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Airline Director of Maintenance Pleads Guilty To Obstructing an Aircraft Accident Investigation

Summary

On March 10, 2017, David Esteves of Clearwater, Florida, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Tampa, to obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees.
 
Esteves was the director of maintenance for Avantair, an airline fractional ownership and an on-demand air-charter business located at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. Esteves impeded the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA investigation of an accident involving the loss of an elevator from an Avantair aircraft. He instructed a contractor to remove parts from the aircraft and power up the plane, knowing that doing so would erase the cockpit voice recording and thus disrupt the investigation.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from FAA and NTSB.