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Northern California Aircraft Mechanic and Repair Shop Owner Charged with Aircraft Parts Fraud

On February 12, 2014, Randy Lee Thompson of Anderson, California, was indicted in U.S. District Court, Sacramento, California, for fraud involving aircraft parts. Thompson is the owner of Thompson's Air, an aircraft maintenance repair shop based in Anderson, California. 

In approximately September 2010, Thompson installed a crankshaft on an aircraft's engine that failed while the aircraft was in flight. The pilot and his nine year-old daughter made an emergency landing, without injury, in the middle of a field in Pennsylvania. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later determined the cause of the crash was due to cracks found in the engine's crankshaft.

The investigation showed  that Thompson had installed the crankshaft even though the part had been returned to him by FAA certified repair stations, in 2003 and again in 2005. It was returned with  a tag documenting that the crankshaft was cracked and no longer suitable for use on an aircraft. The investigation also found that Thompson falsified an FAA Form 337, when he represented that the repair and alteration of the crankshaft was done in compliance with FAA regulations and the engine manufacturer specifications.

We conducted this investigation jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the FAA.

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.