Your pilot and medical certificates mean everything and AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services’ trusted legal counselors and medical certification specialists can help protect them. We assist thousands of members each year with certificate-related legal and medical issues. Fly with the peace of mind that, as pilots, we’re here to help keep you flying.

Be prepared for these potential complications: What happens…

What if I’m asked to call ATC about an alleged airspace violation?

While your first thought might be to call and explain what happened, it’s frequently best to think it through first. The AOPA Legal Services Plan can advise you of your rights and when it might be beneficial to speak to the FAA. We’ll also help you determine if submitting a NASA form would help protect your certificate from possible FAA enforcement action.

What happens if FAA contacts me about a potential enforcement action?

If you have received a letter from the FAA (or think you might receive one), contact us immediately so we can inform you of your options. In many cases you’re required to respond to the FAA within a short period of time and having the support and guidance of an attorney can be invaluable.

What happens if I don’t send the correct medical records to the FAA?

Getting things off on the right foot with the FAA by providing them with the correct documentation not only leaves a positive first impression, but is a critical step in helping to avoid unwanted scrutiny of your records and unnecessary delays in the review and evaluation of your medical application. In fact, providing the FAA with improper records could result in a denial of medical certification if the information you provide reveals a disqualifying medical condition.

AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services - Medical Certification specialists will proactively review your medical records prior to submission to the FAA. By leveraging our expertise, you’ll benefit in two ways. First, we’ll make sure that you are providing the correct and complete information that the FAA requires to make a decision; and second, we’ll provide you with an experienced opinion about the likelihood for issuance of a medical certificate based on the facts contained in your records.

What happens once the FAA receives my medical records?

The FAA medical certification review is a complicated and bureaucratic process. Combined with the fact that many of the case histories submitted to the FAA are complex, complicated and consist of multiple medical conditions, it’s not unusual for airmen to wait weeks (or even longer) before they hear back from the FAA. This can be a frustrating and unsettling experience. That’s why AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services offers the “FAA Status Check” benefit. Upon your request and authorization, our Medical Certification specialists will submit periodic inquiries to the FAA in order to monitor the status of your case review and advocate on your behalf.

AOPA Legal Services Plan counselors will support and guide you through:

  • Lost comm incidents
  • Airspace violations
  • Runway incursions
  • FAA enforcement actions
  • US Customs matters
  • Drug and alcohol related issues

As a Plan participant, in-house counselors (and even representation by one of our panel attorneys) are just a phone call away.

AOPA Medical Certification specialists are also here to help:

  • Review your medical records before you submit them to the FAA (with Plus-level coverage)
  • Provide an experienced opinion about the likelihood of medical certificate issuance
  • Ask for a “FAA Status Check” that allows us to monitor the status of your case review and advocate on your behalf if needed

See AOPA Legal Services Plan Description for complete details and exclusions.