Martha Lunken has privileges revoked

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by X3 Skier, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    The Faa does not have to go to an independent judge with evidence, they decide unilaterally your fate. That is not due process.
     
  2. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    How is this different from a normal civil proceeding? If someone sues you and you don’t respond at all, they can win a default judgement if you do nothing.

    I see your latest post. Ok, that is one difference. In a default is a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff has to convince the judge to award the default. The FAA can apply the sanction if you do nothings
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    The person suing you isn’t the one determining your guilt.
     
  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends on the agency at the early stages. Once it goes to an ALJ, it’s a different story in most cases.

    No matter what, it is incumbent for the investigator to document the results sufficient to meet the burden of proof.

    as I said before I don’t know the current FAA process.
     
  5. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Does it have to go to an ALJ for the agency to get the judgement? At least pro forma?
     
  6. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    That is incorrect. Perhaps you should research a bit more before posting.;)

    There are a number of guidance documents that show the complete opposite. Here are two:

    Part 13.224:
    "(a) Except in the case of an affirmative defense, the burden of proof is on the agency."

    Order 2150.3C:
    c. Burden and Standard of Proof. The FAA has the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence, to establish all facts necessary to satisfy each element of a statutory or regulatory violation in cases it prosecutes.
     
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  7. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Nope, and that's about par for the course. Too many FAA persons that I've run into read what they want to read into the discussion.
    I think my first post questioned whether or not there was imminent danger, and pointed out that the whole thing is on the honor system. It was several posts down before I even broached the due process angle. Please try taking your FAA hat off, and try to put yourself in civilian shoes from the perspective of the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights, seriously.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  8. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    That's just not true. Not true as a matter of fact. Not true as a matter of law.
     
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  9. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    As do you. But the question remains, how many FAA enforcement proceedings have you personally been involved in? Or is this all what you've heard and read on the internet? I've been personally involved in a number of enforcement proceedings from the support side assisting the people who were violated by the FAA. Most of those ended at the LOI level. Some made it to the Admin judge. And I personally know of 1 case that went to the full board. None of which had any of the issues you bring up in this discussion. Zero. The fact remains the lady in question gave the FAA her violation on a silver platter with pictures. Full stop. From all reports, she didn't pursue any appeal path that she was entitled to per the FARs and FAA policies. So why didn't she appeal the revocation? Most here think the FAA system prevented her from appealing when in fact she elected not to follow the system to its limits based on her decision.
     
  10. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Those enforcing the law are certainly, and deservedly ought to be held to a different standard than a civilian merely questioning the logic and efficacy of the actions, and without privy to privileged information.
    That's a pretty elitist pair of questions. That's similar to the argument that a person cannot question a politician unless they have been one themselves.
    A person can have and express an opinion without having been personally involved, based on objective moral arguments.
    Ok.
    I don't disagree that she handed it to them, and I think you'll find I was reasonably consistent about that in previous posts. Regarding the appeal path, she's been around the system enough, as have I, to know that could take years. The woman is almost 80. Maybe she just doesn't have the energy to fight it, or the desire to do that for the next 2-3 years, when she can just try to retake her exams.
    Time is a limitation, so is money, energy, patience, etc. Those that I know of who have tried to fight the system, even if they win, they lose, because of the time and effort involved.

    An ancient book of wisdom has this quote: "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

    I think slow justice, or injustice, both fails to protect those in real danger, and is also an evil against those falsely accused, or excessively charged, and we have an extremely expensive and slow system nowadays, and to the degree that that is true, the system itself is a bit evil.
     
  11. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It depends. And it depends on the agency.

    In many cases, the agency does an inquiry, then proposes a penalty. In most cases, the regulated party either accepts the penalty or negotiates for a lower penalty. If the regulated party argues that they didn’t commit the violation in the first place, the matter proceeds through the prescribed procedure for that agency.

    In an agency I dealt with, the investigators would sometimes write the violation notice where the regulated party would be placed in a position where the response would be an admission that some violation was committed. For example, if it were something that needed to be logged, the agency might allege that the item wasn’t done as evidenced by the lack of a log entry. The regulated party might say “I just didn’t log it” - gotcha, you violated the regulations and just admitted it.

    again, it depends on the specific agency procedures.

    In this particular case, I don’t even think we need to reach that far: Martha has admitted it, publicly, in a media publication. There’s not much room to argue against the finding - the only question is the amount of penalty imposed. The agency is well within its discretion to issue this revocation. Usually, they’ll consider both her past record and the agency precedent in this kind of case.... but regardless, it’s well within their discretion.

    it’s a difference between revoking a privilege that’s goverened by regulation and a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
     
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  12. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Not at all. It's germane to the discussion. While I respect your opinions on the matter when you start to base those opinions on speculation I will question or call them out. Hence the question on your personal experience. I ask this of anyone whom I debate on aviation topics as 9 out of 10 times the person has zero experience with the topic or procedure. If you feel its elitist to ask so be it. I use it solely to see if a person is simply talking out their azz or has some skin in the game. And since you appear not to have experience in the process it drives my comments in a different direction.
     
  13. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    In general, for the FAA, I think the distinction in @Salty 's point is this: If the airman never responds at all, so it is like a default situation in a civil case, can the FAA obtain a proposed penalty without the matter being judged by an ALJ who is not directly employed by the FAA? Yes, they may have to follow agency guidelines for meeting a burden of proof, etc, but is it actually looked at, at least briefly, by someone else not employed by the FAA? That is what happens with a civil default judgement. They are fairly easy to obtain if the other party never responds, but at least the judge, who is not the plaintiff, has to look at the argument and agree.

    If the FAA can get a judgement without any non-FAA oversight, then that is a meaningful distinction between getting a default in a normal civil proceeding and this FAA process.
     
  14. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    The FAA does not employ, nor do they have any Administrative Law Judges.

    The FAA takes their cases before the NTSB, which is not a part of the FAA. And the NTSB does not curry favor with the FAA, actually the opposite.
     
  15. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Sort of answering my own question and the answer for the FAA appears to be largely yes. 14 CFR 13.18 covers this. If the airman does nothing, they can send out a 'Notice of Proposed Assessment', then request an "Order of Assessment", and if no response, proceed to collect.

    So in this sense, @Salty appears to be correct -- if the airman does nothing, the FAA will assess and collect a penalty without any substantial oversight by an outside party. However, it appears there is one sense in which this is not strictly and simply yes. If the airman does not pay, the FAA administrator must take additional legal action in order to collect. So presumably if the FAA were just completely making something up, the court providing the civil judgement might not do so. Though I imagine that without the airman making an argument, the court simply approves these things.
     
  16. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Thanks, I can believe that is true. But I think that if the airman does literally nothing, the FAA is able to obtain an "Order of Assessment" without it ever going to an ALJ outside the FAA. See my post just above and 14 CFR 13.18. Like two ships that pass in the night ;-)
     
  17. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    See FAA Order 2150.3C
     
  18. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Just saying, there’s more than just the bridge there.

    One recent death from someone flying an airplane into a low, unmarked zip line crossing the river just south of the bridge, and the zip line company has posted warnings in the local airport bulletin boards regarding planes that have inadvertently flown under/near the zip line during operating hours.

    While buzzing the river. Whether they also passed under the bridge, I don’t know.

    https://www.daytondailynews.com/new...his-change-for-safety/3HKOSGg4V3iJ5uhA8k8qLL/
     
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  19. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    This is not an absence of due process. Defaults happen. If the airman later can show he didn't receive proper notice, then due process would require he have the opportunity to defend himself. But he can waive that right in an administrative process or in court.
     
  20. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I have limited experience and have friends that have had a lot more experience. The majority, negative. This includes DPE's I flew with, and people I worked with as a CFI. That said, one doesn't have to be a police officer to criticize brutality, a politician to condemn lying, an FAA Inspector to say that flying under a bridge is dumb for the average pilot (and without a waiver), or a lawyer to say that something is immoral.
     
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  21. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Is there something in that order which you believe supersedes the procedures spelled out in the regulations?

    I view it as an internal document of how they want their workers to proceed, but not necessarily any type of legal relief for the airman.
     
  22. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I would tend to agree the situation is not well described as “no due process”. It is a process with substantially weaker protections for the airman than a normal criminal or civil procedure however. I think that is what people have been driving at.

    Additionally there are the biases which I noted above in the process which favor the FAA. Thus many people feel this is an unfair process.
     
  23. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Never said you had to be all that.;)
     
  24. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    If you want to see how the process plays out, it's in the order. There's additional information in the 8900.1 as well.
     
  25. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    You implied it strongly, but I'm out. I don't encourage ANYONE to bust the rules, and I know the majority of them, when followed, lead to a safer experience for everyone, and I try to teach my students the common sense reasons why the rules make sense.
    I just question the legal, logical, and moral end of the whys and hows of the enforcement process at times, and strongly.
     
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  26. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I am curious now if there are numbers on the fraction of actions which end in a order being collected with no input by the airman, the fraction where a compromise is reached, the fraction going to an ALJ, the fraction appealed to the administrator, and the fraction actually going to appeals court. So you happen to have a reference or access to that?
     
  27. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    It's out there somewhere, I don't know where to find it off the top of my head.

    I did read not long ago enforcements are down about 80% or something like that since the FAA went into the Compliance Philosophy.

    From 2017

    https://flightsafety.org/faa-enforcement-actions-decline/

    From 2016

    https://jdasolutions.aero/blog/defense-faa-compliance-philosophy/
     
  28. flhrci

    flhrci Final Approach

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    Skipped most of this thread. I live in Ohio. Who the heck is she, why should I care? Never heard of her.
     
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  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, nothing requires that. In fact, there's not necessarily a concept of guilt or innocence at all. The fifth amendment just says you can not be deprived of liberty or property without due process.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
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  30. fasteddie

    fasteddie Pre-Flight

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    Phew. Thought I was the only one.

    I googled her--so she's a contributor to Flying mag, and has 10k+ hours? Is there any other reason we should care?

    Also, all the back and forth made me think of this.[​IMG]
     
  31. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    She's an aviation legend..............just ask her. ;)
     
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  32. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wasn't there. I didn't see the incident in question. However, in reading multiple threads and recalling something from the past about this, I believe the following is "correct".

    Martha, a pilot of long experience, flew under a bridge, in violation of FAA Rules (and probably state laws, as well).

    Martha was employed by the FAA for a great many years as, among other jobs, a safety person.

    Martha has a long history of writing articles that are less than complementary about the FAA.

    Martha knew the rules very well and knew that flying under the bridge was a severe no-no.

    Martha got busted for her misdeed and the fact that she had a long history of bashing the FAA and had worked for them for a number of years led the FAA to take the nuclear approach when dealing with her.

    Have I left anything out? Based on the summary above, I'm not surprised that they pulled all her tickets and if she wants to resurrect them she will have to do so the hard way - earn them back. Some times poking the bear is just not worth it. Will she learn from this? Who knows, and, frankly, at this point, who cares? I wonder if Flying Magazine will continue to pay her and publish her columns? We shall see.
     
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  33. strangebird

    strangebird Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have to ask, where have you been?, rules apply to the sheeple, the elite do what they want and get away with just about anything, many cases of that so yes rules only apply to certain selected groups and not certain other groups. We all can think of some names that rules do not apply to.
     
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  34. strangebird

    strangebird Pre-takeoff checklist

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  35. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Who thinks she just tells the FAA to **** off and keeps flying without her certificate being valid?
     
  36. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    That was brought up on the first page...
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    A certain Senator created PBOR for himself, not us plebs. LOL.

    Not a soul who mentions PBOR in these things ever thanks the gods the man is an idiot who landed on a closed runway. LOL.
     
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  38. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Right, but I was bringing it back up in the form of a poll. Honestly, I could see her just deciding to keep flying without the ticket and not worrying about "logging time" since it likely has no legal impact for her at that point (and would probably be incriminating evidence). Works in AK, dunno about OH.
     
  39. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Didn't work to well for this guy https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/38164

    or this guy https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/37939

    or this guy https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/37559

    or him https://www.oig.dot.gov/library-item/37278

    Anyway, more where they came from. Go operate without a certificate and get caught, the FAA will be the least of your problems.
     
  40. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I have seen what the FAA can do and it’s appalling. You have your head in the sand if you don’t think the agency can railroad people. I’ve seen it happen.
     
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