US federal authorities are investigating nearly 5,000 pilots suspected of falsifying medical records to hide that they were receiving benefits for health conditions that could compromise the safety of their flights. The Washington Post newspaper. These pilots are military veterans who do not disclose that they also receive disability benefits that affect their ability to fly safely.
Pilots who examined their records were military veterans who reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that they were fit to fly but failed to disclose that they were also receiving veterans benefits for various disabilities that could prevent them from flying. Cockpit of an airplane. Pilot.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) investigators discovered discrepancies in the records two years ago, but the FAA has not publicly released many aspects of the investigation, according to the report.
Matthew Lehner, a spokesman for the FAA, told the newspaper that about half of the cases have been closed. The spokesman added that 60 pilots who “pose a clear risk to aviation safety” will – for the time being – be barred from entering the cockpit while authorities review their records.
Nearly 600 of the pilots under investigation are licensed to fly with civilians on passenger airlines, according to sources who spoke to The Post.
Pilots are required to undergo regular health checks, but according to The Post, the checks are not always comprehensive. According to doctors who spoke to the newspaper and oversee the screenings, the FAA relies on pilots to disclose conditions that officials may not recognize, including depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
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