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Home > Topics > Air ambulance

Pilot guilty of using alias to fly ambulance, news choppers

He used forged flight credentials to air ambulances and news helicopters between 2009 and 2012

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man who worked for years as a Northern California helicopter news pilot without a legal pilot's license has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft.

Federal prosecutors say John Dial, of Skaneateles, New York, entered the plea Thursday. He faces two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities say that from 2009 to 2012, Dial used a phony name and forged documents to fly for an air ambulance service in Susanville and as a news pilot in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Court documents say he made about 300 flights, the last two under his real name for KCRA-TV in Sacramento.

Associated PressCopyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Authorities say Dial has a long criminal history, including a 1994 conviction for providing false information to the FAA, and has used some two dozen names over the years.

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Khemy Perez Khemy Perez Friday, August 01, 2014 6:38:20 PM Catch me if you can? lol if the guy made 300 flights without incident, what prevented him from using his fake job to pay for flight school?
John Bussell John Bussell Friday, August 01, 2014 6:41:42 PM Dude likes to fly..... A LOT.....or something shesh.
John Lucas John Lucas Saturday, August 02, 2014 3:55:45 AM He was banned from a pilots license because he has criminal convictions.
John Lucas John Lucas Saturday, August 02, 2014 3:57:01 AM One would think he would need to verify his identity via the ID9 forms, license, etc. Glad he was a good pilot at least.
Robert Gift Robert Gift Saturday, August 02, 2014 4:55:47 AM Sad that John Dial did not make it all legitimate by obtaining his license. Are there any deficiencies in his piloting skills which were never discovered because the situations never arose?
Patty Slocumb Patty Slocumb Saturday, August 02, 2014 7:29:56 PM Sooooo he only gets 2 years?? What about homeland security? Look at his history! What in his history shows that he is ever going to change? I have no compassion for this guy. He put a lot of people in danger and he is a criminal. Sorry he couldn't get his license legally but that was his own undoing. The fact that he had no flight incidents does not excuse his breaking of the law once again.
Avanza Vaile Avanza Vaile Thursday, October 09, 2014 4:21:42 PM did he hurt anyone or kill anyone? I mean... some detail would be helpful in determining whether I think this guy is a jerk and needs to be locked up or is my new hero and should be worshiped.

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