Investigations

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FAA Suspends Former FAA Inspector and Four Helicopter Company Employees

On October 17 and November 8, 2018, FAA suspended Timothy Cislo, a former FAA aviation safety inspector; John D. Walker, owner of Hansen Helicopters, Inc. (Hansen); and three Hansen employees—Marvin R. Reed, Kenneth R. Crowe, and Phillip T. Kapp. The suspensions followed Cislo’s March 28, 2018, guilty plea to charges of honest services wire fraud, and the May 30, 2018, indictment of Walker, Reed, Crowe, and Kapp for numerous crimes, including conspiracy to defraud FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, wire fraud, honest services fraud, and money laundering. All five individuals were charged in U.S District Court, District of Guam.

As Cislo admitted, beginning in approximately May 2014, he used his official position as an aviation safety inspector to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting a Taylorcraft BC-12D aircraft valued at around $20,000 from Hansen and its employees. In return, Cislo agreed to sign, issue, and reissue special airworthiness certificates for several helicopters belonging to Hansen without inspecting them.

According to the May 30, 2018, indictment, as early as 1997, Walker, Reed, Crowe, and Kapp began to circumvent U.S. aviation safety regulations for the purpose of reducing costs and maximizing profits at Hansen. They used aircraft that had been previously deregistered—i.e., destroyed, scrapped, or otherwise deemed not airworthy—and concealed these facts in documents and records submitted to FAA.

A Hansen aircraft bearing tail number N9068F crashed on September 2, 2015, killing pilot Rafael Antonio Cruz Santos. Hansen later gave FAA logbook entries that falsely indicated certain inspections and maintenance had been performed on N9068F.

DOT-OIG is working on this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are typically for a specific period of time, and GSA’s System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a company or individual is currently excluded.