FAA Proposes $892,500 Civil Fines Air Methods Corp

FAA Safety Training ProgramsSEATTLE – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAA Proposes $892,500 Civil Fines 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 Logo.pngAir Methods Corporation is an American publicly owned helicopter operator. The Domestic Air Medical Division providesemergency medical services to 100,000 patients every year, and serves 48 states and Haiti. The company was founded by Roy Morgan and began air medical operations in 1980. Since 1991, the company has been publicly traded company under the NASDAQ ticker “AIRM.” In 2012, the company acquired its first helicopter tour operations called Sundance Helicopters in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a year later, Blue Hawaiian joined its tourism division. The company has more than 4,500 employees, operates a fleet of approximately 450 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Its corporate headquarters are on the property of Centennial Airport in Dove Valley CDP, Colorado, United States in theDenver metropolitan area;[1][2] the headquarters uses an Englewood, Colorado postal address.

Sources: FAA News and Wikipedia
Date: Sept. 14, 2016
Contact: Allen Kenitzer
Phone: 425-227-2015; Email: allen.kenitzer@faa.gov