881 F.2d 1084
NOTICE: Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3 provides that dispositions other than opinions or orders designated for publication are not precedential and should not be cited except when relevant under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel.
Lansford J. RICE, Petitioner,
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION; Department of
Transportation, National Transportation Safety
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted May 9, 1989.
Decided Aug. 3, 1989.
Before JAMES R. BROWNING, CYNTHIA HOLCOMB HALL and LEAVY, Circuit Judges.
The National Transportation Safety Board ("NTSB") affirmed an Administrative Law Judge's ("ALJ") revocation of Lansford J. Rice's Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificate and Inspection Authorization. Rice appeals. We affirm.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The NTSB's factual findings are conclusive when supported by substantial evidence, and we review legal questions de novo. Essery v. Department of Transp., 857 F.2d 1286, 1288 (9th Cir.1988) (citing Meik v. NTSB, 710 F.2d 584, 586 (9th Cir.1983) and Go Leasing, Inc. v. NTSB, 800 F.2d 1514, 1517 (9th Cir.1986)).
Rice recorded in the plane's log that he had completed an annual inspection of the plane on September 21, 1983. The NTSB found that Rice's entry violated Federal Aviation Regulation 43.12(a)(1). That Regulation provides:
No person may make or cause to be made ... any fraudulent or intentionally false entry in any record or report that is required to be made, kept, or used to show compliance with any requirement under this part [Part 43]....
14 C.F.R. Sec. 43.12(a)(1) (1988). Regulation 43.12(a)(1) applies because Regulation 43.11 requires that the person performing an inspection "make an entry in the maintenance record" of the plane specifying "[t]he date of the inspection." 14 C.F.R. Sec. 43.11(a)(2) (1988). Violations of Regulation 43.12(a)(1) are the basis for revocation of the applicable certificates held by the person performing the inspection. 14 C.F.R. Sec. 43.12(b).
I. Intentionally False Entry
We uphold the finding that Rice violated Regulation 43.12(a)(1) by intentionally making a false entry specifying the date he completed the plane's annual inspection.
1. Falsity of the entry
There is no dispute Rice made an entry in the plane's logbook certifying that he had completed an annual inspection on September 21, 1983. Rice himself testified, however, that he completed the annual inspection prior to that date. See RT 7/16/86 at 293-94, CR 504-05. Rice also admitted to having told Gagnon and Meyers, prior to September 21, 1983, that he had completed the annual inspection. See id., at 125, 129, CR 336, 340. Substantial evidence therefore supports the finding that the entry was false.
Rice contends that, as a matter of law, he could not have finished the annual inspection until Meyers returned the manual to the plane, on September 21, 1983. We disagree. It is evident that the purpose of the annual inspection is to prevent the plane's physical parts from hazardous deterioration by requiring an inspection at least every twelve months. See Regulation 43.15(c)(1) and Appendix D (annual inspections require inspection of cabin and cockpit, engine, landing gear, wings, etc.; no mention of need to ensure the flight manual is present). It would defeat the purpose of the Regulation to allow any certificate holder to manipulate the date of the inspection's completion by controlling the presence of the manual, thereby allowing the plane's parts to go unchecked for longer than twelve months.1
2. Intentional Falsity
Both parties agree that the elements of an intentionally false statement are (1) a false representation; (2) regarding a material fact; and (3) made with knowledge of its falsity. Hart v. McLucas, 535 F.2d 516, 519 (9th Cir.1976).
Rice contends that there is no substantial evidence that he had knowledge that his statement regarding the completion of the annual inspection on September 21 was false. Rice is not persuasive. Rice's testimony makes clear that he knew that inspection had been completed before September 21, but that he wished to enter the date of the sale as the date at which the inspection was completed.
II. Due Process
Rice contends that he was denied due process of law (1) because he was not timely apprised of the nature of the charges that he had made an intentionally false statement in the plane's logs; and (2) because he was not on notice of the standards by which his license could be revoked.
Rice was timely notified of the charge. The ALJ held two evidentiary hearings, one on January 16, 1986, the other on July 16, 1986. The proceedings were bifurcated to accommodate the parties. The ALJ allowed the amended complaint containing the charges on February 27, 1986, almost five months before the second hearing. Rice therefore had enough opportunity to prepare a response to the charge that he had intentionally falsified the date of inspection.
Rice's second argument that he was not on notice of the applicable standards for the revocation of his license equally fails. His point seems to be that no case law exists for revoking an A & P license and Inspection Authorization for intentionally falsifying the date of inspection. However, he was put on notice by the clear applicable Regulations. Regulation 43.11 requires that the person performing an inspection "make an entry in the maintenance record" of the plane specifying "[t]he date of the inspection." Violations of Regulation 43.12(a)(1) are the basis for revocation of the applicable certificates held by the person performing the inspection. 14 C.F.R. Sec. 43.12(b).
This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3
For example, a certificate holder would be able to perform the inspection of the plane's parts at a given date but certify completion a month later by withholding the manual until that time. The end result would be that the next annual inspection might not take place until thirteen months after the first inspection