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Australian Pilot Owner Of Hoch Air Charged With Insurance Fraud Sabotaging Competitors Aircraft

January 24, 2017 - An Australian pilot and owner of Hoch Air, Josh Hoch, 31, has been arrested and accused of sabotaging his competitors aircraft, faking aircraft accidents for insurance money and flying charter flights without being properly licensed.

Allegedly the North Queensland pilot owner poured contaminants "abrasive material" into his competitors aircraft gas tanks and engines which resulted in "catastrophic engine failure" and forced landings.

Mount Isa police detectives arrested Hoch last-night after a year long investigation and charged him with 342 offenses following a protracted multi-agency investigation into the alleged tampering of aircraft at the Mount Isa Airport.

In October 2016, police from the Northern Region with assistance from officers from the State Crime Command, along with personnel from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Crime and Corruption Commission and other government agencies commenced a major investigation “Operation Oscar-Demotic after receiving information in relation to the damage of aircraft at Mount Isa Airport.


The investigation was prompted after one of Hoch Air’s competitor at the airport reported to the police that one of his aircraft had been damage for the second time in the same year. The investigation unveiled two charter service providers suffered damage to their aircraft and the forced landings of two aircraft. Further engine failures that were detected prior to take-off occurred on another two aircraft.

A review of aircraft security and passenger safety at the airport was conducted resulting in additional security measures. Police officials report no further instances of aircraft being damaged. In addition investigators have identified a “significant witness” who has direct knowledge and has provided information on the fraudulent insurance claims, sabotaging of aircraft and numerous safety breaches relating to aviation regulations.

These incidents relate to activities conducted predominantly in North Queensland and involve charter operations from Charters Towers and Mount Isa. The investigation also uncovered evidence relating to the alleged grievous bodily harm of an aircraft engineer at Charters Towers in July of 2014. As a result of this incident, a man aged in his 60s sustained permanent and life-changing head injuries.




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