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Tier-2 Failure Disqualification Overturned

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
52
Three years after being disqualified for a Tier-II failure, HR has been notified by medical that my disqualification has been overturned. HR had me fill out another OF-306, Applicant Contact Form, and send an updated Resume. What should I expect next? Anyone ever been here?

My original TOL was from the March 2015 bid. I received another TOL from the July 2017 bid when I was told I would need to appeal my previous disqualification. Supposedly my previous Security Check adjudication was still valid a year ago. Will I have to go through that process again?

Thanks for any information. Beyond excited the work I did and money I spent got my DQ overturned.
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
52
Can you elaborate more on the whole story for others who might be DQ'd?
Long story short is I took the Tier II on 11/11/15. 4/29/16 I was notified I was DQed and diagnosed I feel erroneously as "Substance Dependent" under FAA Order 3930.3B, Appendix A Section 5 Mental, d. Admitted to a time of heavy drinking directly post college (I know it was stupid, but it happened and I paid the price).

5/3/16 the FAA pulled my aviators Second Class Medical.

See FAR 67.207 (a) (4), it's nearly the same as FAA Order 3930.3B, Appendix A Section 5 Mental, d.

I met with an Aviation Psychologist shortly after being notified who set me down a path of a HIMS like program to get my aviators medical back. Stopped drinking 5/19/16, and over the next few months took a Substance Abuse Evaluation, Neurocognitive Evaluation, Psychological Evaluation (done annually), AA weekly, Counseling bi-weekly, and subjected myself to random drug and alcohol testing to be done a minimum of 14 times in 12 months. All of this was out of my own pocket. I met with a HIMS AME and eventually got my aviators medical back under Special Issuance on 11/2/17.

After two years of abstinence I could prove via UAs I submitted an appeal of my ATC medical DQ. I was going through the hiring process again from the July 2017 bid at the time. They asked for another Psychological eval, and were able to use the one required for my aviators medical. I submitted that appeal in August 2018. I sat and waited and wrote a letter to both of my Senators asking if they could help expedite the process in December 2018. About a month after the shutdown I got the notice my medical was being given "special consideration", and got my official notice in March 2019.

I took my physical just over two weeks ago, and got the notice from HR on Friday.

I think I spent about $25k all said and done for my aviators medical, which also all applied to my ATC medical. I can't drink as long as I want to hold a medical, but whatever, I can go flying again.

That's the short version, believe it or not. It takes time, money, and a lot of patience, but a Tier-II disqualification is not the end. The FAA gives you very little to no guidance, but the employees are very helpful once you make your own plan. Use people who are familiar with the FAA and their requirements, I cannot stress this enough.
 
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JNev

Trusted Contributor
FAA
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436
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BWI Baltimore Tower
Lol all that because you said you were a heavy drinker at one point in your life?
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
52
I'm just glad that the whole thing appears to be over.

Looking online it appears the Secret clearance is good for 10 years, so theoretically I should be good if I was good to go from three years ago. Crossing my fingers that a class date should be coming soon. Any additional insight would be appreciated.

Thanks for the words of encouragement though!
 

Phillyman2633

Forum Sage
Messages
337
As to the clearance or hiring stuff I have nothing to add...if you're talking about the actual Academy, try not to sweat it. Nerves get the best of people, more so than any other factor I think. I was all fucked up because the voice rec killed me on my first day of PVs (back before the graded PVs, whenit was just straight pass/fail and you had one shot at a redo) I came in the 2nd day and was nervous as fuck and probably barely passed...now I'm certed at [L11 tower]. Just go with the flow, hit the books but dont overthink it, make sure to have a balance of golf/drinking on the weekends and you'll be fine. Also cross your fingers for terminal, because centers are for fuckin NERDS.
 
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semperfly

Active Member
Messages
82
Wow I definitely would not have continued if I were in your shoes. Great effort, and congrats!

I'm a CPC reapplying to the agency after leaving for a while. Anyway, I was just informed that I failed. Best part is that I did fine on it when I originally got hired by the agency a few years back.

At this point the only thing motivating me to continue is the curiosity about what I got flagged on.
 

MJ

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
2,584
I'm just glad that the whole thing appears to be over.

Looking online it appears the Secret clearance is good for 10 years, so theoretically I should be good if I was good to go from three years ago. Crossing my fingers that a class date should be coming soon. Any additional insight would be appreciated.

Thanks for the words of encouragement though!
That's not how it works. There's several threads here and in the FAQ explaining it.
 

FoggyWindow

Member
FAA
Messages
73
Facility
ZHU Houston Center
I failed my tier 2 and had to do an appeal as well. Picked up in 2011, failed tier 2, had to do the retake and failed that too. Lost my class 2 and had I not gotten a new job as an instructor I woulda lost my job in the contract tower I'd worked in the previous 4 years. Waited out sequestration and finally got my disqualification overturned. Went to academy and checked out at a center.

I agree with my girl Phillyman that the nerves are what get people at the academy. Overthinking is in a close 2nd.
 

November Golf

Member
Messages
22
I failed my tier 2 and had to do an appeal as well. Picked up in 2011, failed tier 2, had to do the retake and failed that too. Lost my class 2 and had I not gotten a new job as an instructor I woulda lost my job in the contract tower I'd worked in the previous 4 years. Waited out sequestration and finally got my disqualification overturned. Went to academy and checked out at a center.

I agree with my girl Phillyman that the nerves are what get people at the academy. Overthinking is in a close 2nd.
What was your reason for becoming tier 2 to start with if I may ask?
 

FoggyWindow

Member
FAA
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73
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ZHU Houston Center
What was your reason for becoming tier 2 to start with if I may ask?
Well, I used to fight professionally. My initial MMPI asked a few wonky questions that I took too literally. One of the ones I got flagged for asked if I would feel comfortable defending myself if I was threatened and I said yes, but not because I enjoy conflict, I just trained to fight every day for 8 years so I would just assume I had an advantage if some random dude started throwing punches at me. So after I was flagged I had to retake it, plus another 330ish question test that basically asked all the same Q's but worded differently. Then I had to sit with the FAA contracted psychologist for 8 hours and talk about my whole life. He was a dweeby little guy that had never played a team sport and didn't understand why I'd "choose a career where I could hurt people". I tried to explain that MMA isn't any different than playing football or rec league softball. Rugby and football are as violent, if not more. I was just utilizing a competitive outlet and nothing more. He also had a hang up about me enjoying "busting balls with my teammates", which he equated to inflicting emotional trauma on people who I was also inflicting physical trauma. It was the most horseshit conversation I've ever had. We ended up getting into an argument because I didn't understand why he felt playing sports was "an opportunity for me to hurt people". I got pissed off and said "haven't you ever played sports in your life? Why is it such a foreign idea to you that somebody enjoys competing?". We basically agreed to disagree and I left. His letter to the FAA said that he suspected I "had a personality disorder with anger issues as evident by my need to inflict trauma on others". In my appeal I had to pay a shrink at Harvard $800 to sit with me for 2 hours and we basically talked sports. He had played either baseball or football at Harvard, I can't remember which. He wrote me a clean bill and sent the letter to the FAA. The flight surgeon had that shrinks contract revoked as he'd wiped more people from the application process than anybody else by a wide margin. In my opinion it was an entirely unnecessary process. I had already been a controller with a medical clearance for 7 years with no issues.
 

semperfly

Active Member
Messages
82
Like everything in the FAA, this is just another example of the incompetence on all levels. Incredible hey will allow this to happen to experienced controllers that would help their staffing needs. I'd happily work at some Podunk shithole to allow someone else to leave. I have 10 years experience controlling and have passed these tests before. But I pick one wrong answer out of 400+ and I'm not fit for service in a govt job. Why don't they give this test to presidential candidates.
 

FoggyWindow

Member
FAA
Messages
73
Facility
ZHU Houston Center
I'm not sure what the rates are although I was curious myself. When I initially started the appeal the flight surgeon at ZBW told me he had good rate of getting people through on appeal. Not sure if it was him specifically or the FAA is just lenient on appeals.
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
52
That's not how it works. There's several threads here and in the FAQ explaining it.
Got the email today that my Background Investigation was sufficient and I was approved. Only an hour or so at the Security's desk.

Class date is imminent.
 

thesunisbright

Member
FAA
Messages
8
Facility
ZAN Anchorage Center
..

I think I spent about $25k all said and done for my aviators medical, which also all applied to my ATC medical. I can't drink as long as I want to hold a medical, but whatever, I can go flying again.
Curious what sort of costs were incurred to make the total so high?
 

bomber996

Active Member
Messages
52
Curious what sort of costs were incurred to make the total so high?
Lets see.... A lot of these will be estimates...

Fees for consulting with Aviation Psychologist: ~$3000
Substance Abuse and Neurocognitive Eval: ~$4700
Psychological Evaluation Done anually
#1: ~$6675
#2: ~$1750
#3: I've already paid $810, eval to be done in August, last one, will get final bill after
Counseling: $30/session (fantastic price), bi-monthly until Nov 2017, then monthly, you do the math
UA Tests (ETG plus minimum 7 panel drug): anywhere between $30-$140 per test done minimum 14 times in 12 months, you do the math, I know one year it was almost $2k
HIMS AME Meetings, every 3 months, 30 minutes at $300/hr: ~$2000, probably more for times our meetings went more than 30 minutes or she had to write up evals.

Mind you all this also got back my aviators medical first, then we fought the ATC DQ. I'm probably forgetting a lot of miscellaneous fees or tests here or there.

I made sure to get some of the best in the Denver area, where I was living at the time. Quality and experience with the FAA is not cheap, but it is totally worth it.
 

FightingIrish2012

Forum Sage
Messages
497
Lets see.... A lot of these will be estimates...

Fees for consulting with Aviation Psychologist: ~$3000
Substance Abuse and Neurocognitive Eval: ~$4700
Psychological Evaluation Done anually
#1: ~$6675
#2: ~$1750
#3: I've already paid $810, eval to be done in August, last one, will get final bill after
Counseling: $30/session (fantastic price), bi-monthly until Nov 2017, then monthly, you do the math
UA Tests (ETG plus minimum 7 panel drug): anywhere between $30-$140 per test done minimum 14 times in 12 months, you do the math, I know one year it was almost $2k
HIMS AME Meetings, every 3 months, 30 minutes at $300/hr: ~$2000, probably more for times our meetings went more than 30 minutes or she had to write up evals.

Mind you all this also got back my aviators medical first, then we fought the ATC DQ. I'm probably forgetting a lot of miscellaneous fees or tests here or there.

I made sure to get some of the best in the Denver area, where I was living at the time. Quality and experience with the FAA is not cheap, but it is totally worth it.
Careful when you say “but it was totally worth it” dude. I’m not doubting you but you said you are going to the academy. That is sometimes a coin flip irregardless of talent. After that hopefully you don’t go someplace that in NCEPT locked down for years at a time. Again, not trying to discourage you but you seem like you are falling into that “this is the best job in the world” garbage. Don’t be that guy you will either wind up disappointed or living in a delusional dream world.
 
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