Mountain Lifeflight responds to story about pilot
Gavin Duncan, the chief pilot for Mountain Lifeflight issued the following press release regarding the Susanville company’s relationship with John Michael Dial, aka Thomas R. Cuni, a former helicopter pilot for the company who has been charged with two counts of making a false statement to federal aviation officials and one count of operating an aircraft without a proper pilot’s license.
For more details, see the Tuesday, July 30 issue of the Lassen County Times.
“John Dial (aka Tom Cuni) was hired by Mountain Lifeflight in July 2011 as a helicopter pilot. Mr. Dial came to us with a resume showing extensive experience in flying for several Emergency Medical Service and other companies nationwide. As with any pilot in the USA seeking commercial employment, a background check with the Federal Aviation Administration is required requesting any records of prior convictions, accidents or disciplinary actions taken. A national driver’s license check is also conducted for prior arrest records, fines etc. Both of these background checks came back clean with no previous history found. After completing his ground and flight training at Mountain Lifeflight, the FAA conducted a Part 135 Commercial Check Ride to Mr. Dial who successfully passed without difficulty.
“During the course of his employment Mr. Dial proved to be a competent pilot amongst his peers and crewmembers. News of his arrest in November 2011 and revelation from authorities that he was not who he said he was came as a shock to the staff at Mountain Lifeflight.
“Personal documents that Mr. Dial had left at Mountain Lifeflight revealed several forged documents including DD214 Military Release records under two different names, veterans administration benefit documents and material purporting Mr. Dial was a former naval helicopter commander in the US Navy. He often would relay stories to us of his past experiences as a pilot in the Navy and on several occasions donned a full naval officers uniform.
“These documents and other material were collected and given to the Lassen County Sheriffs Office. The VA office in Susanville and the FAA were also notified. Mountain Lifeflight has been cooperating with the FAA in their investigation and are glad he has been brought to justice.”
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