Sixteen Charged with Selling Bad Aircraft Windows

 - April 18, 2012, 4:00 PM

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity and the FAA, has announced a 21-count indictment charging 16 defendants in connection with the continued operation of Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) of Hialeah, Fla., after the FAA revoked the company’s operating certificate. ATR has presented itself as an overhauler of airliner cockpit windows.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aircraft parts fraud, wire fraud and visa fraud. A conviction on the conspiracy count could carry a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The aircraft parts fraud carries a penalty of up to 15 years; wire and mail fraud, 20 years; and the visa fraud five years.

The indictment alleges that between August 2009 and August 2010 the defendants sold aircraft cockpit windows knowing the company was not authorized by the FAA to certify their airworthiness. The indictment goes on to say the defendants purchased “as removed” aircraft cockpit windows in the open market and then backdated numerous documents, including FAA Form 8130-3s, work orders and traceability documentation, to make it appear that the aircraft cockpit windows had been retrieved from ATR’s inventory while its FAA repair station certificate was still valid.

The defendants are also charged with altering the serial numbers on the aircraft cockpit windows that commercial aviation customers had sent to ATR to make it appear that the aircraft cockpit windows had come from inventory.

Lastly, the indictment alleges that the defendants created at least three different internal accounting records and logs to misrepresent the true business practices and financial condition of ATR to make it appear as if the company was no longer in the business of repairing and certifying the airworthiness of aircraft cockpit windows. Some of the defendants allegedly filed false unemployment compensation requests with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Unemployment Compensation Program, making it appear that ATR was out of business.

AIN’s attempts to contact Aircraft Transparencies Repair and the individuals under indictment for comment were unsuccessful.


I founded Aircraft Window Repairs 33 years ago and was the first F.A.A. approved repair station solely dedicated to aircraft windows. Over the years I have seen a lot of these types come and go. We even got some windows from these so called competitors for rework and found them to be below minimum thicknesses allowed by the O.E.M. manuals. I guess the only thing to be said is buyer beware and know who your dealing with. Bob Cupery

Unfortunately there are a number of such businesses in South Florida that utilize sweat shop mentality and offer quotes and bids well below what it cost the legal business owner to stay in business, hopefully this is a new trend which will take some of the unsavory shops doing substandard work out of the marketplace.

It is sad that so many of these types of criminal operations come out of South Florida. There have been so many in fact, I will not send parts or buy parts from South Florida. Better safe than sorry. I just don't have the time to figure out which businesses are reputable and which ones are shady.

These people should be charged with attempted murder. The loss of a window in flight and at altitude will kill no less than the person sitting there and worst case the entire plane is lost. Miami dade has become the poster child for the culture of criminality imported from Cuban prisons thanks to Reagan's Murial boatlift fiasco in the early eighties and his deregulation austerity that left to few to control the actions of to many. Same situation he did with the ATC system that killed a few people along the way!

I have been in aviation management at different levels for quite a few years and have found that if you buy aircraft parts from the state of Florida, you had better be on your toes! I would suggest that an on site vendor quality inspection be performed by anyone who purchases parts from this state from anyone that is not nationally known as a "qualified vendor". Pay the extra money on the front side. It will save you a lot of pain on the backside, I always say.

Hi Mr.Cupery glad to here that your buisness is still up & running its sad 2 here that there is fraudulent things happening within the awe must b a competitor. I worked at ur torr sho back in 1991-1994 unfortunately was played off due to cut back 20 yrs later I still talk about what a great job it was and the staff. I would go back in asecond if opportunity arose congratulations on great success always admired your professionalisum hope all is well with your family say hello to Ryan & Jennifer who knows might move back to CA someday looking to join your team again..