I was recently asked how long “bad stuff” stays in an airman’s FAA record; “bad stuff” meaning accidents, incidents and enforcement actions. Well, most information stays in the file unless it is removed (also known as “expunged”). Certain information will automatically be expunged by the FAA according to the following timeline:
- Warning Notice or Letter of Correction – 2 years from the final action date
- Certificate Action resulting in Order of Suspension – 5 years from the final adjudication date
- Certificate Action resulting in Order of Revocation – Never
- Civil Penalty – 5 years from the final adjudication date
- Accident or Incident – 5 years from the date of the occurrence or event
However, if an airman is subject to another enforcement action before the previous action has been expunged, neither will be expunged until 5 years after the final adjudication date for the last action. Similarly, if an airman is involved in an accident or incident before a previous accident or incident has been expunged, neither will be expunged until the airman has been accident or incident free for 5 years.
For more information relating to information maintained by the FAA in an airman’s record, you can review my article on the subject, What Will The FAA Say About You, or an FAA document titled Information Provided By PRIA, FOIA, and The Privacy Act.