Federal Aviation Administration wants to fine Hillsboro Aviation more than $500,000 for alleged maintenance problems


Aug. 18--The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing that Hillsboro Aviation be fined $580,000 for allegedly performing improper repairs, deliberately falsifying maintenance records and recklessly flying a helicopter under highway bridges.

The penalty stems from a 2008 incident in which the FAA says Hillsboro Aviation mechanics used incorrect parts and an unqualified person to repair a Bell 206 Jet Ranger helicopter. The FAA also alleges the company did not record a log of that work and deliberately falsified maintenance documents.

The FAA also said that a pilot with the aviation company flew a Jet Ranger helicopter under the Interstate 5 and 205 highway bridges over the Columbia River in Portland in 2008.

Hillsboro Aviation has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Hillsboro Aviation owner Max Lyons, in a statement, said that the aviation company did make some mistakes in 2008, but Hillsboro Aviation reported the events to the FAA then voluntarily suspended all flights even though not required to do so. The company fired the involved employees, Lyons said, and the company has since implemented a comprehensive safety management system.

"The FAA told us the actions we took to address these events went above and beyond its expectations," Lyons said.

-- Casey Parks