...Despite Conventional Wisdom...

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While it might be expected that felons can go to prison for aviation-related crimes such as selling bogus aircraft parts, many aviators presume that the penalty for lying on an FAA application would be the revocation of the certificate. However, Harry Hobgood, assistant U.S. attorney in the North Carolina case, said that pilots shouldn't be surprised that a lie could result in criminal charges. "Drug usage is a big deal to the FAA," he told AVweb. He said that Cox's omission was found in standard cross-checking of the application. "This was not a minor omission. This was about as egregious as it gets," he said. He said Cox had been in jail twice before on drug charges. "I think you can expect a lot more of this," Hobgood added, citing security concerns. "9/11 was a wake-up call."