Former Airworthiness Rep Pleads Guilty to Parts Fraud

 - March 6, 2018, 11:25 AM

In U.S. District Court in Miami, Edward Carl Fernandez pleaded guilty to falsely representing the airworthiness condition of multiple commercial aircraft parts. Representatives from the DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG), with help from the FAA, found that Fernandez would sign airworthiness forms without conducting inspections.

Working in south Florida as an FAA-designated airworthiness representative, Fernandez did not physically inspect aircraft parts before issuing FAA Form 8130-3. The form is the authorized release certificate/airworthiness approval tag, which certifies a part's airworthiness.

Routinely, a broker would request airworthiness approval tags for aircraft parts from Fernandez via email. The requests would include pictures of the parts along with a pre-filled Form 8130-3 that required only Fernandez’s signature. Fernandez would email a scanned copy of the form with his signature to the broker within days, hours, or sometimes minutes. The broker would pay him $75 for the certification.

In February 2013, the DOT OIG said Fernandez received an email for an airworthiness approval tag for a commercial hydraulic adapter fitting. The email included photos, traceability documents allegedly pertaining to the aircraft part, and a pre-filled Form 8130-3 that required only Fernandez’s signature. Fernandez returned the signed form in approximately eight minutes, even though he did not complete the required physical inspection.