Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Keith Alexander Thomas: New Mexico Man Sentenced in Federal Court in Iowa for Flying a Plane Without a Pilot’s License

Flew a plane that was not airworthy and had to make an emergency landing in Waterloo, Iowa

A man who attempted to pilot an airplane from Wisconsin to New Mexico without a pilot’s license was sentenced today in federal court.  Keith Alexander Thomas, age 44, from Portales, New Mexico, received the sentence after an April 15, 2021 guilty plea to one count of operating as an airman without an airman certificate.

Information disclosed at sentencing showed that in June 2018, Thomas and another man flew from New Mexico to Wisconsin so that the other man could purchase a Cessna airplane.  Thomas, who did not have a pilot’s license, agreed to serve as the pilot of the Cessna and attempt to fly it back to New Mexico.  The Cessna was not airworthy and sustained engine failure as it flew over Iowa.  Thomas was required to make an emergency landing in Waterloo, Iowa, but also failed to establish radio communication with the aviation company whose airstrip he landed on.  The Cessna not only suffered engine failure, the plane was also out of inspection compliance and the landing gear was not operational.  No one was hurt during the emergency landing.

Thomas was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Thomas was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $5,000. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and investigated by the United States Department of Transportation – Office of the Inspector General. 

The case file number is 21-CR-2003.

Cessna 172N, N737GL: Accident occurred August 23, 2021 in Hayward, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Location: Hayward, CA 
Accident Number: WPR21LA331
Date & Time: August 23, 2021, 12:28 Local
Registration: N737GL
Aircraft: Cessna 172N 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N737GL
Model/Series: 172N NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHWD,47 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Sacramento, CA (KMCC) 
Destination: Hayward, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.658929,-122.12173 (est)

Boeing 737-832, N3740C: Incident occurred September 07, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbus, Ohio

Aircraft landed and after post flight inspection, a piece of the right wing center flap was missing. 

Delta Air Lines Inc

Date: 08-SEP-21
Time: 00:45:00Z
Regis#: N3740C
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: DELTA AIRLINES
Flight Number: DAL2239
State: OHIO