Weiland v. American Airlines

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 03-02-2015
  • Case #: 11-56088
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Motz for the Court; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and Gould
  • Full Text Opinion

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Age 60 Rule is not abrogated by the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act’s 49 U.S.C. § 44729(e)(1)(A) exception if the pilot turned 60 prior to its enactment.

Henry Weiland, a pilot working for American Airlines (“American”), had his scheduling to operate aircraft ceased pursuant to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (“FAA”) Age 60 Rule, which prohibited air carriers from scheduling pilots to fly once they turned 60. The Age 60 Rule was abrogated by the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act (“FTEPA”), changing the age after which pilots had to cease flying from 60 to 65. This change was implemented shortly after Weiland turned 60. Even though the Age 60 Rule was non-retroactive, a pilot could be exempted by the FTEPA’s 49 U.S.C. § 44729(e)(1)(A) exception, which applied to persons who were “in the employment of that air carrier in such operations on such date of enactment as a required flight deck crew member.” Weiland subsequently filed a complaint against American, alleging discrimination and arguing that he qualified for the exception. The district court granted Americans’ motion to dismiss. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that although Weiland was employed by American when the FTEPA was enacted, he was not employed “in such operations” or a “required flight deck crew member” because he had turned 60 prior to the enactment of the FTEPA, which made him an inactive check airman under the Age 60 Rule. Additionally, the panel determined that because Weiland was an inactive check airman, he was not a “required flight deck crew member.” AFFIRMED.

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