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Ch. 2 – FAA Enforcement

1) You are flying a private aircraft from Salt Lake City, Utah to Los Angeles, California, under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Over the Mojave Desert, you contact Los Angeles  Center and request  radar flight following to the Camarillo Airport. Center assigns you a transponder code with  instructions to “squawk ident” and a moment later the pleasant sounding controller advises you:  “Radar contact 3 miles north of the Mojave Airport. We had a report that you may have entered  restricted airspace, so please give us a call at 213-666-1234 when you get on the ground.”

a. What will you reply? Why?

b. What do you intend to do once you arrive at your destination? Why?

c. After landing, you are tying down the aircraft when a person approaches and asks: “FAA.

Are you the pilot of this aircraft?” What will you reply? What will you do?


d. The FAA inspector then asks: “May I see your airman and medical certificates and the

aircraft registration and airworthiness certificates, please?” What will you say? What will you do? Why?

e. The inspector, who is now holding your documents, states: “I’m going to need to take these back to the office to make some copies. If you’ll give me the address where you’re staying, I’ll have them returned to you in a couple of hours.” What will you say? What will you do? Why?

f. The inspector ignores your response and heads for the parking lot with your documents. What will you do? Why?

g. Now the inspector turns nice, almost apologetic, saying: “Look, I think you’re blowing

this way out of proportion. We received an incident report and I have to investigate it. The

sooner I get your answers to a few questions, the sooner I can complete my report and close the file on this. Now, where did you just fly this airplane in from?” Is the inspector lying to you about closing the file? What will you reply? Why?

h. The inspector departs. Are there any other actions that you have not yet taken but should? If so, describe each and state the reason for it.

i. A few days later, you receive a phone call from a person who identifies himself as an FAA inspector and inquires: “I’ve been assigned to investigate a report that you flew through Restricted Area R-2505 over by Nellis Air Force Base without permission. What can you tell me about that?” What will you reply? Why?

j. Three weeks later, you receive a letter from the FAA inspector (Fig. WB 2.1). Are you

required to respond to this letter? If you do, can your response be used as evidence to suspend or revoke your pilot certificate? What will you do now? Why?

2. You are flying a corporate turboprop from Miami to Chicago under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Your course takes you through a cold front with imbedded thunderstorms. ATC clears

you to climb and maintain Flight Level (FL) 190. You encounter moderate to occasionally severe turbulence in strong updrafts and downdrafts along the front. You have slowed the aircraft to its

turbulence penetration speed to avoid overstressing the airframe when you encounter the strongest updraft yet just as you are approaching your assigned altitude. You are using all of your skill and

knowledge trying to arrest your ascent without exceeding the aircraft’s turbulence penetration speed, but the updraft carries you above your assigned altitude. Just then, the controller calls

and instructs you to “say altitude.” Glancing at the encoding altimeter, you see that you are at FL 200 and have just begun a gradual descent with the power levers retarded to flight idle. You

cannot descend more rapidly without exceeding turbulence penetration speed and thereby risking structural failure if more turbulence is encountered.

a. What will you respond to ATC? Why?

b. If you were expecting to encounter turbulence or updrafts and downdrafts that might make

altitude holding difficult while traversing this area of bad weather, what could you have done before reaching the area to give yourself more vertical maneuvering room?

c. As a result of the altitude deviation, what actions will you take after landing? Why?

3. You are the pilot in command of a light twin arriving VFR on a crosscountry flight with radar  flight following in an unfamiliar area. Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) prevail, though visibility is marginal at 3 to 5 miles. ATC advises you that your destination airport, an uncontrolled field, is “12 o’clock and 10 miles.” Moments later, you see an airport straight ahead with

the expected runway orientation, report the airport in sight, and land. Then you realize you’ve landed at the wrong airport and that your destination is several miles beyond this one.

a. What will you do and why?

b. A few weeks later, you receive a letter from the FAA (Fig. WB 2.2). Are you required to comply? If you comply, who must pay for the aircraft for the reexamination?

c. If you do not promptly submit to the requested reexamination, what can the FAA do about it?

  1. You are an aircraft mechanic with airframe and powerplant (A&P) ratings. You work the night  shift at a shop that does a high volume of inspections and maintenance on a wide variety of

general aviation aircraft. You are awakened at home at 8:00 a.m. by a phone call from a person  who identifies herself as an FAA inspector and asks: “Did you perform a left wing repair on

Cessna N7173M?”

    1. What will you reply? Why?
    2. What else will you do? Why?
  1. You have inadvertently violated an FAR.
  1. If the FAA doesn’t know about your violation, will it find out because you file an Aviation

Safety Report with NASA?

  1. Should you wait until you find out whether the FAA is going to take some enforcement action against you before filing a NASA Aviation Safety Report? Why?
  2. If the FAA finds out about the violation, what difference will it make if you have filed an

Aviation Safety Report with NASA?

  1. What are the disadvantages of filing an Aviation Safety Report with NASA?
  2. May you be able to qualify for remedial training instead of suspension or revocation of your pilot certificate? Why?

6. You receive a Notice of Proposed Certificate Action signed by an FAA attorney notifying you  that the FAA believes you have violated one or more FARs and intends to suspend your certificate

for 180 days. A form is attached that offers you the opportunity for an informal conference with the FAA attorney.

  1. What is the purpose of an informal conference?
  2. Can statements you make at the informal conference later be used by the FAA as evidence against you?
  3. If the informal conference does not lead to the resolution of the case, what will be the FAA’s next move?

7 . The FAA issues an Order of Suspension against your certificate.

a. Do you have the right to appeal that order? If so, to whom? on?

b.Do you have the right to a jury trial at any point in an appeal from an FAA certificate action?

  1. Who has the burden of proof at the hearing? Must your guilt be proved beyond a reasonable doubt?
  2. If, after hearing the evidence, the judge feels that the FAA is being too soft on you, does the

judge have the authority to impose a longer period of suspension than the FAA has ordered or to order revocation of your certificate instead of suspension?

  1. Does the judge have the authority to change the suspension to a fine?
  2. Can the judge’s initial decision be appealed further? If so, by whom and to whom?

g.Will you get a new hearing at that next level of appeal?

h.Can the full NTSB’s decision be appealed further? If so, by whom and to whom?

i.Will you get a new trial on that appeal?



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