Jail For Diabetic Pilot
Pilot Ronald Crews was sentenced to 16 months in prison for lying about a medical condition that led in 2002 to his diabetic seizure while at the controls of a Cape Air Cessna 402. Crews, then 50 years of age, had flown with Cape Air for four years and had not disclosed to the FAA his insulin dependency. He will serve two years probation following completion of his jail term. The Feb. 8, 2002, flight out of Martha's Vineyard for Hyannis with four passengers aboard was spared potential disaster by the actions of one passenger -- a Cape Air security supervisor and pilot trainee. Melanie Oswalt, then 24, took the controls with 48 hours of experience under her belt and managed a gear-up landing at non-towered Provincetown airport at the north end of Cape Cod. The airport was closed at the time of the landing and located well beyond the flight's intended point of arrival. None of those aboard were injured. The U.S. Attorney's office says that Crews had for his entire career hidden the condition from the FAA.
Crews had once previously removed himself from a flight he was scheduled to fly for Cape Air and later took a medical leave of absence. He had been cleared to fly again just six weeks before the accident flight. Crews pled guilty to four counts of making false statements to a federal agency. His sentencing took place in federal court in Boston.