Former FAA-Designated Airworthiness Representative Sentenced in Connection With Aircraft Parts Fraud
On June 22, 2018, Edward Carl Fernandez was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, for falsely representing the airworthiness condition of numerous commercial aircraft parts. Fernandez was sentenced to 6 months’ home confinement, 3 years’ probation, 100 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine, and forfeiture of $38,850. Fernandez pleaded guilty on February 22, 2018.
Acting in his capacity as an FAA-designated airworthiness representative, Fernandez failed to physically inspect aircraft parts before certifying them as airworthy. A review of documents seized by DOT-OIG special agents disclosed the process. A parts broker would email Fernandez, requesting airworthiness approval tags for aircraft parts. The email requests routinely included a pre-filled Form 8130-3, ready for Fernandez’ signature, and pictures of the parts. Within a few days, often within hours or minutes, Fernandez would email a scanned copy of the form with his signature to the parts broker, who paid him $75 for each certification.
On or about February 19, 2013, Fernandez received an email requesting an airworthiness approval tag for a commercial hydraulic adapter fitting. The email consisted of digital photographs, traceability documents allegedly pertaining to the aircraft part, and a pre-filled form awaiting his signature. Approximately 8 minutes later, Fernandez emailed a signed copy of the form attesting to the airworthiness of the part, although he had not done the required physical inspection.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with FAA’s assistance.