In a August 5, 2005 Release, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Transportation states that a man was sentenced to 31 days of jail time and fined $1,000 for flying an airplane without a valid airman certificate. Apparently the man “has never held a pilot’s license, but operated his privately owned and unregistered Cessna aircraft on multiple occasions between 2002 and 2004 – a threat to aviation safety”.
Seems strange to me that someone would spend the money on an aircraft and fly it around without ever having a pilot’s license. I can understand, although I don’t condone, the situation where a person has an airman certificate and then continues to fly after losing the certificate or his or her medical. However, to purchase an aircraft and then think you can fly around without having ever received an airman certificate is just crazy. I think this person must have other “issues”.
This is also a good example of the fact that operating an aircraft without the appropriate airman or medical certificates can not only result in civil penalties, as discussed in previous posts and articles, but it can also result in criminal conviction and imposition of the associated penalties (e.g. jail time).