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Mississippi Pilot Convicted for Operating an Aircraft and Providing Flight Instruction Without a Valid Airman’s Certificate

On May 4, 2018, Charles B. Phillips of Starkville, Mississippi, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Oxford, Mississippi, to operating an aircraft and providing flight instruction without a valid airman’s certificate. 

FAA invalidated Phillips’ airman certificate on October 8, 2009, for medical reasons; however, Phillips continued to pilot multiple airplanes from March 29, 2013, until October 9, 2015, and provided flight instruction from May 14, 2014, until April 24, 2016. 

DOT-OIG initiated this investigation after one of Phillips’ flight students and five passengers were killed in an airplane crash on August 14, 2016, near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was conducted with assistance from FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.