“Delta pilots are held to the highest standards of professionalism, honesty and integrity,” spokeswoman Catherine Simmons said. “Once made aware of the situation, we opened an internal investigation and are working cooperatively with the authorities.”
The indictment came as the FAA has begun to compare VA records with pilot information to avoid the possibility of having someone at the controls who has had mental health issues. The downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 in 2015 put a spotlight on mental health after the plane's co-pilot, who had been treated for suicidal tendencies and had been ruled unfit to work but kept the diagnosis secret, intentionally crashed a plane into a mountainside in the Alps.
Asleson is one of four airline pilots from across the nation indicted in August in U.S. District Court in San Francisco for making false statements to the FAA in their medical certificates paperwork.
The four men, who are receiving disability benefits from the VA for mental health issues, are accused of neglecting to disclose information that would have disqualified them from operating aircraft.
Asleson was arrested Aug. 28 and released on a $10,000 bond, according to records.
The indictment did not name the disorder from which Asleson allegedly suffers.
Asleson is set for a first appearance Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.
<em>Staff writer Kelly Yamanouchi contributed to this story.</em>