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I wonder what happens if I would get ramp checked and don’t have my license and medical with me. Especially in EASA territory. Anyone ever had this case?

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    $\begingroup$ FAA answer, hence the comment. You'll have problems. Assuming it is clear that you were flying without those documents, you are in violation of regulations and could face a penalty. It's ultimately up to the agent, but it is a violation. $\endgroup$
    – acpilot
    Apr 2, 2021 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ Since EASA delegates the implementation of regulations to individual countries it's likely that this depends partly on which country you're in. Different countries may have different penalties. Do you have a specific country in mind, or is it a general question? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Pondlife Germany and Switzerland. Just asking for a friend. :-) $\endgroup$
    – David
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:00

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If you get ramp checked in a country under EASA jurisdiction, they will follow the EASA ramp check SAFA procedures, which include 53 points of inspection, not all of which may be performed during a check. Licenses are part of the inspection. Medical certificates are not mentioned, but I assume they are as well. Discrepancies found can be minor, significant or major. As a former auditor myself, I am going to make an educated guess that not having your license in your possession is the same as not having a license at all and would be a major discrepancy, and might result in the inspector directing the facility not to allow you to depart in your aircraft until you go get your license. It is almost 100% certain that the discrepancy would also be reported to the FAA.

At what stage of the flight the ramp check is performed will also make a difference, of course. Getting ramp checked before you leave and not having your license may result in nothing more than a stern warning and being told to go get it. You will likely not get off as easily if you are ramp checked as you are arriving in your aircraft.

Solution: Follow your checklist and verify your documentation prior to even starting the engine.

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    $\begingroup$ "It is almost 100% certain that the discrepancy would also be reported to the FAA" Did you mean to EASA? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 5, 2021 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ Would it help any if the pilot showed electronic copies on their phone/tablet? $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Apr 5, 2021 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ No, I meant the FAA. And whether or not the ramp inspector will accept electronic reproductions of the documents is a crapshoot. $\endgroup$ Apr 6, 2021 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JuanJimenez Isn't there any difference between flying internationally and domestically (in the country of issue of licenses and plane registration)? $\endgroup$
    – Afe
    Sep 3, 2021 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JuanJimenez, Jurisdiction matters… local police have no more authority to arrest you for flying without your pilot certificate than a FSDO inspector would have to pull you over for speeding in your car. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2022 at 17:25
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In the U.S. if you are ramp-checked before you operate an aircraft there would be no issue since FARs 61.3 and 61.23 do not require certificates unless you are serving as a crewmember or exercising pilot privileges (which you aren't unless you are operating an aircraft).

If you were operating an aircraft without the certificates (Pilot and/or Medical certificates) in your "possession," but you actually have the proper and current certificates, you're likely to get off with verbal counseling or a Warning Notice (my opinion). Don't know about EASA territory.

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