Raymond Deskins III, a former air traffic controller at the Washington ARTCC in Leesburg, Va., was convicted this week of fraudulently obtaining some $700,000 in disability benefits. He received the disability benefits from 2005 to 2008 while he was working as a construction foreman for a Northern Virginia company, even though he repeatedly told the Department of Labor that he wasn’t engaging in any work activities. He will be sentenced in May.
A hearing held today by the House transportation and infrastructure subcommittee on aviation sought to examine ways to reduce the level of falsifications and omissions on FAA medical applications.
Some 43 pilots in Northern California charged with making false statements on their applications for medical certifications entered plea agreements. But one went to trial and lost. Michael Pennington, a former chief pilot and maintenance director for Mountain Life Flight, an air ambulance service, was found guilty.
A proposed DOT rule to lower the threshold to require wheelchair availability in Part 121-operated aircraft from 60 to 50 seats has rung alarm bells within regional airline circles, where 50-seaters account for well over half of the entire U.S. fleet. In the proposal, the DOT attributed the need for the change to the growing prominence of 50-seat jets.