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Crash pilot ticket revoked years ago: AVweb

Discussion in 'FAA News, Opinion and Articles' started by Lord Leighton, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Russ Niles

    [​IMG]

    A man whose pilot certificate was revoked 21 years ago for lying on his medical application was the presumed pilot of a Cessna 335 high performance twin that crashed near Palm Beach County Park Airport a week ago, killing him and his wife. Philip Castronova, 70, and his wife Mandy, 39, were on their way home from Key West. Castronova was well known at the local airport and flew frequently but hadn’t held a valid certificate since September of 1997 when it was revoked. The Palm Beach Post reviewed FAA records and also discovered that Castronova had received a 180-day suspension just prior to the revocation for a long list of airmanship violations that culminated with him refusing to cooperate with an FAA inspector.

    He could have applied to have the certificate reinstated in 1998 but there is no record that he did. It would appear that no one questioned his formal credentials at least in part because he was regarded as a competent and experienced pilot. “It raises some interesting liability issues but as for his ability to fly the plane, he can fly the plane,” said his hangar partner Glenn Corkins. Even close family members were surprised at his lack of certification. “He’s been flying forever,” said his brother Gary. Castronova was the owner of the aircraft, which was built in 1979, and owned an aircraft brokerage. The plane came down in a park near the airport and was mostly consumed by the post-crash fire. No one on the ground was involved.

    An earlier version of this story described the aircraft as pressurized but it is not.
     
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  2. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member III

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    ...and so the "anti authority" people continue to snuff out other people's lives. It's probably no different than someone driving without a license involved in a crash. It's just another number in someone's database to show statistics. SAD!!
     
  3. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    You are not aware of the circumstances that occurred between this pilot and the FLL FSDO.
    There's more to the story.
     
  4. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member III

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    There usually more to the story. Pro or con, thank goodness there was only two people who died in this crash. That was, of course, two too many! Now, we could argue that this crash could have happened with or without a valid certificate.

    The media won't publish the rest of the story. All they care about is, if it bleeds it leads.
     
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  5. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    I'm sure we'd like to hear the rest of it and sooner than later too. Seems like anything with 'FSDO' attached to it is bad news.
     
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  6. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    A rogue pilot with revoked certificates crashes a plane and kills himself and a passenger. This is not the first time for a sad accident like this happed . It keeps happening all the time and it seems, there is nothing that can be done to stop it!

    Back in 2012 again a owner took a couple for a flight in his aircraft that happen to be in the shop getting an annual. The aircraft was out of annual for over 6 years. The pilot owner had no medical, no flight review, had not flown for years and his aircraft was not airworthy. The aircraft also had no insurance.

    He took the unspecting couple up in his plane. The flight was made to demo the aircraft for sale to the passenger pilot.

    I observed the aircraft depart and stagger for altitude at Brookhaven airport on that day. It made a turn at low altitude and crashed on a street about 1 mile from the airport. The plane burst into flame and the plane owner and the buyer pilots wife died in the crash. Ironically home owners tried to save one occupant which was the owner pilot using garden hoses to try and put out the fire as the pilot burned to death in front of them. The neighbors said they heard him crying for help. The couple was able to get out however, they were burned badly and his wife died at the scene also.

    The outcome of this crash is......there was a big investigation. The FAA, NTSB, DOT Inspector General investigators and the FBI all converged to the scene. It was in the news big time with interviews with the home owners talking about how they tried to save the pilot as he screamed for help as he died horribly. It was like a Hollywood movie. I was interviewed by the different media at the airport wanting to know what happended!

    It was big news for days. It went national, with all the seriousness that such a horrific crash could portray. I knew some of the investigators. It was a sickening scene as two people died horribly and one survived after months in the hospital.

    The end result was, accidents like this keep happening over and over again. The surviving pilot who lost his wife in the ordeal was listed as pilot in command even though he did not own the aircraft. He did however have a current medical and was current as a pilot. Even thought he was unaware that the aircraft was not in annual and the dead owner had no medical and was not current for years!

    A bitter lesson for him to be blamed for the crash that killed his wife!

    Ironicslly the aircraft log books disappeared for some reason which is why the DOT Inspector General and FBI were involved.

    The out come was the aircraft books were never found and the FAA violated the A&P mechanic who was performing the unfinished annual.

    The lawyers eventually dropped out as there was no money to be made bringing forth any law suit!

    o_O....:(....;)....:mad::mad:......!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  7. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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  8. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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  9. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    From AVweb: Who needs a Certificate anyway?
    https://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/101/4156-full.html?ET=avweb:e4156:2105828a:&st=email#231554
     
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  10. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    It should be understood the the FAA does not care if a pilot kills himself in an Aircrash. The FAA is suppose to be there to protect the public from a rogue that is dangerous and could kill innocents on the ground.

    I have read accident reports where an aircraft crashed into a house and killed a mother and an infant. Unsuspecting passengers are killed all the time flying in an aircraft where the pilot was incompetant.

    As an instructor and an aircraft mechanic, I run across pilots that violate regulations all the time. The pilot is not current (no flight review) and is flying his aircraft. Or a pilot has an aircraft that is out of annual. A triple header plus would be the pilot is out of currency, no flight review, his aircraft is out of annual and no current medical worst senerio!!

    What is the answer? The FAA only finds out when there is an accident.

    Any pilot that violates so many regulations is an accident waiting to happen. Add in scudrunning and the risk goes up further.

    We are free society and FAA does not going around asking people at airports to show them their papers. Or checking aircraft for current annuals......

    SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS
     
  11. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Unless yer a Freight Dog, then anything is good with the FAA. Major crash kills hundreds on the ground? No problem, we only lost 2 lives on the plane. Next! :eek: ps: That Nazi SS guy checking papers looks like Sen. Mark Warner(D), lol. :eek:
     
  12. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    FAA doesn't worry about freight dogs, unless they crash into a city!

    TheRisk management boys look at two pilots and a bunch of boxes as low on the priority list .....
     
  13. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Exactly what I meant.
     
  14. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    :p
     
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  15. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    It's difficult to take the New York Post seriously when the sidebar has this-
    "Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina"
    :confused::confused::confused:
     
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  16. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    We could argue many meritorious points.
    The passenger/pilot could have looked at the TB-10 logbooks first since it was a pre-buy situation and not flown the plane.
    These two accidents made more than the usual mention on the news because most accident pilots are licensed.
    I've known a few pilots without current licenses/medicals over the years. Most didn't die in an airplane.
    The FAA medical exam is not stringent (compared to much of the world) and doesn't screen out many potential health problems.

    The C-335 pilot could have easily passed a BFR and a medical exam.
    He could have passed a BFR after getting his license and medical reinstated, and still crashed.
    He exercised good procedures while flying. His aircraft was in good shape.
    A piece of plastic in his wallet wouldn't have made a difference.

    For private flying, I'm like the FAA- Take a hands off approach.
    For anything commercial, protect the public.
    I think you'll disagree, and we'll agree to disagree.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  17. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    At that time, South Florida had a FSDO in FLL for domestic agendas and a FSDO in MIA for Miami and international agendas.
    The FLL FSDO had a rogue inspector. This rogue inspector was protected because he was useful in carrying out the Director's political agendas. When the rogue inspector would draw too much heat, such as when respected operators had him physically removed from hangars by Sheriff's deputies, or when 5 respected operators barged into the Director's office unannounced for a confrontation about the rogue, the rogue would be assigned to ramp-checks for a while. This is when the accident pilot received a very bitter taste about FAA, and NTSB line judges. The rogue would eventually be fired for a racial slur, only to be rehired a few years later to head up the Suspected Unapproved Parts program.

    Russ calls it 'empire building', a term I like. Russ and Richard complain about the FAA to the point of sounding like disgruntled former employees, BUT THEY ARE VERY CORRECT. Working with the FAA is very political. I learned while still in high school to maintain a good relationship with the FAA if anything was to get approved. I've seen good FAA inspectors terminated and bad inspectors protected. November will be 40 years in aviation for me, and it's still the same.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  18. Lord Leighton

    Lord Leighton Hangar Gold Member I

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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  19. Rotorruss

    Rotorruss Hangar Silver Member III

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    ...if the public feels that GA is safe enough, then they shouldn't complain about the crashes. If they think safety compliance is being adhered to, then don't complain about unsafe acts. The taxpayers could save a lot of money if there was no need for safety oversight.

    BTW EG, congrats on 40 years!!
     
  20. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Ugh......:eek:.....the poor turtle....!
     
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