FAA Emergency Action Revisited

FAA Emergency Action Revisited What's the solution? By Stephen P. Prentice April 2000 Stephen P. Prentice is an attorney whose practice involves FAA-NTSB issues. He has an Airframe and Powerplant certificate and is an ATP rated pilot...


Federal court review
Although the Federal Courts of Appeal have the power to review the emergency nature of a case, their review will generally be too little, too late, and expensive. Most certificate holders do not have the cash to go forward at the Court of Appeals level. Board review, on the other hand, would cost nothing! Nevada Airlines vs Bond established review by the Court of Appeal of the emergency, but most cases likely will have been completed on the merits by the board before appellate review is completed, making the decision moot. An immediate independent examination of the emergency issue by the NTSB would provide a solution.

Right or privilege?
Many have suggested that if the FAA lawyers had their license to practice law pulled without an opportunity for a prior hearing, there would be a huge outcry by the lawyers. Of course, this could not happen, so why should it happen to AMTs or other licensed persons?
FAA lawyers would contend that your license to operate is a privilege and not a right; however, the FAA lawyers would also maintain that their license to practice law is their right rather than a privilege. What's the difference? A pilot's or mechanic's loss of his certificates would be every bit as grievous as a lawyer's loss of his license to practice law. The same procedures and constitutional protections should apply to certificated technicians as those that apply to the FAA attorneys.

What do you think?

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