Ronald Shabbot pleaded guilty on October 22 to falsifying an FAA return-to-service tag on an aircraft computer indicator. He was sentenced to 24 months probation. While working as a salesman at an aircraft parts repair facility in Fort Worth, Shabbot stole a computer indicator from inventory. He then forged another repair facility’s information on a return-to-service tag, indicating the part was in good working order and could be installed on an aircraft. Shabbot then advertised and sold the computer indicator on eBay.
Some Brazilian industry experts are convinced that criminalization will never improve aviation safety and they have been trying to persuade some the country’s judges and prosecutors to accept this premise in the wake of contentious accidents such as the 2006 midair between an Embraer Legacy and an a Gol Airlines Boeing 737. A week-long course beginning on November 26 in the capital Brasilia focused on the pros and cons of criminalization before an audience of federal judges, prosecutors, aviation safety investigators and assorted military officers and lawyers.
A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer has received a 10-year prison sentence from an Athens, Greece, court for allegedly not resetting a cockpit switch following maintenance on a Helios Airways Boeing 737-300. The aircraft subsequently collided with a mountain near Athens in 2005 after the airplane’s oxygen supply failed and the pilots and most of the passengers fell unconscious. “
The news that FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Saturday (December 3) raises some interesting questions.
Platinum Jet chief pilot and cofounder Michael Brassington and his brother, Paul Brassington, a vice president and cofounder of the company, were convicted yesterday of “conspiracy to commit continuous willful violations of regulatory requirements for the operation of commercial charter aircraft,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
FAA aerospace medical certification division manager Dr. Warren Silberman explained the FAA’s new DUI (driving under the influence or while intoxicated) policy in the latest Federal Air Surgeon’s Medical Bulletin.
Joseph Singh, former director of charters for the now-defunct charter operator Platinum Jet, pleaded guilty on July 7 to “a conspiracy to defraud charter customers and brokers and to impede and obstruct the Federal Aviation Administration.”
The six individuals who were arrested and charged earlier this year in connection with the Platinum Jet Management Challenger 600 crash at Teterboro Airport in February 2005– Andrew Budhan, Michael Brassington, Paul Brassington, Brien McKenzie, Joseph Singh and Francis Vieira–last month entered pleas of not guilty and posted bail. Their trial is scheduled to begin on May 12 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J.
A French judge last week ordered Continental Airlines and five people–including aircraft designers, maintenance technicians and one civil aviation authority executive–to stand trial for manslaughter in the criminal investigation into the Concorde crash that killed 113 in July 2000 near Paris. The airline is being charged with negligence in DC-10 maintenance.
In recent months a number of reports have surfaced of U.S.-citizen business aviation travelers to Canada being denied entry and deported after accurately responding on an immigration questionnaire that they had been convicted of a felony, usually one involving conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
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