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FAA Investigations and
Certificate Actions
Steven M. Taber
Taber Law Group, P.C.
Irvine, California
[email protected]
FAA Legal Enforcement Begins with
Three Different Types of FAA Letters
 Letter of Investigation (LOI). From the FAA Inspector.
 Notice of Proposed Certificate Action (NPCA) or Notice
of Proposed Civil Penalty (NPCP). From an FAA
 Order of Suspension, Revocation or Civil Penalty. From
an FAA attorney.
Letter of Investigation
 FAA is required to give the targeted airman a “timely” notice of
 The LOI must state:
 Response is legally required;
 No adverse inference can be taken by the FAA if no response is
 Must warn that response may be used in evidence against
airman; and
 FAA Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) and ATC data will be
 Probably a good idea to contact a lawyer to assist in deciding if
when, how and who responds to the LOI.
Notice of Proposed Certificate Action
or Proposed Civil Penalty
 Offers series of options, including
 Admission of guilt, and acceptance of penalty;
 Proceed directly to Hearing;
 Informal Conference.
 Strongly suggest that you obtain legal counsel in order
handle this type of Notice.
 Enforcement Investigative Report
 At this point you and your attorney will ask the FAA for
“releasable portions of the EIR” to prepare for the informal
Order of Suspension, Revocation or
Civil Penalty
 While legal counsel is never mandatory, this comes the
closest to being mandatory.
 Appeal deadline is only 20 days from the time of service,
which is the date that FAA sent the Order, not the date you
received it.
 Thus, once you receive such an Order, you should call your
attorney as soon as possible to discuss your strategy.
 Filing an Appeal stays the effectiveness of the Order
(except an Emergency Order).
 FAA will then file the Order as a Complaint with the NTSB.
Ways to Protect Yourself
 File an report under the Aviation Safety Reporting
Program with NASA
 Eliminates sanction, but does not eliminate finding of
 Can only claim once every five years
 Join AOPA Legal Services
 If you have legal questions, talk to a lawyer
Contact Information
Steven M. Taber
Taber Law Group, P.C.
P.O. Box 60036
Irvine, California 92602
(949) 735-8217
E-mail: [email protected]
Twitter: @TaberLawGroup