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  1. #1
    Flyingfarmer Guest

    Fly without license?

    I know of a few people that know a few people that fly without a license in very rural areas. Anybody know of what consequenses are out there other than the liability of an accident? Just curious considering the FAA?

  2. #2
    luma Guest
    FAA? Why, they are going to revoke your certificate. Oh, wait, you don't have one...


    But seriously, I think there is some statute with criminal penalties for that. I am sure someone will chime in with the details shortly.

  3. #3
    psycodude Guest
    Definitely a hefty fine and or some jail time.

  4. #4
    Warever Guest
    There was a story a year or two ago about some guy who took a lawn chair and tied a bunch of balloons to it. I forget the exact details, but I seem to remember that he got off the ground and flew right through the LAX Class B airspace. He made it back down by popping the balloons one by one.

    Of course, he didn't have a PPL.

    I don't remember the exact penalties, but they arrested him and I think he had to pay a bunch of fines (might have had to do jail time - as I said, I don't remember the details) for flying without a valid certificate. Probably some other stuff.

  5. #5
    TheRealOrange Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingfarmer View Post
    I know of a few people that know a few people that fly without a license in very rural areas. Anybody know of what consequenses are out there other than the liability of an accident? Just curious considering the FAA?
    Well, I don't know how often it is used, but there is a federal criminal statute, and the Department of Justice could file criminal charges:

    Title 49 U.S. Code § 46306

    Registration violations involving aircraft not providing air transportation

    (a) Application.— This section applies only to aircraft not used to provide air transportation.

    (b) General Criminal Penalty.— Except as provided by subsection (c) of this section, a person shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both, if the person—

    (1) - (6) [ommitted]

    (7) knowingly and willfully serves or attempts to serve in any capacity as an airman without an airman’s certificate authorizing the individual to serve in that capacity.

    As for the FAA, they are not in the criminal prosecution business, but I believe they have some civil enforcement powers. They may have the power to levy a civil penalty, and the failure to pay might result in the government confiscating property the non-certifcated person owns to sell to pay the penalty. I have also heard that they are able to obtain an injunction forbidding the person from flying illegally again. Once that is done, and if the person is caught flying without a certificate again, the court could put the person in jail for civil contempt of the court order.

    I am not sure how often any of these things are used, but there are possible consequences.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    5,476
    I've often wondered about slightly different question of whether or not the FAA could successfully bring an enforcement action against a certificated pilot if the infraction occurred while not using the privileges of the certificate. For example, let's say I'm a private ASEL and I go out and fly my cool new flying suit in a manner that busts some airspace. In that case, is that pilot guilty of anything (aside from stupidity or hubris)? Does it make any difference if this pilot straps some jet engines to his ankles and then does a low pass at JFK?

    I would think there'd have to be some law about endangering the public or some such - isn't that the general idea behind how they arrest BASE jumpers?

  7. #7
    With that username it should not be a problem.
    The Flying Farmer retired a few years ago though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj-CYjE-RWY

  8. #8
    TheRealOrange Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by WesJones View Post
    I've often wondered about slightly different question of whether or not the FAA could successfully bring an enforcement action against a certificated pilot if the infraction occurred while not using the privileges of the certificate. For example, let's say I'm a private ASEL and I go out and fly my cool new flying suit in a manner that busts some airspace. In that case, is that pilot guilty of anything (aside from stupidity or hubris)? Does it make any difference if this pilot straps some jet engines to his ankles and then does a low pass at JFK?

    I would think there'd have to be some law about endangering the public or some such - isn't that the general idea behind how they arrest BASE jumpers?
    Not sure about the first part, but I recall BASE jumpers being charged by local law enforcement with stuff like trespassing and reckless endangerment. If the flying suit or ankle jet engine system are "eligible for registration," then the same statute could apply:

    (a) Application.— This section applies only to aircraft not used to provide air transportation.

    (b) General Criminal Penalty.— Except as provided by subsection (c) of this section, a person shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both, if the person—

    (5) owns an aircraft eligible for registration under section 44102 of this title and knowingly and willfully operates, attempts to operate, or allows another person to operate the aircraft when—

    (A) the aircraft is not registered under section 44103 of this title or the certificate of registration is suspended or revoked; or

    (B) the owner knows or has reason to know that the other person does not have proper authorization to operate or navigate the aircraft without registration for a period of time after transfer of ownership;

    (6) knowingly and willfully operates or attempts to operate an aircraft eligible for registration under section 44102 of this title knowing that—

    (A) the aircraft is not registered under section 44103 of this title;

    (B) the certificate of registration is suspended or revoked; or

    (C) the person does not have proper authorization to operate or navigate the aircraft without registration for a period of time after transfer of ownership;
    I'm betting there is probably something else that covers aircraft not eligible for registration, but I haven't looked for it.

  9. #9
    In the SW US it is not common, but it is not rare. I even know of one individual who is/was tooling around in a 210 with no N#. The 210 was... interesting. He just avoids towered airports or anyplace where he might have to communicate. One of the fatal accidents out of ELP was an individual who launched into IMC in a twin with no medical, instrument rating or MEL rating. Unfortunately he took others with him.
    I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted. But in my personal opinion, around here at least, it is inevitable that if you fly that way (no transponder, no communications, flying in and out of remote strips), that some government agency will become interested in your movements and express an interest in meeting you and your airplane.

  10. #10
    Flyingfarmer Guest
    Thanks for the replies. I was curious, so has anyone know of actual convictions and consequenses for flying without a certificate? Other than the ballon guy, or pilots in controlled airspace. Hopefully Mr. Lehnert doesn't mind me keeping my internet N number (username). That was an amazing video of some real talent.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    1,681
    Well, in Alaska, the estimates for the percentage of the population that has never been formally trained / has never been licensed varies from 30-70%, depending on how far out in the bush you are, and who you're talking to.

    Generally, if you roll your plane into a ball and the FAA comes sniffing around, and finds out you don't have a license, they make really threatening noises and tell you to go get your license or else. Makes the grumpiest folks you ever met with fresh PPL's. (Yes, Sus, I know I should call it a certificate. sorry.)

    I know there was one guy what flat-out refused, few years back. FAA ended up getting a court order to forbid him from flying without a license, then threatened him with contempt of court if he didn't get trained or stop flying. But generally, there's a LOT of Alaska, and very, very few places that train - so most folks learn from their parents or friends, just like kids on the road system learn to drive...

    And we haven't even started on the number of folks that haven't had a medical in years and couldn't care less.

  12. #12
    AK. Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyingfarmer View Post
    I know of a few people that know a few people that fly without a license in very rural areas. Anybody know of what consequenses are out there other than the liability of an accident? Just curious considering the FAA?
    there are people flying without certificates/licenses in major metropolitan areas ...

  13. #13
    angryweb Guest
    I'm sure post-9/11 FAA takes this kind of thing very seriously. If you can get arrested for driving a car without a license I would hate to see the reaction of the FAA.

  14. #14
    luma Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by angryweb View Post
    I'm sure post-9/11 FAA takes this kind of thing very seriously. If you can get arrested for driving a car without a license I would hate to see the reaction of the FAA.
    Well, the FAA is not police, they can't arrest you. Actually, since the pilot license is required by a federal statute, if it comes to that, I guess you would have to be arrested by FBI or US Marshals?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Louis/Omaha
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    4,969
    Quote Originally Posted by luma View Post
    Well, the FAA is not police, they can't arrest you. Actually, since the pilot license is required by a federal statute, if it comes to that, I guess you would have to be arrested by FBI or US Marshals?
    What license?


 

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