Former Flight Options pilot Franklin Rodriguez last month was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison after pleading guilty last May to smuggling drugs into the U.S. While in the Air National Guard he and loadmaster John Fong smuggled some 200,000 Ecstasy pills–worth an estimated $11.6 million on the street–into the U.S. after conducting a military C-5 Galaxy mission from Germany to Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y.
Aphis, the U.S.
A federal judge in Albuquerque, N.M., Friday denied Aviace’s plea for preliminary injunction against Eclipse Aviation as part of the Swiss firm’s lawsuit alleging Eclipse violated a March 2002 sales contract. The suit accused Eclipse of wrongly canceling the order for Aviace’s first Eclipse 500 and declaring the initial deposit on that aircraft forfeited.
At press time, two lawsuits had been filed in the aftermath of the September 29 midair collision over the Amazon jungle. Each suit lodges claims against U.S. charter operator ExcelAire, the two pilots of the Legacy 600 involved in the accident and avionics manufacturer Honeywell.
The FAA recently hosted representatives from key industry organizations, including the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), to discuss aspects of new drug and alcohol testing rules pertaining to maintenance contractors and subcontractors for Part 121 and 135 operators (FAR 135.251 and 135.253).
In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget this week, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) requested the agency's intervention to ensure that the new FAA policy requiring landing performance assessments before landing, including a new requirement for a mandatory 15-percent margin, for fractional and charter jets complies with all statutory requirements.
For the time being, air-taxi and fractional jet operators will not be required to add a 15-percent safety margin to actual landing distance as described in a June FAA policy notice and an impending OpSpec. Trade groups had argued that since the policy notice was to become a requirement, the FAA is obligated to follow the rulemaking process, including, an initial notice of proposed rulemaking asking for comments.
Controversial FAA regulations that would impose numerous new requirements on air-tour operators are one step closer to publication. The rulemaking, proposed in October 2003, is now under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB’s review and approval is the last step before the FAA can publish the regulations as a final rule.
Seven months after the International Registry of Mobile Assets (IRMA) became effective, the controversial Web-based registry–known colloquially as the Cape Town Treaty–still has few fans and continues to create much confusion among business aviation users.
A North Carolina judge issued an injunction recently against charter facilitator CharterX, its new Wyvern Consulting charter audit unit and a former ARG/US employee for allegedly using proprietary information from ARG/US computers without the company's permission.