The NTSB Board continues to practice strict adherence to the timing requirements for appealing an FAA emergency revocation order. In Administrator v. DeLuca, the FAA issued an emergency revocation order on November 1, 2004 revoking all of the airman’s certificates. The order was sent via regular and certified mail, and via Federal Express delivery. However, it wasn’t until April 1, 2005 that the Board received a letter from the airman appealing the emergency revocation and attempting to justify his delay in filing the appeal with the explanation that he had been out of the country.
The ALJ granted the FAA’s motion to dismiss the appeal as untimely. He relied upon the airman’s statement that he “forgot to open all of the letters that were sent to me” in holding that the airman failed to exercise the required diligence and thus did not have good cause for his delay in appealing the emergency revocation. The Board agreed with the ALJ noting that the airman admitted having access to his mail in December 2004 when he was back in the country. They also noted that the airman admitted returning home on March 15, 2005, but that he dated his notice of appeal March 25th and it was not actually received by the Board until April 1st. Based upon this evidence, the Board held that the airman had not demonstrated good cause for his delay in filing a notice of appeal.
This decision is consistent with Board precedent. The “out of the country” argument has been raised before and has been equally unsuccessful. Also, I don’t think the airman did himself any favors with some of his admissions. However, this case is once again a good example of how failure to attend to personal affairs, in this case reading your mail, can have dire consequences if FAA action against you or your airman certificates is involved.