Six Charged in Platinum Jet Teterboro Crash

 - February 5, 2009, 11:08 AM

Five executives and a pilot associated with now-defunct Platinum Jet Management have been charged in connection with the 2005 crash of a Challenger 600 following an aborted takeoff at Teterboro (N.J.) Airport. Arrested yesterday were Platinum Jet Management president Michael Brassington; his brother and vice president Paul Brassington; managing member Andrew Budhan; and director of maintenance Brien McKenzie. Director of charters Joseph Singh and Platinum Jet pilot Francis Vieira are still being sought. The 23-count federal indictment alleges “a conspiracy to commit continuous willful violations of regulatory requirements for the operation of commercial charter aircraft” and charges the “conspirators” with operating Platinum Jet as an “on-demand commercial jet charter company without having a Part 135 certificate.” The single conspiracy count and 21 counts of making false statements each carry a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The indictment also accuses the defendants of routinely undertaking and concealing dangerous fueling and weight distribution practices, one that existed on the Platinum Jet-operated Challenger that failed to lift off at Teterboro on Feb. 2, 2005. The jet overran the end of Runway 6, crossed Route 46, hitting cars along the way, and then came to rest after penetrating the brick wall of a warehouse.