Scales Of Justice?
Falsified Maintenance Logs Cause Death, Prison Time...
Months ago, AVweb told you about a father-and-son team, Frank Curtis Cherry Jr. and Frank Curtis Cherry III of California, who conspired to falsify records for salvaged Robinson R-22 helicopter tail-rotor blades. The end result of their actions was the crash of a helicopter in New Zealand that killed two people in 1995. According to FAA guidelines, the blades have a 2,000-hour life limit, after which they should be replaced. The Cherrys operated an aircraft business in Torrance and solicited an unlicensed mechanic to assemble three sets of blades from salvaged blades. Then the younger Cherry created a service log for the blades indicating a total time of 621 hours. In reality the blades had logged more than 1,999 hours. Both men pleaded guilty to charges that they gave false statements to a government agency. The elder Cherry also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the FAA. Last week, they were sentenced to time in federal prison: The father's 18-month sentence outlasts his son's by four months. Which seems like an awfully sweet deal to us, for two men whose deliberate and admitted actions took two lives.