Four pilots indicted

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

  1. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Legally speaking, you're correct. However, it was Justice Louis Brandeis, who said in his 1928 dissent in Olmstead V. United States:

    "Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that, in the administration of the criminal law, the end justifies the means -- to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal -- would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face."
     
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  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If it's a real disability or if "They’re accepting money and using valuable VA time that can be spent on vets that need it."
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, there in lies the problem. How do the “experts” know if the person is lying or not? It’s a slippery slope when you’re looking at PTSD claims. It would be naive though to assume simply because someone says they have a disability, they actually have the disability. Like a married housewife who believes her husband would never sleep with enlisted chicks while downrange. You just don’t know...kinda like that analogy myself. ;)

    It is a problem though and in my opinion, bigger that what most people realize.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/36852985/ns/health-mental_health/t/tide-new-ptsd-cases-raises-fears-fraud/
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, I've got three friends I knew lied about disqualifying conditions on their medical. Two are dead. I haven't heard from the third in years, but I assume he's still flying. At least he managed to wrangle the SI for his condition when it became available (not sure how he dealt with the "I forgot" on the previous filings).
     
  5. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    I guess in this instance we KNOW they are lying. Either they lied about the symptoms and lied and collect VA benefit or they just lied about collecting.

    you gave this one to me! :)
     
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  6. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    **has the "strictness" on this changed?

    I'm only asking because I've seen some seriously, decrepit people out there flying airplanes and I can't possibly fathom how they still have legal current medicals... one dude on the radio literally sounded like was dying (it's okay, he wasn't)

    Was there a time back in yonder when no one had instrument ratings and everyone flew their v-tail bonanzas around that the medical process was largely a handshake and a case of beer and that was it? I'm young, but for some reason I didn't start hearing about medicals being an issue until around 2010 or so when people started listing every single issue on their form. I distinctly remember back in the late 90s (or whenever it was) a CFI telling me "no need to disclose things like common colds, etc., just the big stuff"

    ...and do most 16 year olds applying for their third class list the yearly physicals, flu shots, sore throats, etc., that they've inevitably had at least half a dozen times in the last 3 years? I'm genuinely curious
     
  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Section 10.8.1.1 Part 1 of the current MedXpress Users Guide (dated October 2018) states "Do not report occasional common illnesses such as colds or sore throats." I believe the instructions have said that at least since I applied for my first medical certificate in 1991.

    https://medxpress.faa.gov/medxpress/Content/Docs/MedXPressUsersGuide.pdf

    (That document is also accessible through the Help menu after you log into MedXpress.)
     
  8. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I’ve never been a fan of absolute, unequivocal statements.
     
  9. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Of course. May I ask what your DV status is? (I'm thinking you won't answer that).
     
  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Thanks! That's what I thought, but was lazy to look it up...
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The only thing we really know, is they didn’t answer correctly on MedExpress. Whether that’s a lie or not or it just slipped their minds, we’ll never really know.
     
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  12. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Is this like having a few beers, finding yourself in bed with a beautiful woman and forgetting (sorry, I mean 'it slipped my mind') that I have a wife at home? :(
     
  13. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It can happen. :)
     
  14. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    for the right amount, anything is po$$ible. :D
     
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  15. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    As mentioned before, I have a VA disability rating due to melanoma incurred while on active duty and residual impact from that excision and associated graft, along with non-elective surgical procedures I underwent while on AD.

    I currently hold an FAA medical; everything is documented and disclosed, issued by the AME in their office, with no SI. My AME is one of the more respected AMEs on this forum.

    I’ve been through the process of answering ‘Yes’ to the disability question in MedExpress. It required submitting my entire VA disability rating decision letter, which includes every condition, whether it was substantiated, to what degree, including the associated health impacts observed during the C&P exam, and the individual rating for each condition.

    That also entailed having to go back to my military health records and providing corroborating notes from the treating physician(s) at the time the condition occurred.

    Going forward, I have to check yes for disability and either provide any changes in my condition for adjudication, or if no changes, a note they were previously adjudicated with no changes.

    I can see scenarios in these cases across the continuum from full-up fraud to omission to a pencil-whipping AME to poorly executed MedXpress app.

    ETA: I held an FAA medical prior to my AF career, but did not always continuously maintain both an AF and FAA flight physical/medical. During my AF career, I continuously maintained my AF flight physical, with no Long Term DNIF statuses, although I go through the Medical Eval Board for my melanoma and did require a waiver for that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Had a Melanoma scare myself a few years back. Skin test came back negative. Good to hear everything worked out OK for you.
     
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  17. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Thanks. Mine was excised in 2009, MEB’d in ‘10, and required gaining Combatant Command SG to deploy. Did two more deployments (one to AFG, one to PACOM) before retiring.

    Get seen 2x annually by dermatology for skin checks, plus annual ophthalmologist screen for ocular melanoma indications. About every third visit I leave skin. I haven’t had any further melanoma episodes, and hope to keep it that way.

    Lesson Identified: it’s easier to regrow skin than visit Oncology.
     
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  18. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah I’m wondering if I need to have follow on visits. It came back as just a simple age spot but I wonder if it could develop into cancer. One thing I learned from the ordeal is that Melanoma as an adult could have been due to sun exposure as a kid. Seen a lot of sun growing up in JAX.
     
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  19. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    I’m glad you recovered. No health battle is any fun. Would you mind if I asked what total % you qualify at for everything?
     
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  20. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Sorry. That was meant for TCABM
     
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  21. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You just asked yourself that question. Put down the beer! For the record, I’m 0 %. Didn’t even do the VA physical...against the advice of many.
     
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  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not really. Stan and Crisman and the other two got caught up with a specific program that someone came up with to crossreference the VA and FAA records. It was probably someone with a burr up their posterior like some of the posters here who think that there was illegal double-dipping going on. Invalidating the disability claim is harder than catching people on the technicality of non-report.
    The third class is a ineffective screen and nothing but a paper chase as far as safety goes. Medicals should be canned for all non-commercial operations.
     
  23. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    The 2005 Operation Safe Pilot investigation was initiated by a DOT-OIG Special Agent and an SSA-OIG Special Agent, both based in NorCal, who had worked with each other in the investigation of a private pilot in Auburn, CA who had collected long term SSA disability benefits for several years for chronic fatigue syndrome/Epstein-Barr Virus. It was an insurance company that was also paying him disability benefits that tipped off SSA that he was a pilot and A&P mechanic who was still flying and maintaining airplanes, and should probably be investigated for fraud. The investigation by these two agents resulted in the pilot being found guilty of fraud, and sentenced to a lengthy prison term and restitution of the moneys he had received for disability benefits. These two agents figured if this guy had falsified his medical application, there were probably others. They proposed a database match between the SSA Title 2 and Title 16 disability databases and the FAA medical certification database to their respective managers. The proposal was ultimately approved by the then DOT Inspector General (Kenneth Mead, now AOPA General Counsel) and the then SSA Inspector General (Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr.). The investigation was approved - limited to Northern California -in spite of concerns by many SSA employees that such a database match without the required notices in The Federal Register and a period for public comment violated the Privacy Act of 1974. Discovery obtained during my civil complaint led to the District Court's judgment that the agencies had violated the privacy act multiple times during the investigation, that I had presented triable evidence that these violations were willful and intentional, and that I had suffered an adverse affect as a result of the investigation because of the public revelation of my confidential medical information.

    That's the two-bit version, but there is a lot more.

    FWIW, here's the breakdown of pilots by type of airman certificate indicted during Operation Safe Pilot:

    Air Transport Pilot – 4
    Commercial Pilot – 6
    Private Pilot – 28 (including 2 board-certified medical doctors)
    Student Pilot – 7
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  24. mryan75

    mryan75 Pattern Altitude

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    I don't disagree. When I was younger I was living overseas, my father was a bigwig political appointee at a major federal agency. There was a fax machine where I was staying, which was unusual at the time, so I thought it would be cool to fax his office. I did, expecting to hear back from him right away. It took like a week to get a reply. About a year later when I was back in the States I asked him about it. "Oh yeah," he said, "I had to go to Staples to fax you back." I was confused. "Dad, I faxed you to your office, you couldn't reply from there?" He said, "No, I could not. That's not my fax machine, that's the taxpayer's fax machine."

    No criminality involved, but I've always been taught that public funds are not yours.
     
  25. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The FAA has never been one to give a hoot about the privacy act. Even when given a limited exemption, they refuse to comply with the restrictions explicitly placed on them.
     
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  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Same here, also from Jax. Lots of time at the beach, at the lake, fishing, hunting,.... Much sun exposure as a kid.

    Mine have all been squamous, so far. I take an immune system suppressant (Imuran) that makes me more susceptible so I see my derm every 6 months.

    Stan is from Jax, too. We should hold a reunion....
     
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  27. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You've got that right!

    Early in appealing the emergency revocations, I specifically raised the question of admissibility of evidence that I had HIV infection since it was illegally obtained from SSA:

    "Evidence of Respondend's alleged HIV-related infection should be deemed inadmissible in that it is confidential and was improperly and/or illegally furnished to Complainant by the United States Social Security Administration. As a result, said evidence is tainted."

    Evidence obtained illegally is usually inadmissible because it is "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree." The NTSB asserted that in the Operation Safe Pilot case the "Good Faith Exception" to the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree rule applied. The Good Faith Exception states that if officers had reasonable, good faith belief that they were acting according to legal authority, such as by relying on a search warrant that is later found to have been legally defective, the illegally seized evidence is admissible under this rule.

    It wasn't until much later when we obtained discovery in the criminal case and in my civil complaint that we found the government agents knew the evidence was obtained in violation of the privacy act, but used it anyway. It's pretty clear they thought they wouldn't get caught.
     

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  28. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yep; born and raised in Jacksonville with many summers spent at JAX and Ponte Vedra Beaches. Lee High School, class of 1960. Next year I'll be there for my 60th H.S. reunion.
     
  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    My mom graduated from Lee. Maybe 57 or 58.
     
  30. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    My older brother graduated from Lee in '54, and my sister in '56. They both retired as high school teachers in the Duval County public school system.
     
  31. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    My dad retired as a Duval HS teacher also. He went to Lee and the old (long gone) Tech High. Worked as a welder at the NARF at NAS Jax then became a high school shop teacher. Retired about 20 years ago.
     
  32. Bill Weber

    Bill Weber Pre-Flight

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    Mine have all been squamous, so far. I take an immune system suppressant (Imuran) that makes me more susceptible so I see my derm every 6 months.

    Stan is from Jax, too. We should hold a reunion....[/QUOTE]

    Stan,

    Forgive me for a moment while I play devil's advocate but at what point is lying ok? I know this opens up a plethora of questions (esp. given at the time HIV was considered a death sentence and longevity was not in most peoples future who were diagnosed). Btw, I'm not for a MOMENT suggesting that I've never lied. It's human nature, still at what point is it OK for the government to go snooping? Class 3 medical? (IMO should be treated like a drivers license), class 2 and 1 where you have others lives in your hands (paying pax) should be a whole different ballpark. As I've said, I don't want my 737-900 F/O or Captain to be flying with a diagnosis of PTSD. Humor me for a moment while I assume they actually have PTSD and are not gaming the system.
     
  33. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Bill, I think lying is wrong; I did it on my medical applications and that was a big mistake. I can truthfully say it is the only time I have ever lied about anything consequential. Friends and colleagues who have known me for decades can verify this.

    In general I have strong negative feelings about lying and liars, especially when the liars are public figures in authority and the lies are numerous, well documented, easily fact-checked, and could lead to property damage, suffering and/or loss of life. I also think that lying about anything that has the potential to harm others, such as falsifying an FAA medical application by failing to reveal an illness that could lead to a pilot's incapacitation causing a serious accident should not be tolerated.

    I believe the materiality of a false statement is important in evaluating the point when lying is or isn't OK. If a false statement is immaterial to the outcome of a discussion, debate, or a legal case, IMHO it's less serious than if it does make a difference in the outcome.

    Commenting further on the subject is likely to get into a political discussion, which I won't do in PoA.
     
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  34. insder

    insder Guest

    Going anonymous on this one for good reason...

    These guys need to fight this charge as I've just 'heard' that a couple of other pilots who got revoked for exactly the same reason (not reporting PTSD as a VA benefits) have been let slide and given their medicals back.

    It's not what you know. it's who.
     
  35. Cooter

    Cooter Ejection Handle Pulled

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    As far as a CYA, it was probably a smart move by your dad. Otherwise, I don’t think a fax is a big deal unless there was a phone charge for the service.
     
  36. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Just found out today another old friend just retired with 90 % disability. Whole system is a complete sham.
     
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  37. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Everyone abuses it

    This guy was collecting fire fighting disability because he hurt his back after having fallen... okay, only to be found a few weeks later in bodybuilding competitions

    http://archive.boston.com/news/loca...fighter_found_not_guilty_of_disability_fraud/

    I would think that if you can't do your job as a firefighter and are collecting tax payer money on it you also probably aren't cut out to be doing weightlifting competitions.. or, if you are, and that was part of your recovery to strengthen your core.. then you can probably go back to work. The jury ultimately acquitted him though
     
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  38. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Have you no sense of "wrong"?
     
  39. insder

    insder Guest

    A moral compass? I believe that all people should be treated equally. I've just seen a guy lose his medical because he had lied for many years about PTSD with and failed to mention he was getting VA benefit. Not a nice guy either. He 'knew' people in the right places.

    Why should he get off and these others pay the price? There is true corruption.
     
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  40. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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