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Aviaton Safety - Lying On Your Medical - A Good Idea?

by John M. White |

On October 14th, 2009 pilot Mark Mahaney took off from his home in a Robinson R-22 beta helicopter enroute to the Tahlequah airport in Oklahoma. Also on board was a passenger, Darci Scraper age 20. Robinson R22 Beta Neither arrived safely at the airport because the helicopter crashed about 1 mile from the airport killing both on board. It turns out that pilot Mahaney had been up all night watching movies, and had taken several prescription pain killers which had been prescribed for him after a tooth extraction the day before the crash. While that is bad enough, it turns out that the FAA had sent Mahaney a letter of investigation alleging falsification of information on his April 2008 medical certificate application. The FAA referenced 3 alcohol related driving incidents on his driving record. At the time of the accident he was facing another charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and had been fined twice in the previous month for driving on a suspended license. He was also being investigated for failing to install or disconnecting an ignition interlock device required of DUI offenders. None of these incidents had been reported on his application for his FAA medical certificate as required by the FAA. The question that arises is why it takes so long for the FAA to get around to investigating falsification of material facts on medical certificate applications? This investigation started some 18 months after he had applied for his medical certificate! You just have to love these huge government bureaucracies! What do you think? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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