The FAA asked a federal appeals court in the U.S. to temporarily suspend a lawsuit challenging the exclusion of all-cargo airlines from its new pilot duty rule so that it can correct “newly discovered errors” in the administrative record supporting the regulation.
The FAA has asked a federal court to delay a lawsuit by a pilot union so the agency can take another look at whether cargo pilots should be covered by new Part 121 flight, duty and rest regulations. When the FAA issued a final rule last year, it excluded cargo operations.
Criminal prosecution in the wake of aviation accidents is on the rise, although not as much in the U.S. as in some other countries, at least for now.
In a May 8 letter to the White House and Congress, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said, “The FAA has the highest rate of whistleblower filings per employee of any federal branch agency.” Half of those reports received by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) relate to aviation.
A Fairfax, Va. city judge yesterday threw out the drunk driving charge against former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, after the judge had viewed a video of the traffic stop. Babbitt resigned his post at the FAA last December 6, three days after the incident.
An Oregon jury has awarded William Coultas, his wife and the widow of pilot Roark Schwanenberg $69.7 million in a damages suit brought in the 2008 “Iron 44” crash of a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N. The verdict puts General Electric alone on the hook; other parties settled out of court before the trial. The helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from a helispot while conducting firefighting operations in Northern California. Schwanenberg and eight others aboard the helicopter died.
A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer has received a 10-year prison sentence from an Athens, Greece, court for allegedly not resetting a cockpit switch following maintenance on a Helios Airways Boeing 737-300. The aircraft subsequently collided with a mountain near Athens in 2005 after the airplane’s oxygen supply failed and the pilots and most of the passengers fell unconscious. “
Since business aviation operators are increasingly turning to independent contractors to contain costs and do more while conserving resources, NBAA has published a guide aimed at helping flight operators to properly classify these workers as either employees or independent contractors. “If a worker is classified incorrectly, there are significant tax, liability and legal risks for the employer,” NBAA said.
The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported last week that Harrington Bishop, a former FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, was sentenced on April 18 in U.S. District Court, for accepting illegal gratuities.
Former JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon, who’s still sitting in a Texas jail, has decided to plead not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of interfering with other flight crewmembers, according to a court motion filed by his attorney last week. Osbon’s first officer locked him out of the cockpit of his Airbus A320 on March 27, after the captain’s actions had caused the first officer to fear for the safety of the flight.