Platinum Jet Pilot Pleads Guilty, Trial Set for Others

September 28, 2010, 10:49 AM

Francis Vieira, a former contract pilot of now-defunct Platinum Jet Management, pleaded guilty yesterday to “conspiring to defraud charter customers and brokers using interstate wires and to impede and obstruct the FAA, admitting he and his co-conspirators flew illegal flights and falsified FAA paperwork relating to the safety and regulatory compliance of its flights.” The case stems from an accident in February 2005 when a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet failed to lift off, overran the end of Runway 6 at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport and plowed into the side of a clothing warehouse. The two pilots, eight passengers and a “cabin aide” suffered minor injuries. Following the accident investigation, the original indictment named Vieira, along with Platinum Jet president and CEO Michael Brassington, v-p Paul Brassington, director of maintenance Brian McKenzie, managing member Andrew Budhan and director of charters Joseph Singh as involved in conspiracy and operating the aircraft as on-demand without having a Part 135 certificate, among other charges. The Brassingtons, McKenzie and pilot John Kimberling (captain of the ill-fated flight and charged later in a separate indictment) are scheduled to stand trial starting October 12.

Share this...

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.