Pilot Certificate Actions

Pilot certificate actions refer to the administrative actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in response to violations or non-compliance with aviation regulations by pilots. These actions can range from minor administrative penalties to more severe consequences, such as suspension or revocation of a pilot’s certificate.

If you have committed violations or failed to comply with aviation regulations, you shall receive a letter from the FAA regarding pilot certificate actions that can affect your investment in the years of obtaining your pilot certification.

What are the types of Pilot Certificate Action Letters?

  1. Notice of Proposed Certificate Action (NOPCA)- This letter is a formal notification sent by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a pilot informing them of the agency’s intent to take action against their pilot certificate. It is a step in the enforcement process initiated by the FAA when they believe there has been a violation of aviation regulations.
  2. Letter of Investigation- This letter is a formal communication sent by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to an individual who violates the Federal Aviation Regulations which includes:
    • failure to report a DUI on your medical application
    • part 135 operations
    • disqualifying medical condition
    • disqualifying medication use
    • restricted airspace violation
  3. Emergency Order of Revocation- A mechanic or pilot’s career, or operators business may be in jeopardy if you receive an Emergency Order of Revocation or Suspension from the FAA. Emergency Orders may demand to surrender the licenses and/or certificates and may be subject to serious financial and legal consequences if not taken into action immediately.

Most orders of suspension and revocation may be appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB). However, only a dedicated aviation attorney knows the particular process from the FAA inspector level, to NTSB Administrative Law Judge appeal process, until the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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