Kevin Boardman, who was the aviation director/chief pilot for Elmer’s Glue parent company Berwind Corp. from 1998 until earlier this year, was formally indicted by a grand jury of defrauding his former employer to the tune of at least $2.7 million. According to a release issued yesterday by the Eastern Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boardman allegedly “devised numerous methods to embezzle money from his employer” between 2006 and last year.
In the ongoing battle to keep Santa Monica Airport from closing, on June 10 a group delivered more than 15,000 signatures to city hall to place a vote about the airport on the ballot later this year.
I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
The NTSB is investigating the June 11 crash of a Bell 206 about 90 miles south of Houma, La., while on approach to an oil rig. The accident killed both the pilot and the passenger. Workers on the oil rig deployed a life raft after the accident but found that the helicopter had already sunk into the Gulf of Mexico.
The San Diego Superior Court in California recently ruled that three airplane hangars purchased and occupied on leased space at San Diego Brown Field are “removable trade fixtures.” As such, the court found that the hangars are the sole property of the tenant, Finch Aerospace, which operates the California Flight Museum. Finch subleased the space for the hangars from FBO Lancair, which argued that its master lease with the city gave it control over its tenants’ hangars. Therefore, it prevented Finch from selling or moving the hangars, a situation that led to the lawsuit.
For the second year in a row, the aviation unit of Florida’s Marion County Sheriff’s Office hosted a safety training session for law enforcement, emergency medical, firefighting and electronic newsgathering operations from around the state. The May 21 event drew more than 70 attendees from 23 different organizations and focused on the United States National Grid, combatting complacency and formation flying. During the training session attendees practiced joint search-and-rescue efforts by identifying coordinates using the national grid.
After a meeting April 30 between AOPA president Mark Baker and the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the association is urging members report any encounters they have with CBP or other law enforcement officers.
AOPA has already received more than 50 reports from members being questioned and sometimes searched by CBP agents or local law enforcement officers acting on the federal agency’s requests. In some cases, the officers approached pilots with drawn weapons or dogs to inspect the aircraft.
The U.S. District Court for Philadelphia has sentenced Joel Stout, of Elizabethtown, Pa., to 60 months probation and 60 hours of community service. Stout, an A&P mechanic and former employee of Flying Tigers, previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to his participation in a complex fraud involving unauthorized aircraft inspections.
Last Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R.4718, a bill that would make accelerated, or bonus, depreciation permanent. If passed, this would allow for 50 percent of costs for new investments in equipment and software–a list that includes such things as business jets–to be written off in the first year. More than 150 groups, including NBAA and NATA, supported the legislation.
The process of buying a business jet is fraught with potential pitfalls, among them the many ways that owners can fall afoul of legal constraints. The 2014 NBAA Tax Seminar & Conference, held last month in San Francisco, offered a one-day summary of the issues facing aircraft owners, not only summarizing the key problems that can develop but also giving participants a foundation for understanding how best to set up a flight department from a legal standpoint and how to satisfy taxing authorities with the minimum hit.
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