Medical Error: AME Directed Me to Answer "No" on Question 18W. Need Advice!

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Anonymous020817, Jun 22, 2022.

  1. I was charged for marijuana possession (misdemeanor) over 10 years ago in the state of California. The small amount I had is actually legal now, and California has made efforts to dismiss these prior convictions now that it's legal. My case has been sealed and destroyed, and the county court can no longer even see the charge at all.

    I am in the beginning stages of flight training, and just completed my first class medical. My AME is aware of this previous charge, and he recommended I answer "no" to question 18w on the medical where it asks about any non traffic misdemeanor convictions since the case is sealed. He was not worried about the charge in the slightest since it's so old and is now legal, and I agree that the charge itself would likely not keep me from becoming a pilot. But now that the medical has already been passed and submitted, I'm starting to worry that "no" was the wrong answer to that question and it's going to come back to haunt me. Even though the case has been sealed, I imagine the FAA can still see that charge and may think I intentionally lied in my answer to cover it up. I'm more worried about a falsification issue now. I had also already responded "yes" in the IACRA form where it asks about being convicted of a drug crime because at that point, the case was not yet sealed. This discrepancy may also raise a red flag. I have already been granted a temporary license but haven't gotten the real card in the mail yet.

    The AME has records of my case on file and reiterated that he's not worried, but what do you recommend the best course of action to be? Is it best to just correct this on my next medical in six months and include a note about why we said "no" to 18w the first time? Or reach out to the FAA to explain the situation before they find it and think I was intentionally lying (would I do this or the AME?)... or not raise attention to it? I am just assuming the worst and am nervous they will revoke my license completely — would like to avoid this, of course. Thanks for any and all advice!
     
  2. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    3,307

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    You should be worried. I don't think the FAA is gonna care that the AME said it was OK for you to conceal this. It was your question to answer truthfully, not his. As far as the case being sealed ... it's the Federal Government we're talking about here. Do you really think they ever throw away any incriminating evidence on anyone?

    A real doc will be along shortly and you should listen & follow carefully. Hoping the best for you ... seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2022
    Lachlan likes this.
  3. Yes you're definitely correct, I guess I should have pointed out in my first post I know for a fact the FAA can see the charge, not that I "imagine" they can. My question though is what would be the best course of action knowing I severely messed up, if the AME can no longer correct it once submitted. Should I write a letter to the FAA to explain, or get an attorney to? I've also seen some other forum posts recommending people in similar situations to just correct it on their next medical.
     
  4. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    696
    Location:
    pensacola

    Display name:
    Senior AME/ATC AME
    leave it alone. I agree with yout AME
     
  5. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    3,307

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    Not sure what you should do and that's why I suggested you wait for one of the smarter docs to come in and advise.
     
  6. 6t6

    6t6 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Somewhere North

    Display name:
    North Bound
    We need the Bravo of Bollingbrook to chime in and I think I know what the good doc will say.
     
  7. BrianP

    BrianP Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    stuck in the middle of N57 & ILG

    Display name:
    another Brian
    I have a guess too, and his response may differ from what was already mentioned by another highly respected AME in post#4.
     
    TCABM likes this.
  8. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member PoA Technical Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,755
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK

    Display name:
    Katherine
    Things I’ve learned about the FAA from others on these forums:
    A) They do not equate a record being sealed, or expunged, or reversed, or even destroyed, as being the same thing as it not having happened. Those ideas are within the court system, and the FAA is a different system. When they ask “have you ever been convicted…” they expect a literal answer.
    B) Despite some states legalizing marijuana, it’s still illegal on a federal level, and the FAA is a federal agency. Its legal status in your state is irrrlevant to them.

    I don’t really have any advice, except not to ignore this and to take it seriously.
     
  9. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    10,694
    Location:
    Lone Jack, MO

    Display name:
    Greg Bockelman
    Which happened in post #4.
     
    TCABM likes this.
  10. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    3,307

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    I know ... but he asked me directly and I answered him directly. As to whether he should take the advice already given or what another AME may post is not for me to recommend.

    I know what I'd do if it were me ... but it ain't.
     
  11. aftCG

    aftCG Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    598

    Display name:
    aftCG
    How did you get in front of the doc without having already answered the question? I was under the impression you can't change an answer once you get the code.
     
  12. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12,824
    Location:
    New England

    Display name:
    PaulS
    The doc can change anything on the form.
     
  13. Yes, 100%! I realize now the FAA isn't going to view it the same way as the courts, understandably. I know for sure I should have put "yes" on the question and that might have brought up some additional questioning that I could explain afterwards, but now that I put "no" and am going to have to correct it, I'll have the added disadvantage of them questioning why I didn't just put "yes" in the first place. It really doesn't look great and I'm so frustrated with myself for it. Just hoping if I'm honest now they can amend it.
     
  14. I had answered "no" and then pointed it out to him at the exam to ask him about it directly. If he had recommended to change it to "yes," I could have filled out a new form and started fresh before he fully submitted this one to the FAA. Now unfortunately it's already been submitted, so he can't make any changes to it.
     
  15. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith En-Route

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,620
    Location:
    Prattville, Alabama

    Display name:
    Fresh Prince of PrattVegas
    read this again. Look at the last two letters of username. /thread.
     
    PaulS likes this.
  16. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    5,073
    Location:
    North Texas

    Display name:
    Lindberg
    Your AME, a representative of the FAA, advised you in his official capacity. Why would you give more credence to advice from SGOTI?

    And FWIW, another AME here concurred with yours, but you don't want to take "yes" for an answer?

    Shortly, someone will be along to complain about how unreasonable the FAA is......
     
    MountainDude likes this.
  17. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    8,443
    Location:
    KTTA

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    Agh! The FAA is so unreasonable in these cases!!!

    OP, you screwed up. Don’t screw up again by explicitly pointing out your own mistake.
     
    Lindberg and lbfjrmd like this.
  18. NightSkyReader

    NightSkyReader Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2021
    Messages:
    85

    Display name:
    NightSkyReader
    You’ve submitted it now. It’s done. Cross your fingers, pray about it, and fill out every future medical application exactly the same way to the letter.
     
    MountainDude and kgruber like this.
  19. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    11,796
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    Well much as I agreed with every post here….it will eventually out. SOMEONE has it….:(.
     
  20. Truly appreciate everyone's advice and discussion. A little torn with some advising to take it seriously like the FAA will and some advising to let it go and not point this out any further, but I appreciate all your opinions and you taking the time to respond. I'm sure there's no clearcut answer. Does it change anyone's opinion that as I mentioned in the op I did point out the conviction and conviction date on my IACRA? So the information is out there for them to see.
     
  21. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,611

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    Probably all you can do now is wait for the medical…. Or a denial letter.

    if you get the medical… all good. I doubt they’re going to revisit something like this.
     
    NightSkyReader likes this.
  22. kell490

    kell490 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    232

    Display name:
    kell490
    I would get some advice from an aviation attorney. You have lot invested in this best to just correct it sooner then later I would not send any letters to the FAA without speaking to the attorney first.