CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An FAA investigation led to the arrest of a North Carolina man, who’s accused of flying an airplane without a proper license.
Police arrested Paul Douglas Thorp, 53, on Wednesday.
Warriors and Warbirds, a group based in Monroe, hired Thorp in 2011 to repair and refinish a multi-engine plane it purchased from a museum in Midland, Texas.
The Department of Justice says Tharp lied about his pilot’s license, which only allowed him to fly single-engine aircrafts, as well as his ability to fix the C-46F they hired him to repair. The Attorney General’s Office says Tharp did not have the necessary FAA Mechanic Certificate with an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) rating.
Tharp is accused of regularly performing maintenance on the plane and acting as a second in command during flights. This includes a trip to Pennsylvania in June 2011, when Thorp allegedly also used another mechanic’s credentials and lied to the FAA.
Upon realizing this, the FAA opened the investigation into Tharp.
He now faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of two counts of making false statements to the FAA. He could also serve a maximum of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the three counts of flying without proper authorization.