In the normal certificate enforcement action, the F.A.A. sends a notice of proposed certificate action and the pilot has 10 days to request an informal conference or appeal to the N.T.S.B. (among other options). If appealed, a hearing will be set, usually within 60 days. During the time the case is pending, the pilot retains his certificates and can fly as pilot in command.

Not so in an emergency revocation proceeding. If the F.A.A. determines that an immediate safety hazard exists, it may issue an order revoking a pilot’s certificate right then and there. Then, under the “Hoover Bill” legislation, the pilot has only 48 hours to appeal the emergency aspect of the revocation.

As with all other time restrictions, the appeal time is enforced. If timely filed, the N.T.S.B. will determine whether or not a genuine emergency exists within five days. Unfortunately, the track record for challenging emergency revocation determinations is rather poor. Statistically, about 95% of emergency revocations are upheld. Under the procedural rules; the N.T.S.B. determination that a genuine emergency exists is not appealable. The N.T.S.B. will finally determine the matter within 60 days and, all the while, the pilot is without his or her certificate.

As indicated, there is no time to waste you should receive an emergency revocation letter from the F.A.A. Action must be taken right away.
by Richard T. Miller, Specialist in Aviation Law – (818) 994-8234