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What is PPS?

Why you need AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services

Even the most experienced pilot can get distracted by a passenger or have a momentary bout of task saturation while trying to copy an amended clearance on climbout, resulting in an inadvertent deviation from an ATC instruction that ultimately gets the attention of the FAA.
Photography by Chris Rose.
Photography by Chris Rose.

AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services knows that your pilot and medical certificates mean everything to you, and that’s why its trusted Legal Services Plan attorneys and medical certification specialists are here to help protect them when things don’t go as planned. With an average of nearly 4,500 aviation-related legal matters and more than 1,000 medical certification-related cases per year, the calls AOPA receives from plan participants run the gamut.

By a wide margin, the most common type of call we get from pilots has to do with some sort of deviation. These are the type of matters that typically begin with air traffic control asking a pilot to call a telephone number after landing and could be the result of a pilot not complying with ATC instructions, inadvertently flying into controlled airspace, penetrating a TFR, or not flying the published departure procedure.

Aircraft accidents and incidents include everything from a runway incursion, off-airport landing, or the FBO towing your airplane into a light pole, to ground loops and hard landings. These also tend to be the most challenging cases because the pilot may be coping with a traumatic experience while simultaneously facing an NTSB investigation, possible FAA action, or other serious legal issues arising from injuries or damage to property.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling an airplane, or you need guidance on how to set up an LLC or corporation for your aircraft, we have a national network of more than 650 panel attorneys who can walk you and your CPA through the process based on the applicable state laws that may apply.

And although BasicMed is the hot topic these days, medical certification calls we receive relate to the FAA requiring a pilot to provide additional medical information or seeking the pilot’s surrender of his or her airman medical certificate. There is usually a short window of time to respond to these types of FAA letters, so if you receive one, plan participants should contact our office as soon as possible to speak with someone to help you understand your options prior to responding to the FAA.

These are just some of the topics the Legal Services Plan attorneys and medical
certification specialists handle daily. Pilot Protection Services is an AOPA members-only benefit, and one that we provide to thousands of pilots.

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