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Learn from me: When they tell you to submit info, do it!

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by GreenDayPilot, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. GreenDayPilot

    GreenDayPilot Well-Known Member

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    I guess this is more like a blog post...

    First, I understand it's all my fault, but it's a huge bummer..

    I like doing my medical every year to make sure it's current as a First Class. So, I went in a few months ago and when applying, I checked the box indicating that I had previously been arrested (*look below to read on the arrest, if interested). I advised the AME that I was almost certain that I had forgotten to check it in my previous medical. He verified it by checking online and told me he could not award me a medical certificate with that condition. He told me to give him a copy of my driving record, along with a letter explaining the arrest. I went to the DMV a week later and the line was two hours long, so I decided to go the following week, but by then the AME called me and told me it was too late and that he was forced to mail in the medical application/certificate to the FAA.

    It was then understood that I was to mail in the driving record and letter to the FAA medical division. Laziness, stupidity, and forgetfulness kicked my ass in the end because I never did so and then I got a nice letter from the FAA two months later. It stated that I was to submit any current or expired medical certificates I had because I failed to submit any paperwork. The letter was actually cordial, to my surprise.

    I mailed in my medical and now I'm practically unable to teach (CFI). Little work = little money = this sucks!

    I know it's my fault, but lesson learned. When the FAA asks for information, you give it to them.

    I'm not quite sure how long the process will be and I'm certain, as the AME was, that it would be no problem to approve my medical.

    The End.



    *I was arrested a few years back because I had a warrant for an unpaid ticket. The messed up thing was that I kept trying to take care of the ticket, but to no avail, it never registered at the county court. I kept going to court and calling and it was never in the system, until months later when I was pulled over for speeding, the officer said I had a warrant for my arrest for an unpaid ticket. The officer said that normally they didn't arrest for a warrant for an unpaid ticket, but because it was in a different county than the ticket was issued, that he had to arrest me. It really sucked.

    Funny thing is, I was on my way back from a visit to an AME after being diagnosed with the flu.. so I was in jail for 12 hours with the flu.
     
    Houston likes this.
  2. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    Thanks for the testimonial.

    We keep saying, don't ignore these guys, they are serious and they are the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
     
  3. dvtpilot

    dvtpilot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the share.

    So the main issues was the fact that there was a discrepancy between the old and new medical apps?

    Also, with the AME waiting for you before sending paperwork in....was that just so everything would go in the same packet? Or would it make a difference in getting the medical approved somehow?

    Reminds me of a story of a buddy of mine who lost his 121 job because of a similar issue. He simply missed that checkbox, the feds agreed that he made a mistake but wouldn't work with him and yanked his certs down to PPL-SE. Was a former CFI, II, MEI and had been hired at a large west coast regional airline as an FO. Rough story to hear firsthand, but really made me think each time I fill that form out!
     
  4. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    The AME can only hold a medical application for 14 days then they must submit it as deferred. It is always better to send ALL of the documentation in the original package to the FAA in a single mailing so they get reviewed in a single sitting.
     
  5. GreenDayPilot

    GreenDayPilot Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I guess regardless if I hadn't checked the box in the previous examination, I would still have to explain the arrest.

    ...and yeah, the AME wanted to send it all in the same package, but was required to send it within 14 days.

    Dude, what box did he forget to check?? That's a real bummer!
     
  6. GreenDayPilot

    GreenDayPilot Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    I mailed in everything they asked for, which includes the following:

    - Driving record
    - My current medical certificate
    - A letter detailing what I was mailing in
    - A letter explaining the arrest

    I called in a week after I mailed it and they said they hadn't received it. I then called a week thereafter and they said that it had been reviewed and that my new medical was on its way. All in all, it took about 3 weeks to get my new medical certificate.

    Tips? Be nice and cordial in the letter AND when/IF you call them.
     
  7. bc2209

    bc2209 Well-Known Member

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    When you say explain the arrest do they actually want the story? What are they looking for here? My arrest story is almost unbelievable. Do they just want the main points. Anybody have a little insight here>>> ???
     
  8. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    They want the whole story.
     
  9. Bandit_Driver

    Bandit_Driver Gold Member

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    It is probably late now but you may also want to talk to an attorney and if enough time has passed you may be able to get the record expunged from your record. If you have any problems with the law for any reason, spend the money on an attorney. If the court would have been string a lawyer along like this their would be records and the arrest would have been tossed out. Also most cities only want the cash, unless your record is really bad and it is a major offense. Most cities will deal with a lawyer and have you pay the fine but change the charge to something stupid like no seat belt or other no point infraction.
     
  10. A150K

    A150K Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing. We can all learn from each others mistakes. I'll say submitting info to the FAA is a pain, I have to do it every two years....
     
  11. Guy

    Guy Well-Known Member

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    A small point, but an excellent one. Lots of stuff you would think was thrown away are kept and microfilmed. I was surprised at one thing I found in my file when I asked for a complete copy of my file. Fortunately I was polite, although I wish I had been more careful with my penmanship. But the bottom line is I never would have thought they would have kept that handwritten note, but they did.
     
  12. FredsGotSlacks

    FredsGotSlacks Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure if you can answer this or not but I have an arrest on record with the FAA but the case was dismissed and expunged; when I apply for jobs in the future will the aeromedical branch provide the airlines with my arrest history/medical application information?
     
  13. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    No they will not, it is your responsibility to do so if asked.
     
  14. L B Fowler Jr MD

    L B Fowler Jr MD senior ame/hims CVW-11 Flt Surgeon CVA-66 (1980)

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    the fine print = you would have to check the box yes
     
  15. jmreii

    jmreii Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing this valuable information however I do want to point out AOPA made a valiant effort in the mid 90's to inform pilots of this particular oversight on the medical applications. I can tell you the boxes are exactly the same as they were 20 years ago in-which whatever is ask of you requires a honest answer. Try not to analyze the questions too much whereas was the reason so many pilots were innocently caught in this trap before because the questions were originally for screening alcohol/drug convictions. Happy landings!
     
  16. Zapphod Beblebrox

    Zapphod Beblebrox Well-Known Member

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    I am now going to plug a company, i don't normally do that but here goes.
    First a little background... I have done union work off an on for the last decade. I found out that one of the benefits of Harvey Watt & Co, is their medical assistance service. It's not just for guys who have had heart attacks. They give very good advice on all sorts of medical situations.

    They walked me through a minor surgery without losing my medical. I barley passed my medical but with a with a nod and wink from my Examiner on a conference call with the Harvey Watt team, that the surgery was already scheduled, I never lost my medical I just voluntarily took some company sick time and Harvey Watt helped with the report and recovery check ups and when the next six month exam came around it was a snap to pass the medical. Harvey Watt supplied and help me get all the additional paperwork that was needed to pass the physical. I was "on the beach" for a while but still had a medical and did not have to go through a major hassle of re-certification because i never lost it in the first place.

    If you are in ALPA talk to ALPA medical, if you are not consider some of the disability and insurance products offered by Harvey Watt. As a bonus you also get their aero-medical support service, which I have found to be invaluable.

    A service like this can really help. One more thing that was explained to me. Your AME is not your doctor. He is certified by the FAA and beholding to them for his license to practice aviation medicine. Nothing you tell him is confidential. However when you deal with ALPA aero-medical or Harvey Watt everything is confidential. They work for you not for the FAA. That is an important distinction and they can walk you through a problem like the one given as an example. Havrey Watt would probably have made an amended letter for you certificate which would have explained things and possibly precluded this person from going without a medical.

    The FAA's answer to any medical condition or problem is to suspend you medical and then you have to worry about getting it back. Many ALPA and Harvey Watt services are designed to stop that from happening if it can be avoided. You call them first with a medical question of any kind.
     
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