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Russian authorities revoke Saratov Airlines AOC over unresolved safety issues
30 May 2018

Russian authorities revoke Saratov Airlines AOC over unresolved safety issues

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) revoked Saratov Airlines’ Air Operator Certificate (AOC) per May 31, 2018 over safety issues.

Saratov Airlines was involved in a fatal accident on February 11, 2018 when an Antonov An-148 crashed shortly after takeoff from Moscow, Russia, killing all 71 on board.
Violations and inconsistencies were revealed in the airline’s activities during an audit, causing the company to be put on notice in March. Ultimately the airline was given 90 days to rectify all concerns.

A check of flight assignments, flight log books, time sheets and other documents of flight crew members for March and April 2018 conducted by the Rosaviatsiya on May 26-27, found that violations at the airline are continuing and are of a systemic nature:

  • the airline carries out crew rostering without taking into account the normalization of working hours, the time of rest of flight personnel and the control of fatigue;
  • flight crew members deliberately do not observe the duty and rest times, and there is no proper control by the airline;
  • pilots are allowed to fly without a second medical examination, etc.

These conclusions led authorities to decided to revoke the airline’s AOC as of May 31, 2018.


Mexican aviation authorities grounded Global Air pending a safety inspection

Mexican aviation authorities suspended the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of Global Air, the airline involved in the recent fatal accident at Havana, Cuba.

The Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC) reported that they have initiated a safety inspection of Aerolíneas Damojh, S.A. de C.V., doing business as Global Air, after a Boeing 737-200 of the airline was involved in the May 18 crash at Havana, Cuba, in which 111 occupants died.

A decision was made to ground the airline as of May 21, as the inspection commenced.

Operations of the airline were suspended once before. Inspections following an incident on November 4, 2010 revealed safety shortcomings. These resulted in the suspension of the AOC from November 11 until December 18, 2010. The suspension was lifted when all issues had been rectified by the airline.


FAA issues emergency order of suspension for Island Airlines

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Emergency Order of Suspension against Island Airlines, LLC, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for not allowing the agency to inspect the company’s aircraft and records.

On March 14, 2017, the FAA received information alleging the St. Croix-based company was operating a Beech B200 while an inspection was overdue for one of its engines. Between March 15, 2017 and Nov. 29, 2017, the FAA tried numerous times to contact Island Airlines by email and certified letters to alert the company it was opening an investigation and to schedule an inspection of its aircraft and records.

Additionally, the FAA sent inspectors to St. Croix to inspect Island Airlines’ records and aircraft in April 2017 and November 2017.

The company did not respond to the FAA’s various communications and did not make a representative available to allow the inspectors access to its operations base, the FAA alleges.

Because Island Airlines did not allow access to its operations base for inspection of its records and aircraft, the FAA cannot verify the company’s qualifications to hold an Air Carrier Certificate, the agency alleges. The FAA has determined that the safety of the flying public requires the suspension of Island Airlines’ certificate until it allows inspection of its records and aircraft to establish the company’s qualifications.

The Emergency Order of Suspension is effective immediately, and the company cannot conduct operations while the order is in effect. Island Air surrendered its certificate

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FAA revokes Air America’s air carrier certificate over safety issues

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an Emergency Order of Revocation against Air America, Inc. of Carolina, Puerto Rico, for allegedly conducting passenger-carrying flights using a pilot who had not received enough rest, using an unqualified pilot, operating aircraft when they were overweight and not properly loaded, and failing to provide pilot records.

The FAA alleges that in March and June 2017, the company’s director of operations served as pilot in command of multiple passenger-carrying flights when he had not received required rest. The FAA further alleges the director of operations falsely recorded that he had provided required ground and flight training to a new pilot, when he had in fact not provided that training.

As a result, the new pilot was not qualified to serve as pilot in command for Air America, the FAA alleges. Nevertheless, he served as pilot in command on at least eight passenger-carrying flights between April 23 and June 3, 2017

The FAA further alleges the unqualified pilot made improper weight and balance calculations on three flights in May and June 2017. Consequently, the aircraft were overweight and improperly loaded. The twin-engine Piper PA-23-250 Aztec E he was flying crashed on June 3, 2017, killing one of the passengers.

The FAA also alleges that Air America was unable to provide pilot flight and duty records to an FAA inspector who requested them on June 5, 2017. As of February 2018, the company still had not provided those records.

The FAA alleges Air America’s actions were careless and reckless, and its numerous violations of the Federal Aviation Regulations pose a threat to safety in air commerce or air transportation.

According to the FAA aircraft register, the airline also operates a Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander, N7049T and another PA-23 Aztec, N2395Z.


Russia allows Azur Air to continue operations after it rectified safety shortcomings

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) allowed Azur Air to continue operations after it rectified safety shortcomings.

In the course of an inspection conducted by Rosaviatsiya in December 2017, the air carrier’s activity revealed inconsistencies and shortcomings concerning the maintenance of airworthiness of aircraft and the organization of flight operations. On February the authority decided to limit the validity of the airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to March 20, 2018.

Rosaviatsiya conducted an inspection on 14-15 March and concluded that the safety issues had been resolved. Additionally, shareholders of Azur Air relieved the General Director of his post and newly appointed a Deputy Director General, a Head of Flight Safety and a Technical Director. And the airline made a principled decision to transfer the aircraft fleet from the Bermuda aircraft register, to the State Register of Civil Aircraft of the Russian Federation.



Russian authorities put Saratov Airlines on notice over safety issues; ground airline’s An-148

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) decided to limit the validity of Saratov Airlines’ Air Operator Certificate (AOC) until April 27, 2018 over safety issues.

The authorities conducted an audit of the airline’s operations following the February 11 fatal accident of one of the company’s Antonov An-148 aircraft.

Violations and inconsistencies were revealed in the airline’s activities, causing the company to be put on notice. All comments must be addressed before April 27.

Rosaviatsiya also sent a directive to the airline to suspend flights of their An-148 aircraft until the remarks and inconsistencies are fully addressed.

Transport Canada suspended Island Express Air’s AOC over safety issues, in the wake of Beech 100 accident

Transport Canada suspended Island Express Air’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) over safety issues.

The suspension, initiated on February 28, prohibits the company from providing commercial air services. The department took this action in the interest of public safety due to the airline’s February 23, 2018 accident in Abbotsford, BC and its contraventions of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The accident involved a Beechcraft B100 King Air, that suffered a runway excursion on takeoff.

Transport Canada stated that, “in light of these threats to public safety, [it] will not allow Island Express Air to resume its commercial air service until it proves it can keep its operations consistently compliant with aviation safety regulations.”

The department will continue to monitor Island Express Air’s actions as the company works towards compliance with aviation safety regulations.

South African CAA temporarily grounded 12 CemAir aircraft over maintenance issue

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) temporarily withdrew the Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) privileges for 12 aircraft being operated by CemAir over maintenance issues.

The suspension became effective at 06:00 AM on Friday, 02 February 2018 and automatically expired after 24 hours at 05:00 AM on Saturday, 03 February 2018.
The decision to withdraw CoA privileges follows the discovery during an audit by SACAA inspectors that some of the aircraft that were serviced at CemAir’s Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) were released back to service or cleared as airworthy by unqualified personnel. This is in contravention of Part 43 and Part 121 of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations.

This practice posed an imminent danger for crew members, passengers, and the public at large, and has a direct impact on aviation safety, since the airworthiness status of the aircraft concerned cannot be confirmed and/or is questionable, according to a CAA statement.

CemAir was founded in 2005 and operates a fleet of  Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-100ER/200ER aircraft and de Havilland Canada DHC-8’s.


FAA proposes $1.1 million civil penalty against company for shipping substandard lithium batteries

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $1.1 million civil penalty against Braille Battery, Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

This is the largest civil penalty the FAA has proposed for alleged violations of the requirements for offering an air shipment of lithium batteries. The FAA alleges that on June 1, 2016, Braille offered four shipments, each containing a 24-volt lithium ion battery, to FedEx for transportation by air. One of the batteries apparently caught fire while it was being transported on a FedEx truck, after it had been transported on an aircraft, resulting in the destruction of the vehicle.

The FAA alleges the lithium batteries in these shipments did not meet testing standards contained in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria or the U.S. Hazardous Material Regulations, were not equipped with a means of preventing dangerous reverse current flow, and were not in a proper condition for shipment. The FAA further alleges Braille failed to provide its employees with required hazardous materials training.

On June 8, 2016, the FAA informed Braille about the concerns in its training program. On June 14 and June 15, 2016, the FAA informed Braille that the Hazardous Materials Regulations and the ICAO Technical Instructions prohibit the shipment of lithium ion batteries that are not proven to meet the UN testing standards.

However, Braille continued to offer shipments of these lithium ion batteries for air transportation on 14 separate occasions between July 14, 2016 and August 3, 2016, the FAA alleges. The shipments included a total of 77 batteries. Each shipment contained between one and 27 batteries.
The FAA previously assessed an $8,000 civil penalty against Braille in 2013 for shipping undeclared lithium ion batteries.

Braille has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

FAA proposes $869,125 civil penalty against Compass Airlines

The U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes an $869,125 civil penalty against Compass Airlines for allegedly failing to provide flight crews with complete weather information.

The FAA alleges the company, which does business as Delta Connection, operated 47 flights between May 18, 2015, and June 19, 2015, without correctly using an approved system for obtaining weather forecasts and reports of adverse weather. Compass flew to and from Monterrey, Mexico, without the required Mexican Significant Meteorological Information in its flight weather packages, the agency alleges. The FAA further alleges that Compass did not notify its operations personnel about potentially hazardous meteorological conditions.

Compass has 30 days from receiving the FAA’s civil penalty letter to respond to the agency.