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Pilot who made false statements to FAA sentenced to time served

A Steuben County man convicted of making false statements to a federal agent after claiming he was the only person aboard a single-engine plane that crashed two years ago at the Perry-Warsaw Airport was sentenced to time served and a year of supervised release.

Brian Woodhams, 40, of Wayland, held only a student pilot license when the crash occurred Oct. 31,  2015.   Under the terms of the license, if Woodhams flew with a passenger, a flight instructor also was required to be on board the airplane.

While trying to land his Piper Cherokee 140 airplane at the Perry-Warsaw Airport, Woodhams erred, which caused the nose of the plane to go into a ditch off the runway. At the time of the accident, there was a 15-year old boy on board as a passenger, but no flight instructor, authorities said.

During a subsequent telephone conversation, with FAA inspectors, Woodhams told them he suffered a bloody nose and bruised shin. He also claimed that he was the only occupant in the airplane at the time of the accident, though his son had approached the aircraft immediately after the crash and slipped and fell as he climbed up the flap, hitting his nose and also caused him to suffer a bloody nose.

Two day later, Woodhams submitted an incident report to the National Transportation Safety Board reporting the story he had told FAA inspectors.

More than a year later, after a thorough investigation by federal authorities, Woodhams continued to deny that there was a passenger on his plane the day it crashed and offered an alternative explanation for his son's injuries. In July, Woodhams pleaded guilty to lying to a federal agent.



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