21-Jun-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Lansing Community College’s aviation mechanics program is the centre of an investigation involving a Bell OH-58A Kiowa.Â Harry Whitehead, the lead faculty member who ran the aviation program before he was fired last month, allegedly tried to sell the helicopter to a long-time acquaintance two years ago.Â He was expecting a running OH-58 in exchange from Icon Aviation Inc but the transaction was never completed and only a number of parts were exchanged between the two parties.
The College had acquired the Kiowa under a federal program which allowed them to use the airframe, but did not transfer ownership at that time.Â Mr Whitehead’s termination letter takes him to task for the making a trade he didn’t have the authority to make with property that didn’t belong to LCC, for never attempting to assess the value of that property relative to what the college would get in return, for presenting the college with a “fraudulent, back-dated contract,” for refusing to answer investigators’ questions.
The results of a Michigan State Police investigation into parts and equipment trading in Lansing Community College’s aviation mechanics program have been turned over to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
UPDATE – 18 July 2011 – Following representation from Gordon Belt, the Interim Department Chair in the Transportation & Engineering Technologies group at Lansing Community College, we would like to make it clear that the previous title to this report was inaccurate and we have added the words “faculty members” to promote clarity.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com