FAA Certified Designated Airworthiness Representative and Aviation Mechanic Indicted For Conspiring To Falsify An Aircraft Inspection
On January 11, 2012, Franklin Williams and Stacy Willis were indicted by a Federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court, Jacksonville, Florida, on three counts of fraud involving aircraft and space vehicles parts in interstate commerce, and one count of smuggling goods from the United States.
The investigation revealed in 2008 that Mr. Williams, a certified Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airframe and power plant mechanic (A&P) with Inspection Authorization and a FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative conspired with Mr. Willis, also an FAA A&P mechanic, to falsify an annual inspection and maintenance record entries for the engine and propellers for a Piper PA-32R 301T, so Mr. Williams could issue an FAA Export Certificate of Airworthiness.
The Piper was an aircraft damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and deemed beyond economical repair. In 2008, the aircraft was purchased from a salvage company by a Brazilian who arranged for the aircraft to be deregistered and exported to Brazil by Mr. Williams. Before the aircraft reached Brazil, the FAA coordinated with the United States Department of Homeland Security (US DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and requested to inspect the aircraft. Although already exported, US DHS/CBP was able to return the container to the Port of Jacksonville where the aircraft was inspected by the FAA and deemed un-airworthy.
A trial date has not been scheduled.
This investigation was conducted jointly with the US DHS Homeland Security Investigations with outstanding assistance from the FAA and the US DHS/CBP.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.