Two supervisors at the Corpus Christi Army Depot have been arrested and charged with falsifying data on the main rotor blades for Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in order to make non-conforming parts look like they met Army specifications, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Albert Flores, 57, of Corpus Christi and Samuel Escareno, 54, are both charged with one count each of conspiracy and falsifying records related to aircraft parts, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The supervisors allegedly commanded subordinates at the depot “to make false entries and certifications on UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter main rotor blade dynamic balance data sheets," the Justice Department said. "The defendants allegedly did so in order for nonconforming rotor blades to appear to meet specifications when they actually did not.”
Corpus Christi Army Depot is a major military aviation repair hub on the Texas coast. The depot’s website said the depot is “the largest rotary wing repair facility in the world,” and boasts that since 2003 the facility has worked on 1,098 aircraft, 21,555 engines and a total of 411,398 components for the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook, AH-64 Apache, OH-58 Kiowa and the Air Force’s HH-60 Pave Hawk.
If convicted, both men could face 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $10,000.