Tue, Apr 24, 2012
Pleaded Guilty To Taking 'Tips' From Pilots He Tested
A former FAA flight examiner in Burlington County, NJ, has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for taking tips from pilots over 100 times over seven year. The examiner also admitted to giving tests and issuing certificates on his days off, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Harrison Bishop, 64, will serve 366 days in prison for taking the $300 tips from pilots to whom he administered tests. The judge called the action a serious lapse in judgement.
No one said that Bishop's actions endangered public safety. The former military pilot admitted that he had given flight tests to other military pilots who were transitioning to commercial passenger or cargo flights. He would often give the flight tests on Saturday after offering instruction on the differences between civilian and military flight rules on a Friday evening at the Flying W Airport in Medford, NJ.
For that ground instruction, he said he would not accept any payment, but the suggested tip was $300. That word got around the region. He was cautioned to stop the practice by the FAA in both 2006 and 2010.
Bishop was caught because of his high rate of passage. A federal prosecutor said that pass rates of 85 percent or higher usually will draw the attention of investigators to be sure it's not a "mill."
Bishop pleaded guilty to accepting an illegal gratuity as a public servant back in October. He is to pay $70,000 in restitution to the federal government. He had faced prison time of 21-24 months, but the judge gave him the lighter sentence after hearing from his wife and his pastor. At his sentencing, Bishop told Judge Rober Kugler "I truly regret my actions, sir."
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