On July 11, 2017, Guy St. Amour, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Fort Lauderdale, to 1 year of probation for operating an aircraft with an illegally modified fuel system. He was previously indicted on these charges in January 6, 2017, and pleaded guilty on June 19, 2017.
St. Amour, an FAA-certificated airline transport pilot, modified an aircraft fuel system without FAA authorization with the intent to fly to Asuncion, Paraguay. On or about March 27, 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) received information about an aircraft preparing to depart Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. DEA agents observed a large marine fuel tank in the rear of the cabin, held in place with a ratchet strap. A clear hose connected the tank to the wing of the airplane. The exposed tubing was held in place with duct tape, and the transfer of fuel was to be powered by a 12-volt accessory plug from a pump to the plane’s cigarette lighter jack. The investigation disclosed that the fuel-tank modification had not been approved by FAA, did not comply with FAA regulations, and was not an acceptable aviation fuel-tank installation.
DOT-OIG worked this investigation with DEA with assistance from FAA.