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Nippon Cargo disciplined for maintenance irregularities
22 July 2018

Nippon Cargo disciplined for maintenance irregularities

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism faulted Nippon Cargo Airlines for inadequate aircraft maintenance, according to a statement made by the ministry.

The Japan News reports that disciplinary action was taken against Nippon Cargo Airlines for its inadequate aircraft maintenance and failure to report accidents, as well as the manipulation of maintenance records. The airline is said to have tried to cover up the violations.

Eight maintenance staff members are said to have been involved in three cases of data falsification. In one of them, a maintenance manager and a mechanic manipulated an airplane’s lubricating oil level to avoid a mandatory checkup at Narita International Airport in April 2018. Between August 2013 and May 2018, there also were inadequate maintenance cases including the testing of aircraft control functions by an unqualified worker.

As a result, the ministry stripped the company of its exemption from annual safety inspections.

FAA proposes $1.4 million civil penalty against Virgin Islands Port Authority over safety violations

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $1,466,775 civil penalty against the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) for alleged violations of airport safety regulations at Saint Croix-Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX/TISX) and Saint Thomas-Cyril E. King Airport (STT/TIST).

The FAA inspected both airports in late January and early February 2018 and found numerous violations at both airports. The FAA alleges that VIPA did not have qualified personnel to oversee airport operations, to conduct required daily inspections, or to conduct Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) operations. The agency also alleges the airports did not maintain and make available to the FAA required records including its Airport Certification Manuals, airport emergency plans, and training records for operations supervisors and ARFF employees.

Additionally, the FAA alleges that VIPA did not meet the ARFF requirements for air carrier flights at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) after an ARFF unit could not apply a fire-extinguishing agent within the required time and was not capable of performing its required functions.

FAA inspectors also found that VIPA did not properly grade the safety area for runways at both airports to eliminate hazardous ruts, humps, depressions or other surface variations. The runways and taxiways were not properly lighted, marked, or signed and VIPA failed to issue Notices to Airman (NOTAM) informing air carriers of the runway and taxiway issues at the airports, the FAA alleges.

VIPA also failed to confirm that each fueling agent at STX had trained fueling personnel, and failed to take immediate action to alleviate wildlife hazards detected at the landfill near the airport, the FAA alleges.

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

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.