The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $4 million civil penalty for Spitfire Aviation Services, LLC, of Fayetteville, Ark., for numerous violations of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The alleged violations include conducting at least 798 passenger-carrying revenue flights between November 2005 and October 2007, even though Spitfire held no air carrier certificate or the appropriate operations specifications required under federal regulations for charter operators. Inspectors also found that 262 of those flights were conducted by a pilot who did not hold an Air Transport Pilot Certificate with the appropriate type rating for the aircraft being flown.
Spitfire had no FAA-approved pilot training and testing program in place, nor the approved maintenance program or drug testing and alcohol misuse prevention programs required by the government.
During its investigation, the FAA determined that Spitfire operated three aircraft, including a Cessna 550 Citation II, a Beechcraft 200 and a Beechcraft 36 Bonanza, on charter flights primarily in the central and southern United States. The FAA became aware of the violations through a complaint from a competitor.
During the time it was operating in violation of regulations, Spitfire experienced a crash that destroyed the Beech 36 and resulted in the death of the pilot. The three passengers on that flight survived the accident.
Spitfire Aviation Services has 30 days from the receipt of the civil penalty letter to respond to the FAA. (FAA)