5,000 US pilots accused of falsifying medical history PHOTO/ DAILY
NEW YORK – Nearly 5,000 pilots in the United States (US) are being investigated for allegedly falsifying medical records to hide mental health problems and other serious conditions.
As reported by The Washington Post, Tuesday (29/8/2023), several pilots investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are military veterans.
They claimed to be quite healthy, but received military veterans’ benefits for the disabled. That situation could lead to them being grounded.
A Veterans Affairs (VA) investigative team found data inconsistencies dating back more than two years after reviewing federal databases. However, the FAA is said to have kept most of these cases secret from the public.
FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner said in a statement that the agency was investigating about 4,800 pilots who allegedly provided false or incorrect information in their medical documents.
The FAA closed half of the 4,800 cases and banned about 60 pilots known to pose a flight safety risk from entering the cockpit.
According to a senior US official, about 600 of the pilots under investigation were licensed to fly passenger aircraft. The rest have commercial licenses to fly cargo planes, are corporate clients, or belong to travel companies.
Experts say the investigation uncovered longstanding flaws in the FAA’s medical system for screening pilots, while unreported health problems pose a risk to flight safety.
Although pilots are required to pass a government health test, this is often done in passing, while the FAA relies on the pilots themselves to report their health status.