According to a Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General report, on July 18, 2008, the owner and operator of Engine Air, Inc., pled guilty to falsifying maintenance records for the overhaul of aircraft engines. Apparently the mechanic continued to repair general aviation aircraft engines and return them to service as airworthy even though the mechanic’s A&P certificate had previously been revoked for falsification of engine repair documents. In connection with his plea, the mechanic admitted he illegally returned an engine to service that was to be used on an aircraft belonging to a commercial air carrier.
Although the mechanic hasn’t been sentenced yet, it will be interesting to see what type of sentence is imposed. Perhaps the sentence will be similar to a 2007 Alabama case in which a court barred a mechanic guilty of similar charges from working in the aviation industry during his 5 year probation period. Unfortunately, that won’t be much help to the owners of the aircraft engines that the mechanic falsely returned to service. Those owners will all need to have the engines re-inspected and properly returned to service in order for them to be airworthy. An ugly and expensive situation all the way around!