Judging by the positive press from AOPA and EAA, one would think the pilot’s bill of rights is going to do wonders for pilots fighting FAA enforcement actions, especially the unfair kinds of action that many of us have criticized.
The saga involving a Gulfstream GV and its crew detained in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo and attempted gold smuggling has finally come to a close. A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded the owner of the GV, Southlake Aviation, $32.4 million in damages to be paid by Camac International, subsidiary Camac Aviation and Camac vice president of African operations Mickey Lawal, according to a Southlake Aviation statement.
A shop supervisor for Aircraft Transparencies Repair (ATR) and Transparencies Engineering Group (TEG) is the latest employee convicted in a trial stemming from an aircraft parts conspiracy. Dennis Romero was convicted in U.S. District Court, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for his participation in the conspiracy. The same jury acquitted three lower-level ATR mechanics and a salesperson. A separate mechanic, Hermes Reyes, pleaded guilty before the start of the trial.
A federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted Joseph Picklo on August 23, charging him with possession of an explosive in an airport and carrying an explosive on to an aircraft. Federal investigators said that on March 29 this year Picklo attempted to pass through security screening with explosives in his backpack at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Airport security officials searched the backpack and confiscated two M80-style fireworks, flash-powder in a concealed container, a lighting wick and a flammable lighter.
New data published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) appears to confirm the widespread view among executive charter operators that few people are prosecuted for illegally flying for hire in Britain. Between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, the CAA pursued 16 prosecutions for various breaches of UK aviation rules, only one of which was for illegally conducting a public-transport flight without holding an air operator certificate (AOC).
“The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) has been quite clear…it does not see the need for security rules at contract repair stations,” Edward Wytkind, president of U.S. trade union the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, wrote in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office has indicted Flying Tigers of Lancaster, Penn., its president Jay Stout and his son Joel Stout, with various crimes, including conspiracy, fraud involving aircraft parts, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Also indicted was Howard Gunter, a former FAA certified mechanic and inspector, on charges of conspiracy and fraud involving aircraft parts.
Among the AMR Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection documents filed last fall were FAA proofs of claim against the company for 89 alleged safety violations that occurred between January 2007 and November 2011.
The FAA recently proposed significant fines against both Horizon Air and FedEx for alleged repeated violations of Federal Aviation Regulations. The agency wants to fine Horizon Air $1.005 million for allegedly operating 22 Bombardier DHC-8-402s on more than 186,000 revenue flights when they were not in compliance with FARs. The agency has also proposed a $681,200 penalty against FedEx for 19 different occasions when employees accepted hazardous materials for shipment and failed to tag those shipments properly and inform flight crews of their contents.
The Helicopter Association International is accepting nominations for the 2013 Salute to Excellence Awards program, which honors “outstanding achievements and exceptional merits of individuals and organizations in the international helicopter community.” The awards are open to any individual or organization, according to HAI. Categories include pilots, mechanics, instructors, safety, law enforcement, medevac and more. The awards will be presented on March 6 during Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas.