Ex-Avantair DOM Sentenced for Obstructing NTSB, FAA

Former Avantair director of maintenance David Esteves was sentenced late last month by a Tampa federal district court to eight months of house arrest, three years of probation and a $2,000 fine for obstructing the NTSB and FAA during an aircraft accident investigation.That investigation was the result of a July 28, 2012 incident in which an elevator fell off of an Avantair Piaggio Avanti as it was departing Camarillo,
California. The airplane landed in San Diego, picked up passengers and then took off for Henderson, Nevada, with its left elevator missing. During the flight to Henderson, the pilot reported problems that were captured by the cockpit voice recorder (CVR).
After the aircraft landed in Henderson, but before the arrival of NTSB and FAA investigators, Esteves was found to have instructed a contractor to remove the nuts, bolts and right elevator to intentionally prevent the investigators from examining the condition of the right elevator. In addition, the court ruled that Esteves instructed the contractor to power up the airplane to erase the CVR data.