Defunct Pennsylvania FAA Repair Facility and Former Operator Convicted At Trial for Aircraft Parts Fraud
On April 9, 2014, after a nine day trial in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a federal jury convicted Jay Stout and Flying Tigers, Inc. of conspiracy, fraud involving aircraft parts, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice.
A September 2013 superseding indictment charged Jay Stout, Howard Gunter, and Flying Tigers, Inc. with various crimes for their role in the conspiracy to conduct illicit aircraft repairs and fraudulent aircraft inspections at its Marietta, Pennsylvania, based operations. Gunter, a former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, died of natural causes prior to trial.
The investigation revealed that in 2003, the FAA suspended Jay Stout's authority to conduct aircraft inspections, and ultimately in 2004, revoked both his airframe and powerplant certification and his inspection authorization certification. Joel Stout, former director of operations at Flying Tigers, Inc., did not hold FAA inspection authority past March 2006. The prosecution proved that at various times between October 2003 and January 2010, Flying Tigers, Inc. charged customers for the annual inspections of their aircraft despite the absence of a certified mechanic with inspection authority. The six-year aviation safety investigation revealed that the defendants routinely altered airframe and engine logbooks and made false entries to conceal their actions. Once Jay Stout learned of the Government's investigation, he obstructed the investigation by altering aircraft logbooks in order to conceal the false certifications. Flying Tigers, Inc. conducted more than 100 questionable aircraft inspections and repairs between 2003 and 2010 affecting over 40 aircraft.
In March 2013, Joel Stout pleaded guilty related to his participation in the fraud.