FAA Proposes $892,500 Civil Penalty Against Air Methods Corp.
For Immediate Release
September 14, 2016
Contact: Allen Kenitzer
Phone: 425-227-2015; Email: email@example.com
SEATTLE, WA – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes an $892,500 civil penalty against Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo., for allegedly operating an Airbus EC-135 helicopter on passenger-carrying flights when it was not airworthy.
The FAA alleges that during a Nov. 4, 2014 inspection in Tampa, Fla., an FAA inspector discovered that the helicopter’s pitot tubes were severely corroded. Pitot tubes are components in a system that measures an aircraft’s airspeed.
The FAA immediately notified Air Methods about the corrosion. However, Air Methods continued to operate the helicopter on 51 passenger-carrying revenue flights between Nov. 4 and Nov. 11, 2014 without repairing or replacing the pitot tubes, the FAA alleges.
The FAA alleges that because of the corroded pitot tubes, Air Methods operated the helicopter when it was unairworthy; in violation of its operations specifications; after it failed to correct a known defect in the aircraft; and in a careless or reckless manner that endangered lives and property.
“Operators are expected to respond appropriately when FAA inspectors alert them to airworthiness concerns,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “It is imperative that all operators address those concerns before operating their aircraft.”
Air Methods has 30 days from receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
Air Methods is the nation’s largest provider of air medical emergency transport services and systems. The company is dedicated exclusively to critical care transport, focusing on the quality of care to patients and safety in aviation operations. UMass Memorial LifeFlight’s pilots and mechanics are employees of Air Methods. In addition, Air Methods has the ability to continuously track and communicate with a flight via satellite tracking on the aircraft, adding an additional measure of safety via their Operational Control Center (OCC). Air Methods has built its reputation on a commitment to quality patient care and safety in aviation operations. Since 1980, they have been dedicated to air medical transport and have grown to become the most experienced air medical operator in the industry. Air Methods is UMass Memorial’s partner of choice. Click here to lean more about Air Methods.