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Senior Advisor

A UA Bust Can Affect Your Pilot's Certificate

People who hold an FAA pilot's certificate (license) may find action taking against it if they violate UA rules.  This was reiterated by an FAA official at Oshkosh.

This puts the pilot of a UA at considerable risk as it is easy for the FAA to take administrative action against a certificate.  There is no due process as there is in a criminal court.  The FAA decides to violate you and you have an extremely difficult time defending yourself.

Further, the FAA rules are that the higher level of pilot certificate you hold, the greater the punishment than can be imposed.  What that means if is you hold an airline transport pilot (ATP) ticket and fly too near an airport, the punishment in the form of suspension of your license is likely to be much more stringent than if your 16 year old niece who is not a pilot is found guilty of the same infraction.  It's as if NASCAR drivers were fined much more for going 15 over the speed limit than a new driver would be.

The FAA's reasoning is that the more higly rated pilot is supposed to know better than the green operator.

The FAA has recently come out with some soothing words about punishment in general, saying they are going to resolve issues at fewer centers with the idea of having more uniform punishments and by emphaisizing education rather than punishment.  Maybe.

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