FAA’s Letter of Investigation
What happens if a Special Agent at the FAA’s Regulatory Investigations Division sends you a “Letter of Investigation” after discovering that you either:
- failed to disclose a reportable action or actions associated with an alcohol and/or drug related motor vehicle incident;
- failed to disclose the alcohol and/or drug incident on a medical application; or
- failed to make any written report of any alcohol related motor vehicle action associated with the incident within sixty (60) days as prescribed by the Code of Federal Regulations.
After the discovery, a Special Agent at the Regulatory Investigations Division of the FAA will send you a certified letter informing you of the following:
- the matter is under investigation as a possible violation of the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 14);
- the FAA is conducting an investigation to determine whether the violation should be imposed, and if so, what, if any enforcement action should be taken.
According to the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, the FAA will inform you of the following:
- You are not required to make any oral or written response to the allegation.
- No action can be taken or adverse inference can be made against you for declining to respond to this letter of investigation.
- But any response by you to the “Letter of Investigation” or to an inquiry made by a representative of the FAA Administrator in connection with the investigation may be used as evidence against you.
If the investigation results in a legal enforcement action against your airman certificate, the releasable portions of the Administrator’s investigation report will be made available to you upon your written request address to the FAA’s legal counsel handling the enforcement action.
Attorney for Pilots During FAA Investigations
As an experienced DUI defense attorney, Ms. Sammis has represented pilots charged with DUI and other crimes involving drugs or alcohol in Florida.
She is also contacted by criminal defense attorneys throughout the country to give advice on how to disclose a reportable action or actions associated with an alcohol and/or drug related motor vehicle incident.
Attorney Leslie Sammis can also explain the best way to properly disclose the drug or alcohol incident on a medical application.
If you received a letter of investigation from a Special Agent at the Regulatory Investigations Division, then contact attorney Leslie Sammis.
An attorney can help you determine what action you should take including whether you should immediately come into compliance with the reporting requirements and then explaining why the violation occurred.
Attorney Leslie Sammis can also help you understand the pros and cons of reaching a prompt settlement with the FAA or contesting the administrative action during a formal hearing.
If you receive correspondence that imposes a deadline, do NOT miss that deadline. Act quickly.
FAA’s Prompt Settlement Policy
As explained in the FAA’s Letter of Investigation, you may be preliminarily eligible to settle the case under the FAA’s Prompt Settlement Policy, as published in 85 Federal Register 60057 on September 24, 2020.
A copy of the policy and guidance is available at www.faa.gov/go/duidwi.
If you wish to settle your case under the policy, you might be invited to notify the FAA in writing within 10 days of receipt of the letter.
If you choose not to enter into a prompt settlement with the FAA and you want to provide a statement and/or evidence in response to the investigation.
If the Special Agent of the Regulatory Investigation Division at the FAA does not hear from you within the specified time, then the report will be processed without the benefit of your statement.
This article was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020.