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News helicopter pilot arrested

A former news helicopter pilot who worked in the Bay Area has been arrested for flying without a proper license and lying to officials, according to the Department of Justice.

John Michael Dial, 57, worked under the fake name Thomas R. Cuni while making 265 flights in the Bay Area.

According to the AP, court documents say Dial provided false information to the Federal Aviation Administration for years to be able to work as a pilot for an air ambulance service in Susanville and as a news helicopter pilot in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Dial’s last recorded flights were under his real name using fake FAA documents to get a job with Sacramento’s KCRA-TV.
Documents show Dial has used 24 other names and aliases over the past 12 years.

He faces up to five years in prison.

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