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DWI And Your Pilots License FAR 61.15 And 61.16

October 1, 2014 - A Texas Man who held a commercial pilot certificate was indicted for flying an airplane without a valid airman certificate. Last Tuesday, Hal Tom, Jr. was indicted in U.S. District Court, Oxford, Mississippi, for knowingly and willfully operating an aircraft in air transportation without a valid airman's certificate. 

On June 27, and June 28, 2013, Tom acted as Pilot in Command of a Cessna 182 Light Airplane on a flight from Texas to New Jersey. During the flight, Tom ran out of fuel and the aircraft incurred damage to the right wing during an emergency off airport landing in Clarksdale, Mississippi. 

After refueling the airplane with improper fuel, Tom continued the flight to New Jersey with a damaged right wing. Tom did not have a valid airman certificate at the time of this flight because it had been revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for making false statements regarding an alcohol related offense.


The DUI/DWI compliance program which began in November 1990 by Congressional act requires all pilots who have been involved in an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action under FAA regulations, FAR 61.15 to send a Notification Letter to FAA’s Security and Investigations Division within 60 calendar days of the offence (Offenses involving alcohol or drugs). 

There are some pilots under the belief that if they are pulled over for a DWI that they should not take the breathalyzer test. These folks believe by not taking the breathalyzer, the best the state can do is take your license away, and hence not reportable to the FAA. Wong, under FAR 61.16, a pilot must report his/her license suspension for failure to submit to a chemical test (§61.16   Refusal to submit to an alcohol test).



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