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FAA revokes Air America’s air carrier certificate over safety issues
4 April 2018

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.

 

China fines Emirates for safety related incidents

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a 29,000 Yuan (ca 4250 USD/3800 Euros) fine to Emirates for two safety related incidents.

Additionally the airline is not allowed to request additional flights to China. The first incident occurred on April 17, when an Emirates flight flew at a wrong altitude above Urumqi after the crew misunderstood instructions. On May 18, radio communications of an Emirates flights were cut off over the same area.

An Emirates spokesperson stated to Gulf News that safety was a top priority for the airline, and that the carrier will complete all actions required by CAAC.

 

FAA proposes $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in an airworthy condition. 

The FAA alleges that on June 9, 2014, United mechanics replaced a fuel pump pressure switch on a Boeing 787 in response to a problem that a flight crew had documented two days before. However, the airline failed to perform a required inspection of the work before returning the aircraft to service, the agency alleges.

United operated the aircraft on 23 domestic and international passenger flights before performing the required inspection on June 28, 2014, the FAA alleges. Two of those flights allegedly occurred after the FAA had notified United that it had not performed the inspection.

The FAA alleges the aircraft was not airworthy during all 23 of the flights.

United has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.

U.S. pilot sentenced to 10 months for operating aircraft without license

A 37-year old American who admitted that he illegally piloted private jet airplanes with passengers onboard without having a valid pilot’s license was sentenced to 10 months in U.S. federal prison.

According to court documents, the pilot operated aircraft with passengers on a number of occasions without the proper authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration. In January 2015, he piloted a Cessna Citation turbojet-powered aircraft, with paying passengers, from Santa Monica to Phoenix prior to receiving any type of airman’s certificate for turbojet-powered aircraft.

The following month, he obtained an airman’s certificate that authorized him to be a second-in-command pilot on a Cessna Citation turbojet-powered aircraft, but he continued to operate the Cessna Citation as a sole pilot with passengers. For example, in April 2015, he piloted a Cessna Citation from Burbank to Bermuda Dunes and from Santa Monica to Bentonville, Arkansas.

Furthermore, on April 8, 2016, he was the sole pilot of a Dassault Falcon 10 turbojet-powered aircraft, with passengers on board, that flew from Van Nuys to Las Vegas, Nevada. At this time, he was not certified to fly the Falcon 10, and the FAA had revoked all of his airman certificates.

This case was investigated by the Department of Transportation – Office of Inspector General, with assistance by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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