Charter aircraft company, owner plead guilty to failing to report leases to FAA

OKLAHOMA CITY – The owner of a charter aircraft company pleaded guilty Tuesday to intentionally failing to report to the Federal Aviation Administration five leases of fixed-wing aircraft.

According to a misdemeanor filed on November 2, James Paul Johnson, 66, was the owner and operator of Interstate Helicopters, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation.

Johnson and Interstate Helicopters induced five individuals to lease Cessna Citation aircraft and operated those aircraft for the lessees. However, no one provided the leases for those flights to the FAA, which is required by federal law.

It was alleged Johnson and Interstate Helicopters intentionally failed to report leases to the FAA for flights on May 20, 2014; September 25, 2015; January 31, 2016; July 19, 2016; and July 20, 2016. Each of these failures is a federal misdemeanor.

Johnson admitted to the allegations in court Tuesday at a plea hearing against him and the company. He will pay a fine of $5,000 and Interstate Helicopters will pay a fine of $45,000.