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North Carolina Pilot Indicted for Illegal Operation of Aircraft and False Statements

On October 26, 2015, Paul Douglas Tharp, was indicted in U.S. District Court, Greensboro, North Carolina, for illegal flight activity, false statements, and aggravated identity theft.

Tharp allegedly flew his aircraft seven times without a valid registration, and four times while his pilot certificate was suspended. He also falsely represented himself as a mechanic who held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mechanic certificate with an Airframe and/or Powerplant (A&P) rating. He performed repairs on aircraft engine parts and allegedly falsified the maintenance record logs.

Tharp was previously convicted and sentenced in May 2015 in U.S. District Court, Charlotte, North Carolina, for serving as an airman without an airman’s certificate and providing false statements to an FAA investigator. In that case, he was sentenced to 60 days incarceration, three years of probation, and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. He was also ordered to sell his airplane and not enter an airport for three years, unless to fly commercially as a passenger.

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