The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $1.54 million civil penalty against Air Methods Corp. for allegedly operating Eurocopter EC130 helicopters on dozens of flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA has alleged that Air Methods operated two helicopters on 70 passenger-carrying flights for compensation or hire, over water and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, when they lacked required helicopter flotation devices and flotation gear for each occupant. The agency alleged that the company operated another helicopter on 13 such flights when it lacked required flotation gear for each occupant. All 83 flights by the emergency medical transport company occurred around Pensacola, Florida, said the agency.
US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx commented: “The flying public correctly expects that American operators will place safety above all else. We will hold operators accountable when they fail to meet those expectations.”
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta added: “Operators must follow every regulation and take every precaution to ensure the safety of all those onboard. Flying without required safety equipment is indefensible.”
Air Methods was given 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s civil penalty letter to respond.