By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
The prosecution was seeking one year in prison, but a judge has handed down a sentence of four years probation, plus a $100 "special assessment," for a pilot who falsified logbook entries while seeking advanced ratings. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Fahad al-Daous submitted a logbook containing an extra 90-plus hours pilot-in-command time and more than 41 hours of cross country time that he did not fly, but applied while seeking an instrument rating. The pilot's flight school, Livingston Aviation in Waterloo, Iowa, reportedly began training al-Daous in 2010 and alerted federal officials when it spotted discrepancies between its own records and the pilot's claims. The pilot reportedly later admitted to inflating the numbers. Lawyers on both sides highlighted other considerations that may have influenced the 33-year-old father of three.
According to documents submitted to the court by U.S. attorney Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, al-Daous sought and obtained his instrument rating using the falsified logbook information. Ebinger wrote that al-Daous then continued to enter fraudulent flight hours while working toward a commercial pilot certificate. The pilot's defense attorney suggested that the pilot may have had limited sources of income and was seeking to avoid the financial burden of purchasing more flight hours. Al-Daous holds dual citizenship in the U.S., where he was born, and Saudi Arabia, where he reportedly has worked as a flight attendant. According to his attorney, al-Daous was living in the U.S., supported by a stipend from the Saudi government, while his wife sought to complete graduate coursework. Al-Daous himself reportedly told FBI agents that he logged twice the number of actual hours flown to save money in pursuit of licenses.