Sign-off Lands Instructor A Suspension

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An Illinois flight instructor who his lawyer says mistakenly signed off a student's logbook has lost his commercial and instructor's ticket for six months, even though all the training was properly provided. Mark Clements, owner of Northwest Aviation, supervised the computer simulation part of a student's training while another instructor actually went flying with him. Clements signed off the logbook, when it should have been the other instructor's signature. It somehow came to the attention of the FAA, who charged him with submitting "false or fraudulent" records to the FAA. "It was just the wrong guy who signed the flight book," Clements' attorney John Scott Hoff told the Pioneer Press. "Had he just had (the other instructor) sign it, there would not have been a problem." Hoff said all the training recorded in the logbook was properly provided and recorded. Hoff said the normal suspension for this type of violation is a year but the FAA cut it in half because of the circumstances. FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the suspension had nothing to do with an incident in February in which one of Northwest's aircraft made an emergency landing on a freeway. Clements can continue to run the flight school but he can't be actively involved in any instruction until the suspension has been served.