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Arrests raise air-safety concerns (Company used illegal immigrants for aircraft maintenance.)
NewsRecord ^

Posted on 03/13/2005 12:18:46 PM PST by Happy2BMe

Arrests raise air-safety concerns

3-12-05

By Taft Wireback Staff Writer
News & Record

GREENSBORO -- Air safety advocates are troubled by TIMCO's use of illegal immigrants to work on airplanes at Piedmont Triad International Airport not only for fear of terrorism, but also out of concern for mechanical errors that could put the flying public at risk.

The company's use of undocumented immigrants could lead to a maintenance flaw with serious in-flight consequences, said Gail Dunham, president of the National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation.

"TIMCO hired them because they are cheap," said Dunham, a Summerfield resident whose Washington-based group claims to be the nation's "largest grass-roots air safety organization."

"When people's lives are on the line, they should be hiring the very best people, not the cheapest," she said.

Dunham said that the use of workers with uncertain backgrounds and with possible gaps in technical knowledge is part of a general decline in the air industry's safety net.

In a written statement, TIMCO disputed that perspective, saying the arrest of 27 people at its PTI plant Tuesday was "an immigration issue, not a safety or security issue."

"All work performed at TIMCO, including work performed by the individuals detained by ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was supervised by properly certificated TIMCO employees," the statement said, referring to Federal Aviation Administration licenses intended to ensure aviation mechanics are properly skilled.

TIMCO added that "all critical work" is then double-checked by the company's inspection department.

Meanwhile, the first criminal charges were unveiled Friday against several of TIMCO's alleged illegal immigrants, one of whom is a Greensboro resident charged with lying to the FAA to receive the type of federal certification TIMCO mentioned in its statement.

The criminal complaint against Percy Alberto Vega, 53, of 127 Meadowood St., says he lied about his experience and qualifications to take the test for an "air frame and power plant" certification from the FAA.

"Percy Alberto Vega's experience ... would not meet the required amount of time nor level of experience needed to qualify him," said Megan K. France, senior special agent with the U.S. Department of Transportation's office of inspector general. FAA is part of federal DOT.

The FAA's Web site shows that Vega was awarded the so-called "A&P" certification in September. The license entitles a mechanic to service, repair and overhaul aircraft, including engine work.

The criminal complaint also accuses Vega of having two pieces of fraudulent identification and overstaying the November 2002 expiration of the work visa that entitled him to be in the country.

Two others detained Tuesday at TIMCO now also face criminal charges, Martin Freitas Cuevas, 38, also of Peru, and Alvin Feliciano Cruz, 35, of the Philippines. Both are charged with possessing fraudulent identification cards.

It is unclear whether Vega, Cruz and Cuevas were permanent, full-time TIMCO employees or worked for one of 10 labor contractors who provided the company with temporary workers.

Investigators from ICE, DOT, the Social Security Administration and the FBI arrested the 27 on Tuesday morning about 9:30, holding all on noncriminal immigration violations at jails in Winston-Salem and Charlotte.

Federal agents said criminal charges would be filed against those who had used fake documents, especially in efforts to defraud the government. The rest were to face administrative proceedings in Atlanta that could lead to deportation.

Initially, TIMCO asserted that none of the detainees were "direct" company employees, but worked instead for one of the 10 labor contractors.

After the News & Record published the names of those facing immigration charges Thursday, TIMCO said that six were permanent, full-time TIMCO employees who had been on the payroll for between 22 months and six years.

A spokesman for the company said the mistake happened because TIMCO executives did not have a list of which workers the federal government had rounded up until seeing it in the newspaper.

Federal authorities said that only a few of those arrested on immigration charges had FAA licenses. The rest worked under the supervision of licensed mechanics on airplane interiors and less critical ares, according to a spokesman for DOT's of inspector general office.

On the status of Vega, the Peruvian with the A&P license, it's unclear whether the FAA knew it was licensing a Peruvian mechanic.

The A&P mechanic's license didn't mention Vega's nationality. But he also was certified by the FAA in another license issued in 1994 as "a foreign based" commercial pilot rated for both single- and multi-engine aircraft, "valid only when accompanied by Republic of Peru license number 741."

Both licenses bear his Greensboro address. The complaint against him says he has been living in the United States off and on since March 1994.


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: aircraftsafety; airlines; airsafety; aliens; illegalimmigrant; illegalmigrant; migrant; terrorism; twa
Fly The Friendly Skies . .
1 posted on 03/13/2005 12:18:49 PM PST by Happy2BMe
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To: dennisw; SJackson; MeekOneGOP; TrueBeliever9; Geist Krieger; JohnHuang2; Salem; Sanch; ...
WHO WORKED ON THAT AIRPLANE YOU FLEW IN LAST WEEK? - ping.

======================================

The criminal complaint against Percy Alberto Vega, 53, of 127 Meadowood St., says he lied about his experience and qualifications to take the test for an "air frame and power plant" certification from the FAA.

2 posted on 03/13/2005 12:20:59 PM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government *IS* the problem.)
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To: Happy2BMe

TIMCO HR Person: "Are you sure you have the necessary experience?"

Vega: Si Senor

TIMCO HR Person: "You have the certification?"

Vega: Si Senor

TIMCO HR Person: "Wecome to TIMCO"


3 posted on 03/13/2005 12:24:14 PM PST by DaoPian
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To: Happy2BMe

The employers that ignore our laws and continue to hire illegal immigrants are holding the rest of this country hostage. We need to encourage our leaders to stand up to them.


4 posted on 03/13/2005 12:27:07 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Happy2BMe
TIMCO deserves to be fined out the arse, at a minimum.
5 posted on 03/13/2005 12:27:24 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Aeronaut

Pinging


6 posted on 03/13/2005 12:27:56 PM PST by RightWingRadio
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To: RightWingRadio; Tijeras_Slim; FireTrack; Pukin Dog; citabria; B Knotts; kilowhskey; cyphergirl; ...

7 posted on 03/13/2005 12:29:23 PM PST by Aeronaut (I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - Saint-Exupery)
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To: Scenic Sounds
But they are doing jobs Americans won't do!


</sarc>
8 posted on 03/13/2005 12:30:51 PM PST by rottndog (WOOF!!!!!!)
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To: rottndog
But they are doing jobs Americans won't do!

Of course!! LOL.

And, if it bothers us that our health care system is adversely impacted, then the answer is simple - we should quit providing health care.

And, if it bothers us that our public school system is adversely impacted, then (again) the answer is simple - we should just close our public schools.

And, if it bothers us that American employers who obey our laws have difficulty competing with those who won't, then (again) the answer is simple - the law abiding employers should either find another way to make a living or begin breaking our laws.

And, if it bothers us that that illegal immigrants are camping in the bushes in our back yards, then (once again) the answer is simple - we should just sell our back yards to someone who isn't so sensitive.

;-)

9 posted on 03/13/2005 12:39:28 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Oh, I'm sure they were just doing jobs that Americans weren't willing to do. Amazing, these are law-breakers, on both sides of the law, but since it saves a few bucks, it hardly gets noticed until an article like this. What if one of these planes had gone down due to mechanical errors?

Insanity.


10 posted on 03/13/2005 12:42:30 PM PST by F15Eagle (If FReepers FReeped like Imam's fatwa'd against their own, there'd be 1 post on FR every 5 to 10 yrs)
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To: Happy2BMe

But did he pass the test?


11 posted on 03/13/2005 12:44:33 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Happy2BMe

Amazing


12 posted on 03/13/2005 12:44:42 PM PST by international american (Tagline now fireproof....purchased from "Conspiracy Guy Custom Taglines"LLC)
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To: sgtbono2002
"But did he pass the test?"

===================

The ragheads who flew their own airline on 9/11 didn't pass the test either.

13 posted on 03/13/2005 1:14:52 PM PST by Happy2BMe (Government is not the solution to our problem, government *IS* the problem.)
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To: Happy2BMe
Simple lets all take the Air frame and power plant exam .I need to fill in some spaces on my wall better than giving them to roaches.How about the Bar exam while we are at it and a Medical license (always wanted to be a brain surgeon)
14 posted on 03/13/2005 1:17:18 PM PST by Fast1 (Destroy America buy Chinese goods,Shop at Wal Mart)
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To: Happy2BMe

I think this guy was a Mexican.


15 posted on 03/13/2005 1:20:06 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Scenic Sounds

"And, if it bothers us that our health care system is adversely impacted, then the answer is simple - we should quit providing health care."

Shoot, I can solve the nursing crisis. As a healthcare recruiter I can recruit Mexican nurses and illegally place them using fake credentials. As long as they can do the job cheaper I don't think anyone would mind...and I can make millions.


16 posted on 03/13/2005 1:21:50 PM PST by politicalwit (Republican and Democrats are across the aisle but sleep in the same bed.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Not to worry, the criminal illegal foreign alien mechanics only work on engines that American mechanics won't work on.


17 posted on 03/13/2005 1:26:48 PM PST by Tacis ("John ("What SF-180?") Kerry - Still Shilling For Those Who Would Harm America!")
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To: politicalwit
Shoot, I can solve the nursing crisis. As a healthcare recruiter I can recruit Mexican nurses and illegally place them using fake credentials. As long as they can do the job cheaper I don't think anyone would mind...and I can make millions.

You know, I don't think there has ever been a more costly crime in the history of America than what we see now in the illegal hiring of illegal immigrants. What criminal conduct in our history was ever this costly?

Like I said, this group of employers who refuse to abide by our immigration and employment laws are holding this entire country hostage. How long will it be before someone stands up to them?

18 posted on 03/13/2005 1:28:47 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Scenic Sounds
The employers that ignore our laws and continue to hire illegal immigrants are holding the rest of this country hostage. We need to encourage our leaders to stand up to them.

We have been. For years. They don't care. I'm not a big conspiracy fan, but I believe this is one of those areas where some businesses lobbied various people in Washington to look the other way.

The only way anything will be done about this issue, is if we have a major crash or terrorist attack that can be traced back to lax security on our southern border, or hiring of illegals. Even then, the airlines, etc., will be lobbying hard to place the blame elsewhere.
19 posted on 03/13/2005 1:33:29 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr
We have been. For years. They don't care. I'm not a big conspiracy fan, but I believe this is one of those areas where some businesses lobbied various people in Washington to look the other way.

Well, of course, you're absolutely right. These employers may not have much respect for our laws, but they respect political power and they obviously have a lot of clout. That's why it's so hard for some of our leaders to stand up to them. Our leaders need to know that most of the American peoplw will back them in this struggle.

It's about leadership and guts. ;-)

20 posted on 03/13/2005 1:41:42 PM PST by Scenic Sounds (Sí, estamos libres sonreír otra vez - ahora y siempre.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Illegal aliens are working on our airplanes and in our nuclear plants and on our military bases, constructing our buildings, handling our food, driving on our roads ... all without our knowing their real qualifications, their medical condition, or even their real names and addresses.


21 posted on 03/13/2005 2:17:13 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Happy2BMe

Wow, another career path that Americans won't do. Thank God for Illegals!
< /sarcasm>


22 posted on 03/13/2005 3:00:25 PM PST by hattend (Liberals! Beware the Perfect Rovian Storm [All Hail the Evil War Monkey King, Chimpus Khan!])
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To: Scenic Sounds

99.9% of employers that hire illegals do it knowing that the applicant is not eligible to work in the USA. These employers should be driven out of business.


23 posted on 03/13/2005 3:29:57 PM PST by politicalwit (Republican and Democrats are across the aisle but sleep in the same bed.)
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To: Wingsofgold; Letitring; Calpernia; Velveeta; TexasCowboy; DAVEY CROCKETT; WestCoastGal; Revel

Ruth is speechless.......ping.


24 posted on 03/13/2005 4:14:27 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (The enemy within, will be found in the "Communist Manifesto 1963", you are living it today.)
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To: Happy2BMe

The illegals should not only be charged and deported; TIMCO should also be charged (with everything the feds can come up with, including mopery) for hiring illegals - including at least one who held a fraudulently obtained A&P certificate, AND TIMCO should have its FAA papers (FBO?) yanked. Oh, and fine them out the wazoo, too.


25 posted on 03/13/2005 4:14:34 PM PST by tgslTakoma
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To: Happy2BMe

OR, we could just welcome them all with open arms, as we all know they are just doing work that Americans won't do.


26 posted on 03/13/2005 4:15:55 PM PST by tgslTakoma
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To: af_vet_rr

Let's not forget that Linda Daschle is a lobbyist for the airline industry.


27 posted on 03/13/2005 4:20:57 PM PST by tgslTakoma
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To: tgslTakoma

Let's not forget that Linda Daschle is a lobbyist for the airline industry.




BINGO!!!!!


28 posted on 03/13/2005 4:29:13 PM PST by investigateworld (Another California Refugee in Oregon)
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To: Happy2BMe

No problem - jobs Americans won't take.


29 posted on 03/13/2005 4:29:44 PM PST by sarah_f ( Know Islam, Know Terror.)
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To: Happy2BMe; All

New thread.

"What Made an Airbus Rudder Snap in midair?"

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1362099/posts


30 posted on 03/13/2005 4:44:44 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (The enemy within, will be found in the "Communist Manifesto 1963", you are living it today.)
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To: Happy2BMe
Conservatives: "Illegal Aliens"

Federal law breaking grifter businesses: "undocumented immigrants"

President George Bush: "Guest workers"

The pubbies are beating the 'rats in Orwell-speak.

And the sheep just keep bleating "Baaa-Baaaaaaa"

Savage is Right, it's just two card Monte.

31 posted on 03/13/2005 4:48:42 PM PST by sarah_f ( Know Islam, Know Terror.)
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To: tgslTakoma

"AND TIMCO should have its FAA papers (FBO?)"

They have to be a liscensed repair station.


32 posted on 03/13/2005 4:51:27 PM PST by dljordan
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To: Scenic Sounds
excellent post. thanks for spelling it out, in a way that even the dense should understand. This is NOT the free market way of doing business.
33 posted on 03/13/2005 6:38:47 PM PST by FBD ("A nation without borders is not a nation." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Happy2BMe
TIMCO's website is an interesting one. They apparently have operations also in Lake City, Florida, Macon, Georgia, and Goodyear, Arizona.

[I also notice that Governor Bush gave TIMCO a "Business Diversification Award" -- not however, due to its employment practices ;-), but for bringing diversity to Florida's business environment.]

34 posted on 03/13/2005 7:09:13 PM PST by snowsislander
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To: snowsislander

We'll diversify ourselves into a third-world nation.


35 posted on 03/13/2005 7:11:01 PM PST by Happy2BMe (Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.)
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To: Happy2BMe
Yep, gangs of mexicans are now brought in to do oil refinery turn-arounds.

Of all people who could afford to pay good wages .

36 posted on 03/13/2005 9:12:51 PM PST by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: Texas_Jarhead

Better yet, all of the TIMCO honchos and major stockholders who knew of this should go to jail and face an endless series of civil actions that will leave them peniless. Just another bunch od crooks who pass themselves off as "entrepeneurs." They're in the wrong industry. "Waste management" would be more appropriate.


37 posted on 03/14/2005 1:51:14 AM PST by Bogolyubski
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To: sarah_f

38 posted on 03/14/2005 3:02:31 PM PST by Rakkasan1 (Keep capitol punishment safe,legal , and rare...)
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