt with by whatever means (surgically or otherwise), it ceases to be an issue.
     
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  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, I’ll be the first Yahoo comments guy and say “You don’t know what those servicemen went through. Just because they collect disability doesn’t mean they’re crippled. They have the right to still work!”:rolleyes:

    What will really get your blood boiling is when you find out almost all the DOD civs you work with are on disability. Here they are, flying the same aircraft they flew in the military, only now, they’re getting retirement pay and better civilian DOD pay. Then on top of that, in some cases (50-100%) a completely separate disability check. Think about that for a second. They’re getting paid disability to continue to fly an aircraft that gave them their disability in the first place. :confused:And yes, you’ll see those same pilots doing very physical things during their days off. Should be illegal or at the very least, unethical. Only in America I say.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  23. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    What’s off is the VA using the term disability to describe compensation payment to a veteran due to one or more of many injuries or illnesses related to the member’s service.

    For example, let’s look at OSA. Controlled by CPAP, members can continue to serve and deploy even, though with some limitations. This person is not what most would perceive as being disabled.

    When the member separates, the VA categorizes the military diagnosis of OSA that requires a CPAP as a 50% disability rating, which results in the veteran getting about $1k/mo, tax free, for the rest of their life. And DV license plates, and a property tax reduction, and all sorts of other benefits, depending on the state. On top of their military retirement.

    The DoD has it’s own disability criteria that is much more in line with what the commonly accepted perception of what disability means. One can receive both a DoD disability rating and a VA disability rating however generally not for the same condition, and there is a reduction in VA compensation due to the DoD compensation.

    The VA compensation & benefits program is a prime example of what happens when the law of unintended consequences copulates with the good idea fairy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  24. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    'Disability' or not, declare it on 8500-8. That is what this is all about. I'm not sure how OSA is a result of military service but again, I'm not sure I want to touch that one. It seems the words of our day are entitlement and accountability (or thereby lack of).
     
  25. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I'm bound to get flak for this, but to me there is a huge disconnect between citizens lying and being charged by the government with criminal felony on one hand, and OTOH government employees lying in sworn testimony/declarations/depositions with seeming impunity.

    In the United States no one is above the law. In fact, government employees should be held to a higher standard than the citizenry since they set the example.
     
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  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I'm in 100% agreement. Under oath/deposition/etc EVERYONE should be held to same standard. I also believe that if the police are allowed to lie to citizens the converse should be true.
     
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  27. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    I agree 100% too. To me though this issue runs a lot deeper. We are talking about people who have PTSD flying airliners. One can argue all day long that they played the system and really didn't have a true and correct diagnosis but I'm willing to bet that in *most* cases there is medication involved. That's why I'm interested to see more details, not that I ever will!
     
  28. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    I’m pretty sure everyone is speculating on the VA rating condition because none of us have seen those military medical records, VA disability C&P exam results, and 8500s/MedExpress apps.

    I’m also willing to bet if it is related to a VA PTSD rating, there is zero meds involved.

    ETA: I now see that it was publicly reported at least one has a PTSD rating.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    He has a PTSD rating. It is straight from the indictment: "having represented to the [VA] that he had posttraumatic stress disorder and having received medical disability benefits as a result."

    Whether he was medicated or not is immaterial.
     
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  30. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    For years, I sat next to Mr. K. in the church choir. He went ashore on D day. On November 11 '44 (He talked about watching the parade in a French village while laying on the stretcher - that's how I know the date) he was standing around doing nothing when the Germans started shelling - at first he (and others) stood there laughing at the guys that had been using a slit trench latrine and were trying to run back to a foxhole with their pants around their knees... then he realized that he needed to get under cover. Turned to jump in the foxhole, there was another guy in the way, so he shoved him into the hole and dove in after - but was a moment too late. Took a load of shrapnel in his back. The guys in his unit said they thought he was a hero for saving the other guy, but Mr. K. said he wasn't trying to save him, he was just in the way. And, even in the year 2000ish he still felt bad because the other guy ended up getting killed whine Mr. K was in a hospital in Paris. He ended up eventually going back to his unit for the end of the war. He applied for and got some disability payments for his back even though, at the time, he could still get around pretty good. He ended up teaching high school for many, many, years. I was never in his class room, but I have to believe that he would have been a great teacher. But, towards the end, things caught up with him... At one point, I got a call to come over to his house because he had fallen on a small one step landing between the kitchen and family room and needed help getting back up. I felt bad because I think he was pretty embarrassed. He dropped out of the choir because it just took too much effort.

    Now, Mr. K, was not a pilot, but there is no real reason that he could have not been a pilot - at least until he got older - even though he was collecting disability benefits from the V.A. And he was able to keep his full time job as a teacher until he elected to retire even though he had a disability according to the V.A. Do I begrudge him for collecting disability? Not one teeny tiny bit. Would he have traded the payments for not having to have crippling problems with his back? No doubt.

    So, if someone wants to rant about him taking money from the government, well, go right ahead. But you won't gain any points from me.
     
  31. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Wasn’t aware. Thanks.
     
  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I don’t think anyone on here is criticizing vets for taking benefits from real, service connected disabilities. My grandfather got 20 % from fighting in Tarawa, Saipan and Guadalcanal in WWII. 10 % for a bullet through the wrist and 10 % for a bullet through the thigh. Nothing for the painful memories that he experienced for most of his life.

    What guys like @Cooter, @hindsight2020 and I are getting at is, the vast majority of pilots we’ve known getting 50-100 % aren’t exactly in the same class as someone like my grandfather. In some cases it’s flat out lying, in others it’s getting benefits for BS ailments that would be impossible to link with service. They’re accepting money and using valuable VA time that can be spent on vets that need it.
     
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  33. Bill Weber

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    It appears you know more than my sister and her many medical doctors friends in clinical practice. Lots of SSRI use and also sleeping medication go along with PTSD.
     
  34. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I posted the indictment earlier in the thread.
     
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  35. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Bill, that’s not what I’m saying.

    What I’m saying is as a recently retired military member who has gone through the VA process and also knows a lot of folks who’ve done the same, is that it’s extremely easy to provide the information necessary for the VA to find a C&P rating for PTSD and not have PTSD. He’ll, there’s entire legal segment providing free advice on how to do so and there are more than some military members who will exploit that.

    I’m also not saying these pilots are unequivocally medically qualified to pass any FAA flight physical, much less hold a FAA first-class medical cert.

    My experience with fellow military aviators separating and retiring was that most everyone was of two schools of thought:

    School 1: Not going to file any claim to avoid having to disclose it on MedExpress.

    School 2: a) File a claim for legitimate reasons and deal with the FAA because there’s nothing disqualifying anyways: or b) file a claim to maximize benefits.

    The lapses of integrity I saw in a few fellow military officers when they started proselytizing to others on how/why everyone should join the church of School 2b saddened me to no end; those people are outright dishonorable.
     
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  36. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Who gets to decide which is which?
     
  37. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Getting the VA to do anything, let alone a disability claim, isn't a trivial task.
    Despite the word "disability" in the title, it's really an "injury that occurred as a result of the military service that results in an ongoing impairment." It does not by law or regulation mean that the person is incapable of working.
     
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  38. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Who gets to decide what? The disability or the rating? I guess the VA doc along with supporting medical documentation decides and then the actual % is given by those in the VA.
     
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  39. mryan75

    mryan75 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your last two statements are incongruent. Somewhat anyway. Everyone should be held to the same legal standard. Nothin more, nothing less.
     
  40. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    I’d say it starts with the service member in deciding to file a claim and what to list on that claim.

    Linking to the simplified version of the VA claims process.

    https://www.va.gov/disability/after-you-file-claim/
     
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