Ex-Pilot Told To Keep Feet On Ground

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74-year-old Teddy Ernest Mayfield has been ordered by a U.S. District Judge to pay a $2,000 fine and not to "operate, construct or repair aviation equipment" without permission after piloting an aircraft 26 years since the last time the FAA revoked his certificate. The flight took Mayfield from Eugene to Independence, Ore. According to a report in the Register Guard, of Eugene, Ore., Mayfield first had his (then) student pilot certificate revoked in 1967, when he illegally flew with a passenger. In 1982 he lost his certificate for multiple violations, including failure to disclose his criminal history on a medical form. In 1994, Mayfield spent four and a half months in federal prison for multiple flights that he piloted without a certificate. And in 1995 he was found criminally negligent in the deaths of two patrons of his former skydiving school after the FAA determined he'd improperly packed their parachutes -- and after the deaths of 13 other people at the jump center. Mayfield spent five months in prison for that.

The latest punishment of three years' probation is the result of a 2008 flight from Eugene Airport to Independence Airport in Oregon, which Mayfield again piloted without proper certification. During that time, he is forbidden to operate construct or repair aviation equipment. The prosecutor in the case recommended probation for Mayfield, noting that Mayfield's offense had occurred 15 years after his last aviation-related conviction.