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Former Agriculture Pilot Sentenced for Acting as an Airman Without a Certificate

On June 23, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas sentenced James Ryan Higgins to 24 months’ probation and a special assessment fee of $100. In December 2019, Higgins pled guilty to acting as an airman without a valid certificate. The investigation revealed that from July 2018 until September 2018, Higgins knowingly and willfully served and attempted to serve as an airman of an aircraft in commercial and other capacities without an airman’s certificate authorizing him to do so.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Lubbock Flight Standards District Office and the Sherman County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department.