SEATTLE – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $428,000 civil penalty against Air Methods Corporation of Englewood, Colo., for allegedly operating two helicopters when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation regulations.
The FAA alleges Air Methods, which provides emergency air ambulance services, violated its operations specifications by flying the helicopters despite failing to perform required inspections of their Night Vision Imaging System Compatible Lighting Filtration (NVIS) installations. The FAA also alleges the failure to perform the required inspections rendered the helicopters unairworthy.
Between June 8 and Sept. 7, 2011, Air Methods allegedly operated one of the helicopters on 489 flights totaling 144 hours when the NVIS inspections were overdue. During the same period, it allegedly operated the other helicopter on 431 flights totaling 139 hours when the inspections were overdue.
“Operators must be vigilant when maintaining aircraft, especially companies that have people in their care,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “It’s critical that operators perform required inspections of their safety systems to ensure they’re working as intended.”
Air Methods has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA enforcement letter to respond to the agency.