Justia Aviation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Professional Malpractice & Ethics
Siegel v. Administrator of the FAA
The DC Circuit denied a petition for review of the FAA's decision to revoke petitioner's pilot certification for knowingly operating an aircraft with narcotics on board. After petitioner's plane crash-landed due to an engine malfunction, a trooper doing a routine inventory of the aircraft's contents discovered three chocolate bars infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive agent in marijuana) in petitioner's briefcase.The court held that the sanction of revocation of petitioner's pilot certificate was not imposed arbitrarily, capriciously, nor in conflict with the law. The court held that the Board explicitly considered petitioner's mitigating factors and simply determined that they did not warrant a lighter sanction. The Board reasoned that knowingly transporting illegal narcotics on an aircraft, regardless of quantity or purpose, fell within the scope of 14 C.F.R. 91.19 and was grounds for a certificate revocation. Likewise, the fact that the marijuana was purchased in Colorado did not change the fact that marijuana was illegal under federal law and in federal airspace. Finally, the passage of 49 U.S.C. 44710 did not limit the FAA's authority to revoke certificates under 49 U.S.C. 44709. View "Siegel v. Administrator of the FAA" on Justia Law
Glorvigen v. Cirrus Design Corp.
This case required the Supreme Court to decide whether an airplane manufacturer owed a duty to a noncommercial pilot who, after purchasing an airplane from the manufacturer but failing to receive all of the flight training promised to him as part of that purchase, died when his airplane crashed. The district court found the manufacturer was negligent. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the manufacturer did not have a duty to provide training and that the claims were barred by the educational malpractice doctrine. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the manufacturer did not owe a duty to the pilot, and thus the district court erred in its judgment; and (2) accordingly, the Court did not reach, among other things, the issues of educational malpractice or causation. View "Glorvigen v. Cirrus Design Corp." on Justia Law