Litigation before the National Transportation Safety Board and appeals to the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal of revocation and suspension actions taken against airmen by the Federal Aviation Administration.


  • Pilot deviations
  • DUI – Drugs or Alcohol
  • Refusal of a random drug test*
  • Failure of a random drug test
  • Incursions into restricted Airspace
  • Temporary Flight Restrictions Penetration
  • Expired Aircraft Registration
  • Airworthiness
  • False Response to Question 18v/18w on the Medical Application Form
  • Aircraft Confiscated by DEA, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
  • Altitude Deviation
  • Weight & Balance Issues
  • Fuel Exhaustion
  • Corporations/Personnel Aircraft
  • PIC Authority
  • Deviation from ATC Clearance
  • Careless or reckless operation of aircraft
  • Notice of Civil Penalty
  • Emergency Airman Certificate Revocations
  • Airport Owners and Federal Funds
  • Grant Assurances
  • Allegations of falsified records or applications for airman certificates
  • Allegations of falsified aircraft maintenance records
  • Allegations of low flying over congested areas
  • Allegations of flying un-airworthy aircraft
  • Allegations of flying in instrument meteorological conditions without an IFR flight plan
  • Aircraft crashes following fuel exhaustion/starvation
  • Declarations of emergencies created by improper/deficient pre-flight planning
  • FAA requests for a re-examination of the airman’s qualifications
  • Allegations of counterfeit aircraft parts
  • Other situations that may result in the FAA issuing an order suspending/revoking an airman’s certificate

PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a complete listing. Remember, Alan handles all things aviation.

* We could write volumes about “refusal of a random drug test.” The biggest thing to remember is DO NOT LEAVE THE FACILITY UNTIL THE DRUG TEST IS COMPLETED AND YOU ARE TOLD YOU CAN LEAVE. Please see the articles on this website on the subject of drug testing.

Read Alan’s articles on Airman Enforcement and Certificate Actions:

Pham Petition for Rehearing

On May 10, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rendered a decision in Pham v. NTSB and FAA, Case Nos. 21-1062 and 21-1083. The Court found the NTSB did not display sufficient deference to the FAA in imposing sanction. On May 20, 2022, Pham filed a Petition for Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc arguing the effect of the Court’s decision was to undermine the Pilot’s Bill of Rights. Congress, in passing the Pilots Bill of Rights, removed language from 49 USC Sec. 44709(d)(3) saying the NTSB was bound by the FAA’s policy guidance with respect to sanction.

FAA Announces New Enforcement Policy for Expired Airmen Medical Certificates

In an extraordinary act, the FAA has promulgated an enforcement policy notice declaring that it will not take enforcement action against airmen whose medical certificates expire from March 31, 2020 through June 30, 2020.  This policy will remain in force and effect...

If a Pilot Refuses or Fails a DoT Drug Test, is it in His Best Interest to Pretend to have a Drug Problem?

DOT drug testing is an unmitigated disaster.  The failures and abuses of DOT drug testing are being imposed on airmen who, if they cannot provide a sufficient quantity of urine, must confess to having a drug problem, even if they do not, if they want to fly.  Even...

An Airman’s Manifesto and Petition

As certificated airmen, we hold these facts and conclusions that follow to be self-evident:

An airman’s certificate is a property or liberty interest that cannot be suspended or revoked without affording the airman due process of law including notice and an opportunity for a hearing. See, e.g., White v. Franklin, 637 F.Supp. 601, 610-611 (N.D. Miss. 1986) (“In the present case, plaintiff’s license qualifies as a protectable property interest. ***In the present case, the defendants’ actions totally foreclosed the plaintiff’s opportunity to pursue his career as a flight examiner…As such, the plaintiff possessed a liberty interest requiring a Fifth Amendment due process hearing prior to deprivation.”), Tamura v. Federal Aviation

Staring into the Jaws of Defeat: Litigation Before The National Transportation Safety Board

You will hear these conversations in hushed tones outside courtrooms or over lunch during a break, “Why did the judge make that ruling?”  “How can the FAA call expert witnesses that were undisclosed?”  It is no secret among legal practitioners who appear before the...

An Airman’s Survival Guide to FAA Drug Testing

Drug testing is the bane of pilots and mechanics. According to 14 C.F.R. §120.107, “Each employer shall test each employee who performs a safety-sensitive function for evidence of Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Phencyclidine (PCP), and Amphetamines during each test...

PBR’s and Airmen’s Right to Silence

The author’s purpose in writing this article is to refine and expand our thoughts about the meaning of Section 2(b) of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, Pub. L. 112-153, August 3, 2012, 126 Stat. 1159 (hereinafter the “PBR”).

PBR’s and Enforcement of Investigative Report

On August 3, 2012, the President signed into law the Pilots’ Bill of Rights as Public Law 112-153 (the “PBR” or “Act”). Now that the PBR has become law, it is appropriate to look forward and speculate about the extent to which the Act will have any impact on precedent decided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) allowing the FAA to withhold certain portions of the Enforcement Investigative Report (“EIR”).

Government Implementation of Pilots’ Bill of Rights

The Pilots’ Bill of Rights, Public Law 112-153 (the “PBR” or “Act”) was signed by the President on August 3, 2012. Within days, the government began taking steps to implement the provisions of the Act.

NOTE: This section does not cover everything there is to know about Airman Enforcement and Certificate Actions.

The National Trial Lawyers
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