Investigations

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Charter Flights Director of Defunct Private Jet Company Admits Using Unqualified Pilots

On July 7, Joseph Singh, the Director of Charters of a luxury charter jet company that operated a flight from Teterboro Airport, New Jersey, which crashed on takeoff in 2005 pled guilty in U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey, to conspiracy to defraud charter customers and brokers and to impede and obstruct the Federal Aviation Administration. During the plea hearing, Mr. Singh admitted that as the “Director of Charters” for Platinum Jet Management he dispatched unqualified or unrested pilots, including the pilot of the jet that crashed at Teterboro on Feb. 2, 2005, to fly charter customers for the company which was based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He further admitted that that from November 2003 until shortly after the Teterboro crash he booked charter flights for Platinum Jet Management using charter brokers and dispatched Platinum Jet pilots to fly those flights. According to Mr. Singh, he dispatched John Kimberling, who was not commercially qualified, to fly the ill–fated flight from Teterboro to Chicago. The plane crashed into a warehouse after failing to lift off. Mr. Singh admitted that he knew Mr. Kimberling was not qualified to fly that flight, and he further admitted to dispatching Mr. Kimberling on other flights.