Wasilla Man Indicted for Operating Aircraft without an Airman’s Certificate Following 2022 Crash

Wasilla Man Indicted for Operating Aircraft without an Airman’s Certificate Following 2022 Crash

ANCHORAGE – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment on April 21, 2023, charging a Wasilla man with serving as an airman without an airman’s certificate and displaying false or misleading marks about the registration of an aircraft.

According to court documents, Michael Anthony Roberts, 61, served as an airman without an airman’s certificate when he piloted Piper PA-18 registered as N99640, at Wolf Lake Airport, Wasilla, Alaska on February 27, 2022. The aircraft crashed on takeoff. The indictment also charges that Roberts displayed a false or misleading mark on the Piper PA-18 about the registration of the aircraft.    

Roberts is charged with one count of serving as an airman without a pilot certificate, in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 46306(b)(7) and one count of displaying false or misleading marks about the registration of an aircraft, in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 46306(b)(3). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The defendant had his initial court appearance on May 9, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew M. Scoble of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska, where he was ordered to be detained pending trial.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska made the announcement.

The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Alaska State Troopers are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Brickey is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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usao/ak/23-037

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