Pennsylvania Man Convicted in False Aircraft Inspection Scheme
On March 26, 2013, Joel Stout, of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to conspiracy and mail fraud related to his participation in a fraud involving unauthorized aircraft inspections and repairs at Flying Tigers, Inc., a former airplane repair business in Marietta, Pennsylvania. Stout's father, Jay Stout, the president of Flying Tigers, Inc., and Howard Gunter, a retired FAA examiner, were also previously charged in the scheme.
Joel Stout admitted that between October 2006 and October 2009, Flying Tigers charged customers for annual aircraft inspections that were either not performed by FAA certified mechanics, or were not performed at all. Joel Stout further admitted that Flying Tigers officials prepared fraudulent certifications and forged signatures of an unsuspecting certified inspector who had not performed the inspections. The fraud also included billing customers for the inspections that were not properly certified. Stout furthered the scheme by mailing invoices for the fraudulently performed inspections and receiving payments from customers.
The five year transportation safety investigation revealed that the defendants routinely altered airframe and engine logbooks and made false entries in the log books to conceal their actions. Flying Tigers conducted more than 75 questionable aircraft inspections between 2006 and 2009.