According to a post on the DOT’s Office of Inspector General website, an aviation safety program manager in the FAA’s Spokane, WA FSDO plead guilty on November 27 to the charge of making a false statement on his 2004 airman medical application. Apparently the manager failed to disclose a doctor’s visit on his medical application which would have revealed his use of a number of disqualifying medications. The post does not provide more detail on the nature of the doctor’s visit or the medications the manager was using. The manager also resigned from the FAA.
In addition to a felony conviction and losing his job, the manager/airman probably was, or may currently be, subject to a revocation proceeding seeking revocation of his medical and airman certificates. Although certificate revocation has been the primary method of enforcement in this type of situation, criminal prosecution is becoming more and more common. I am sure the fact that the manager/airman was an FAA employee also had something to do with the decision to prosecute. After all, the FAA wouldn’t want to appear arbitrary or capricious in seeking criminal prosecution of non-employees when it let an employee off with “only” a revocation proceeding.
These cases are not new. However, the potential consequences in this situation can be severe. Applicants should think long and hard about both the benefits (issuance of a medical certificate) and the costs (criminal prosecution, certificate revocation etc.) when deciding what information to disclose or omit from an application for a medical certificate.