On April 15, the owner/mechanic of Raco Helicopters Corp., based at Monmouth County NJ airport in Farmindale, New Jersy plead guilty to felony charges of making false statements related to aircraft maintenance. The plea was entered during the second day of a jury trial.
The owner/mechanic’s Airframe and Power plant certificates were revoked in 2001 and 2003. However, a subsequent investigation performed by the Dept. of Transportation Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) with the assistance of the FAA revealed that the owner/mechanic continued to perform work during that time. Apparently he continued to perform helicopter maintenance without the requisite supervision and he falsified inspection dates even though he was not certified to perform inspections. The OIG reported the plea here.
This should hopefully dispel the incorrect assumption that the FAA only has the power to take your certificates, and nothing more. It is also another example of the fact that you may have more than just your certificates to lose if you operate in disregard of the applicable FAR’s. It is an unfortunate result for this owner/mechanic. However, it has hopefully made the industry safer by sanctioning someone from operating in apparent disregard of the FAR’s and by setting an example.