A U.S. District Court in Charlotte, N.C., sentenced Paul Douglas Tharp to 60 days in jail on March 26, in addition to three years' probation and a $5,000 fine for operating an aircraft without an appropriate pilot rating. Tharp was also accused of making false statements to the FAA. In or around 2011, according to the FAA, Tharp was hired as an aircraft mechanic by Warriors and Warbirds to repair and refurbish a multi-engine C-46. He never held an A & P certificate.
Additionally, Tharp acted as second-in-command on a March 4, 2011 flight of the aircraft, although he possessed only a single-engine rating. On or about June 5, 2011, Tharp told an FAA inspector he was an A&P mechanic to obtain a ferry permit for the C-46 and provided the inspector with someone else’s certificate number. On June 5, 2011, Tharp again acted as second-in-command of the C-46. Following his conviction and sentencing, Tharp was ordered to sell his airplane and not to enter an airport, unless to fly commercially as a passenger, for three years.