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Thu, Oct 14, 2010

FAA Proposes Civil Fines Against Parachute Center, Corporate Air

Cites Use Of Unsafe Jump Aircraft, Improper Maintenance

The FAA has proposed fines against two unrelated aviation companies for alleged aircraft safety violations.

A $664,000 civil penalty has been proposed against William C. Dause, doing business as The Parachute Center of Acampo, CA, for allegedly failing to perform required aircraft parts replacements and failing to comply with safety directives.

"Putting parachutists at risk by neglecting to follow safety procedures is unacceptable," said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood. "We expect aircraft operators to comply with our safety rules and will take enforcement action when they do not."


Secretary LaHood

The FAA alleges that The Parachute Center operated a DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter when critical parts were well past their life limits and without inspecting portions of the wings for corrosion. In all, the FAA alleges that The Parachute Center operated the aircraft on approximately 2,121 flights between March 21, 2008 and November 4, 2009 with elevator control cables that were overdue for replacement and when the plane was not in compliance with Airworthiness Directives requiring visual inspections of the wing main spar, lower spar cap extensions and wing support strut for possible corrosion. The FAA also alleges that the company operated the aircraft on at least 500 flights between April 16, 2009 and November 4, 2009 with aileron control cables that were overdue for replacement.


Twin Otter File Photo

In a separate matter, the agency has also proposed a $455,175 civil penalty against Corporate Air of Billings, MT, for allegedly operating a Beech 1900C airliner when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

We expect airlines to comply with these rules and will take enforcement action when they do not," said Secretary LaHood.

The FAA alleges Corporate Air failed to maintain the aircraft under the company's general maintenance manual, which includes the Pratt & Whitney Canada maintenance manual for the aircraft's turboprop engines. Specifically, the FAA alleges that Corporate Air operated the aircraft on at least 80 flights in spite of continued evidence of excessive oil consumption by the right engine. The FAA-approved aircraft and engine manuals call for post-flight inspection and repair of an engine experiencing excessive oil consumption. Corporate Air did not correct the oil consumption problem despite repeated inspections in which oil had to be added.

Corporate Air operates charter and air taxi service under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.


FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt

"Passengers and crew have to be able to trust that an operator has done the right thing and has complied with all the rules," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "Safety and compliance are the right choices, every time."

Both the Parachute Center and Corporate Air have 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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