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NTSB Issues Substance Dependence Recommendation for Pilots

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has investigated a number of aircraft accidents in which the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had information to indicate, and was or should have been aware, that the pilot had a history of substance dependence, and in which the pilot’s substance dependence was relevant to the cause of the accident.  As a result of such investigations, the Safety Board is recommending several changes in policy regarding the evaluation of airmen with a known or suspected history of substance dependence.

The NTSB recommends that the FAA require that all airmen clinically diagnosed with substance dependence (including dependence on alcohol), as defined in 14 Code of Federal Regulations 67.107(a)(4)(ii), 67.207(a)(4)(ii), and 67.307(a)(4)(ii), who are medically certified by the FAA subsequent to such diagnosis, are followed under guidelines for special issuance of medical certificates for the period that they hold such certificates.  The NTSB has been advocating for this change since 2007.

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