The NTSB’s chief administrative law judge dismissed an FAA emergency order of revocation of a New Jersey A&P’s mechanic certificate, Inspection Authorization and commercial pilot certificate following an investigation resulting from a nose-gear collapse on a 1947 Beech Bonanza.
"This case is just another example of the FAA’s abuse of prosecutorial discretion," says attorney Gregory Winton, who represented the mechanic.
After the accident, two FAA inspectors launched an investigation and accused the mechanic of making "a fraudulent or intentionally false maintenance record entry concerning the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) battery" and alleged "that he returned the aircraft to service with airframe corrosion," according to Winton.
The NTSB judge agreed that the logbook entry for the ELT didn’t pertain, because the Bonanza didn’t require an ELT battery to be airworthy. And the FAA inspectors were unable to prove that the corrosion they said they discovered after the accident was present during the annual inspection the mechanic conducted.
The judge faulted the inspectors for not communicating with the Bonanza owner or the mechanic before initiating the revocation order.