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Pilot in deadly Yorba Linda crash twice disciplined by federal air safety board

Antonio Pastini (Facebook)

The pilot of a plane that broke up in the sky and crashed into a Yorba Linda neighborhood on Super Bowl Sunday, killing him and four others inside a home, apparently was twice disciplined by the National Transportation Safety Board, according to federal documents.

Federal Aviation Administration officials confirmed Friday that the pilot of the ill-fated Cessna notified the agency in 1991 that he had changed his name from Jordan Albert Isaacson to Jordan Ike Aaron. In 2008, he told the FAA he again had changed his name, this time to Antonio Peter Pastini.

NTSB records on file with the Library of Congress show that a pilot with the name Jordan A. Isaacson had his license suspended for 120 days in 1977 for lying to an air traffic controller that he had an instrument rating allowing to him to fly in low-visibility conditions during a trip from Las Vegas to Long Beach, according to federal records.

“He allowed his motivation to reach Long Beach to dictate the flight should be made and continued,” Administrative Law Judge Jerrell R. Davis wrote in a decision. He lacked an instrument rating … and therefore constituted a potential threat to himself, his passenger, and other users of the system.”

Then, in 1980, Davis suspended the license of a pilot named Jordan Isaacson for 30 days for failing to have a registration certificate aboard his aircraft, missing an annual inspection, and a hydraulic fluid leak that left his wheel brake “unairworthy,” records show.

FAA officials said they could not confirm that the pilot in the two disciplinary incidents is Pastini because their old records had been purged and they did not immediately have access to the Library of Congress records.

Pastini,  a 75-year-old Sushi restaurant owner from Gardnerville, Nevada, was flying solo when he took off from Fullerton Airport in his 1981 Cessna 414A at about 1:35 p.m. Feb.3.

Just 10 minutes later, the twin-engine aircraft began to break up midflight. Debris from the plane scattered across a neighborhood  and smashed into a house in the 19900 block of Crestknoll Drive, causing an explosion and fire that killed four people inside.

Investigators have not said what could have caused the crash.

Amid the wreckage, authorities found a badge and identification leading them to initially believe Pastini was a former Chicago police officer.

However, officials with the Chicago Police Department have said there is no record of anyone by the name of Jordan Isaacson or Antonio Pastini ever working for the agency.

Badge found in plane piloted by Tony Pastini. Chicago police say they have no record of Pastini ever working for the department. (Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

The badge was reported lost in 1978 and the identification that accompanied it appears to be fake, officials said.

Still, friends said Pastini frequently represented himself as a former cop.

“He would bring it up and was definitely proud of it,” said Charlie Abowd, a friend of Pastini’s who also owns a restaurant in Carson City, Nevada.

In 2008, Pastini told the Nevada Appeal newspaper in Carson City that he served in the Chicago Police Department for 21 years and moved west after retiring.

Pastini also was described as the personal pilot for famed Nevada brothel owner-turned-politician Dennis Hof, who died unexpectedly in October at age 72.

Hof mentioned Pastini’s law enforcement career in a video taken during his Mardi Gras-themed birthday party at a restaurant last year.

“I love this guy,” Hof shouted into a microphone during the party while Pastini sat among revelers. “A Chicago guy. A Chicago cop.”

Zack Hames, who served as Hof’s executive assistant, said Friday that he and the brothel owner flew without incident about 20 times over the last two years in Pastini’s plane, often as part of Hof’s bid for the Nevada Legislature.

“If Dennis wanted to fly in a private plane that’s who he went with,” Hames said. “He and Dennis were very close friends.”

Pastini’s daughter, Torrance resident Julia Ackley, has declined to discuss publicly her father’s name changes or claims of serving in the Chicago police force.

Source: Orange County Register

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