Fake pilot avoids jail after aircraft parts thefts

The man who was convicted last March of flying without a licence while pretending to be a flying instructor at North Weald Airfield has admitted stealing aircraft parts. However, despite being on a suspended sentence from the first offences, Wesley Andrew Tierney has avoided prison.

Tierney, aged 26, from Letchworth, Herts stole and hid an estimated £10,000-worth of items. He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft at Chelmsford Crown Court on 5 October. He was sentenced to a 16 month prison term, suspended for a year.

This conviction comes after Tierney received an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 14 months, in March after admitting three counts of acting as flight crew of an aircraft without holding an appropriate licence and two counts of forgery with attempt to deceive.


  1. This individual is a ‘Walter Mitty’ of the very worst kind. He should be in jail for what he has done. If I stole a box of matches and got caught I would expect an appropriate level of punishment. This is no deterrent for him or others like him. Scandalous.

  2. What is going on?
    1. Pretended to be a Flight Instructor – so where was the due diligence from the school checking on his logbook / records etc? Faked obviously but surely a couple of simple phonecalls would’ve sorted that?
    2. 10k’s worth of gear? What was he nicking and how the hell did he get access to parts?
    Seriously he could have endangered peoples lives and frankly his reward is a slap on the wrist and a ‘behave yourself for the next 15 months and we’ll say no more about it charge’ – makes the law look like an ass and more importantly brings the whole credibility of learning to fly in the UK look like a shagged out system long overdue an overhaul. Just lucky he didn’t nick a plane and do something worse with it.

    1. I agree completely here Chris.

      Having worked as a CFI the first thing to do is scrutinise the potential candidate very carefully.

      If this was picked up on a CAA audit surely the school would loose their approval, or not?

  3. There must be more to this than is being reported here. If his initial sentence was suspended for 14 months, then having been convicted again, surely this initial sentence is then due to be served.

    The only reason I can think of for this not to be the case is if the theft of the parts happened at the same time as the fake instructor crime and therefore is not deemed to be a subsequent crime, more of a simultaneous crime.

    Even so, as other comments have said – what more does someone have to do these days? The risk needs to be perceived to be more than the benefit – whereas at the moment, the risk is simply a slap on the wrist.

    It would be helpful to have reported the date of the thefts and how these correspond to the original crime.

  4. His behaviour reminds me of the little …… who stole my push bike (I had given him a detention some years previously). The police were not interested. Whoopee goes he and goes on to try and steal a car further down the road from an acquaintance. He was caught red handed, I forget what punishment was given but probably not enough. Let them off first time and they consider it as an invitation to do more and more and …….

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