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Delta Air Lines

Delta Pilot Arrested for Lying About His Mental Health Status

Delta Pilot Arrested for Lying About His Mental Health Status
Jackie Reddy

The pilot in question, named by the U.S. Department of Justice as Adam Roger Asleson, has been charged with falsifying information recorded within official medical records held by the Federal Aviation Administration. The company has confirmed that Asleson is no longer employed actively as a pilot.

Delta Air Lines pilot has been formally charged with misleading government authorities with regards to his mental health status, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. The Delta pilot in question has been named in a statement by the U.S. Department of Justice as Adam Roger Asleson. Asleson been indicted – along with four other men – for falsifying information recorded within medical files held by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The outlet reports that, “The FAA alleges that Asleson, who joined Delta in 2017 according to his Facebook page, omitted that he had sought help from the Department of Veterans Affairs for what the indictment described as a “major depressive disorder.” Asleson was formerly a pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

Rather than report this episode and reveal his mental health status, it is reported that Asleson is alleged to have instead informed the agency that he had claimed disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for tinnitus and knee strain.

The charges have been brought against Asleson just as the two government agencies have begun to verify the health information shared by pilots with that held by the VA.

The outlet reports that Asleson’s attorney was not able to be reached for comment and it has been confirmed that he is no longer on active flying duty with the airline.

Commenting on the incident, Catherine Simmons, a spokesperson for Delta was quoted as saying, “Delta pilots are held to the highest standards of professionalism, honesty and integrity. Once made aware of the situation, we opened an internal investigation and are working cooperatively with the authorities.”

Records indicate that while Asleson was initially arrested on August 28, he was released on bail. His first court hearing will take place early next month in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

If convicted, he could serve up to five years in prison and could be served a fine of $250,000.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (6)


  1. Proudelitist

    September 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

    It’s amazing how many pilots don’t report medical issues, for fear of losing their qualifications. I know one personally who refuses to get his BP checked for this very reason.

  2. zarkov505

    September 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Mike Collins (Apollo 11 command module pilot) wrote about this phenomenon in his autobiography “Carrying the Fire”. He points out, quite correctly, that there are only two possible results when a pilot goes to the flight surgeon. He is on flight status when he walks in. When he walks out, he will either be on flight status… or he won’t.

  3. PHL

    September 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Not sure how your friend avoids a BP test unless he/she is not a commercial or airline pilot.

    Airline pilots get a 1st class medical exam every 6 months. It is not optional to opt out of any of the tests in this exam, including blood pressure.

    Commercial pilots (for hire pilots not at a part 121 airline) are given an exam every 2 years.

    Private pilots(not for hire/recreational) no longer have to get a medical exam if they have had no past FAA medicals that require monitoring. They do have to ‘self certify’, which is where people may skimp on reporting high BP or other issues.

  4. Danwriter

    September 20, 2018 at 7:18 am

    A guy tries to hide an explosive in his shoe once and we’ve been taking ours off at airports now for 15 years.
    A disturbed German pilot flies his airliner into the ground and even minor depressive incidents (which almost everyone experiences at some point) become potential career enders. (This Delta pilot lied on Federal application — that’s his real offense.)
    All terrible events but overreactions create their own problems.

  5. D2travel

    September 20, 2018 at 7:53 am

    I think there are too many veterans claiming a “disability,” but in the real world, they’re healthy with no issues….either you are or you ain’t. And this doesn’t only apply to veterans, either! Yes, there are real cases of disability among veterans, but I believe many file their claims to get the extra benefits. This instance shows how a “disability” claim can haunt you for the rest of your life…

  6. Jungle55

    September 21, 2018 at 12:00 am

    I feel bad for this airline pilot. It’s not easy to get in the majors. However, as technology progresses a person will have a harder time hiding anything from anybody or organization. With video out there, peoples cell phones catching everything. Hospitals are now linking up everyone’s personal medical data to share between each other. It’s to ensure no one creates pharmaceutical fraud such as getting more prescriptions then necessary and the hospitals know exactly about you. I guess in this day and age just be honest or just keep it to yourself. Again he, probably had depression issues however that can come when you are or have lost a loved one. I hope he doesn’t have to do jail time because he just lost a great job. That is punishment enough

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