February 19, 2019
Florida Man Sentenced for Operating a Commercial Aircraft Without a Valid Pilot’s License
On February 19, 2019, Christopher S. Woods was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Ocala, Florida, to 36 months of probation for making false statements related to operating a commercial aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate. As part of the sentence, Woods is prohibited from operating an aircraft for hire or compensation. In addition, Woods is prohibited from carrying passengers for charitable events in a non-commercial capacity, and may not fly any distance greater than 250 nautical miles from Ocala, Florida, without first notifying and requesting permission from the United States Probation Office. Woods was indicted on August 8, 2018.
The investigation revealed that on July 11, 2017, Woods operated as the pilot in command of a commercial flight in Jacksonville, Florida, without an FAA airman certificate. When questioned by Federal agents, Woods falsely stated that he was licensed by FAA to conduct commercial flights.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and with substantial assistance from the FAA.