8900.1 CHG 422



Section 5  Respond to Legal Request for Deposition or Appearance in Court Trials and Formal Hearings

Indicates new/changed information.

14-2-5-1    REPORTING SYSTEM(S). Use Safety Assurance System (SAS) Activity Recording (AR) and use activity codes 1743, 3747, and 5747, as appropriate.

14-2-5-3    OBJECTIVE. This task provides guidance to the inspector on how to prepare to give testimony in court or at a hearing, and for giving depositions.

14-2-5-5    GENERAL.

A.    Definitions.

1)    Deposition. A written statement made under oath that may be used in court.
2)    Hearing. Judicial investigation or trial before a court.
3)    Appearance. To be present in court either personally or through an attorney.
4)    Subpoena. A legal document requiring a person to provide evidence and/or testimony on matters under investigation.
Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Coordination. The inspector may be called upon to give testimony in any number of situations, such as accident/incident investigations, enforcement cases, civil cases, criminal cases, etc. In all of these cases, the inspector must coordinate with the responsible Flight Standards office and/or Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforcement counsel.

C.    Preparation for Formal Proceedings.

1)    The inspector should review any written statements (given by witnesses or prepared by the inspector) and the inspector’s notes, memoranda, etc., made during the investigation.
2)    It is recommended that the inspector prepare for the formal proceeding by developing a qualifications statement which substantiates the inspector’s appearance as an expert witness. A complete qualifications statement would include:

    Inspector’s full name;


    Years of aviation experience;

    Type of experience;

    Term of employment with the FAA;

    Outline of inspector’s major duties;

    FAA certificates held; and

    Any additional qualifications.

D.    Demeanor. The inspector should appear for the proceeding promptly and with the reference material in hand. The following guidelines are useful for presenting expert testimony:

1)    All questions should be answered briefly and concisely with “yes” or “no” and without elaboration whenever possible.
2)    Upon questioning, the inspector should pause briefly so that the inspector’s counsel has time for comment.
3)    The inspector should be certain that the questioner has completed the question before answering and should not anticipate the question.
4)    It is best to be certain that the question was fully understood before answering. If it was not, a repetition or rephrasing of the question is appropriate.
5)    The inspector must not offer personal opinions unless requested by counsel to do so.
6)    Whenever using technical terms, the inspector should speak more slowly in order to be understood and avoid the use of acronyms or jargon such as, “Flight Standards District Office (FSDO),” “pilot in command (PIC),” etc.
7)    If uncertain of the answer, the inspector should acknowledge insufficient knowledge or expertise to answer the question.
8)    The inspector must not argue with the opposing attorney.
9)    If important information comes to mind while testifying, the inspector should inform counsel after giving testimony.
10)    All pertinent reference material should be readily available.


A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.), Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Volume 1 of this order, knowledge of the appropriate report (accident, incident, enforcement, etc.) at issue, and qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI).

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Coordination. This task requires coordination with the appropriate responsible Flight Standards office and FAA enforcement counsel, and possible coordination with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 1 and 13, as well as all regulations relevant to the area of violation.

    FAA Order 2150.3, FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program.

    FAA Order 8020.11, Aircraft Accident and Incident Notification, Investigation, and Reporting.

    Title 49 U.S.C.

Indicates new/changed information.

B.    Forms. FAA Form 1360-33, Record of Visit, Conference, or Telephone Call.

C.    Job Aids. None.

14-2-5-11    PROCEDURES.

Indicates new/changed information.

A.    Open a SAS AR Record. Open the appropriate SAS AR record upon notification to respond.

B.    Preparation. Upon notification to give a deposition or testify in court, prepare as follows:

1)    Review the background information in any associated report.
2)    Review applicable CFR, orders, or handbooks.
Indicates new/changed information.
3)    Meet with FAA enforcement counsel for preparation.
4)    Prepare a qualifications statement. (See subparagraph 14-2-5-5C2) above.)

C.    Formal Proceedings. Appear for deposition or hearing.

Indicates new/changed information.

D.    Close the SAS AR Record. Complete the SAS AR record after appearance.

14-2-5-13    TASK OUTCOMES. As a result of this task, the inspector is prepared to give testimony and may appear for a deposition or hearing.

14-2-5-15    FUTURE ACTIVITIES. The inspector may be recalled for additional testimony or deposition.

14-2-5-17 through 14-2-5-31 RESERVED.