Prosecutors Will Prosecute
Since 1998, the OIG has won convictions in more than 150 cases related to aviation safety, with total fines assessed of more than $27 million. Those investigations generally fall into four categories: the illegal manufacture or distribution of aircraft parts that do not meet FAA standards; charges of falsifying airman or mechanic certificates; false statements regarding the condition of aircraft or filing false aircraft certifications; and shipping or allowing the shipping of hazardous materials by air without proper certification. The OIG lists a digest of its convictions online. Some examples from that list: A Texas pilot got three months in jail in February 2003 for lying about a past DUI charge on his airman medical application. A Florida man was sentenced to a 15-month prison term in April 2004 for piloting a plane without a legitimate airman certificate and flying a plane with an unapproved modification to its fuel system. Another Florida man received 13 months in prison in January 2004 for making and using forged documents to get a job as a flight instructor under an assumed name. Yet not all convictions result in prison time. In March 2004, a Florida man who lied about his previous criminal convictions on an FAA application was ordered to spend four months in a halfway house and was prohibited from participating in aviation activities for two years. In September 2003, a man whose FAA certificate had been revoked in 1998 after a federal conviction for drug trafficking was fined $500 in a Wyoming federal court for operating an aircraft without a pilot's certificate.
From Gary Stoller's article regarding the swissair 111 crash:
From USA TODAY
In August 1994, IFT approached Edward Mlynarczyk, a private engineering representative designated to act on the FAA's behalf, to certify components and help bring the overall system to the FAA for a required supplemental type certificate (STC). An STC represents FAA approval for modifying an airplane from its original design and is granted after a rigorous process of sign-offs on design data, components and test results. An STC can be obtained from the FAA or from one of about 30 certified aviation repair shops.
Mlynarczyk is one of thousands of designees used by the FAA to help certify aircraft modifications. Under a decades-old program almost unknown to the public, the agency allows designees to be paid by the companies contracting them for certification work.
Mlynarczyk says IFT's system was very rudimentary and unsuitable for aircraft use, but the company pressured him to accelerate the certification process. He says much work was needed before the equipment could pass FAA tests, including environmental and electromagnetic interference tests.
"They had no clue what it would take to get an STC," says Mlynarczyk. "They would send some information about the system, and when we'd say, 'That's not good enough,' they'd say, 'You're trying to gouge us for more money.' They were running out of funds and trying to shortcut so many things."
Mlynarczyk says he received a phone call from a representative of stockbroker D.H. Blair & Co., who asked him whether certification was near and whether he'd like to get in on the ground floor of IFT's initial public stock offering. IFT went public in March 1995.
Such an offer could violate a federal bribery law, which applies to anyone, like Mlynarczyk, acting on behalf of the government. The law, which imposes a fine and up to 15 years imprisonment, is violated by offers of "anything of value to any public official" with intent "to influence any official act."
Mlynarczyk says he turned the offer down. Several years later, D.H. Blair and 13 former employees were found guilty of defrauding investors in 15 IPOs "” including IFT's "” through stock-price manipulation. Four of those employees "” including the vice chairman "” received prison sentences. The company is now defunct.
A month after the stock offering, Mlynarczyk says he canceled his contract with IFT because the company kept changing its entertainment system specifications and pressuring him to speed up the certification process. Two days later, while he was away, two men arrived at his Florida office in a limousine with New York state license plates and demanded that his wife hand over the prototype and related data, Mlynarczyk says.
His wife refused their demands because IFT still owed $30,000. The two men handed over $30,000 in cash and then cut the prototype system into parts when it didn't fit into the limo, Mlynarczyk says.
Itkis says he can't recall Mlynarczyk, but he laughed when he was told about Mlynarczyk's account. "He has a very vivid imagination," Itkis says. "It sounds like a movie scenario. Can I get rights to it?"
As far as SBA (Santa Barbara Aerospace) was concerned? Forms were missing or improperly filled out, something they had already been cited for by the FAA, over and over again and yet were allowed to continue to act as a DAS station including during the time that their license was temporarily revoked.
Read the following articles and you will understand my outrage that charges have never been filed against those involved in developing, installing, and approving the IFEN (entertainment system) on the 'accident' aircraft.
Incidentally, if you are a family member who has called the DOT to complain that possible criminal involvement hasn't been investigated and told that the statue of limitations is up on filing charges against individuals involved in this crash, I believe you've been given inaccurate information. A former FBI agent told me that you begin counting the 7 years from the date the plane crashed.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
|Powered by Social Strata|