FAA Says Local Aviation Company Operated Charters Illegally

Aug. 8, 2022

Aug. 7—The Federal Aviation Administration wants a local aviation company to pay more than $1.1 million in penalties for operating an illegal charter service for almost two years.

Rosado Aviation of Brodheadsville operated at least 52 illegal charter flights between May 23, 2019, and Feb. 10, 2021, most of them to or from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

At least 21 flights originated at the local airport and at least 22 originated elsewhere and ended at the local airport.

The FAA complaint arrived amid a lawsuit first filed in April 2021 by Rosado Aviation against Aviation Technologies Inc., which operates the local airport's general aviation component of storage and maintenance of privately owned planes. In a motion meant to collect evidence before a detailed suit was filed, Rosado Aviation denied operating illegally and implied Aviation Technologies owner James Gallagher turned Rosado in to the FAA.

Gallagher declined to comment on the claim, but said, "our obligation is to make sure that all our operations are as safe as possible from a maintenance standpoint." In its response to the motion, Aviation Technologies denies Gallagher turned in Rosado.

Attempts to reach Rosado Aviation owner and President William Rosado and the company's lawyer, attorney Michael Mey, were unsuccessful.

In a motion related to the suit, Rosado says the company began receiving notice from the airport's director and the FAA that "a third party" accused the company of operating illegally.

"( Rosado Aviation) informed both the FAA and the airport authority that these accusations were untrue," the motion says.

After that, the motion says, FAA inspectors began frequent "ramp checks" for the licensing of pilots, pilot medical certifications and aircraft registrations. The motion says the airport and FAA refused to confirm or deny Gallagher's role in the FAA involvement.

The FAA issued a civil complaint letter against Rosado on June 29, according to a copy of the letter obtained through a federal Freedom of Information Act request.

The company used a Cessna 560 jet and Beech B200 and Beech F90 turboprop planes for the flights.

The agency, which regulates air travel in the United States, says the flights were illegal because Rosado lacked either an air carrier certificate or an operating certificate; operations specifications appropriate to each flight; a director of operations; a chief pilot; and a director of maintenance.

The FAA says Rosado also used pilots who had not passed an FAA written or oral tests or competency, instrument proficiency and flight line checks; and had not completed appropriate or initial or recurrent training within a year before the flight.

That shows Rosado operated in "a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another," according to the FAA.

The FAA proposes a fine of $1,125,640 to settle the matter.

Since filing its motion seeking evidence last year, Rosado has filed a detailed version of the lawsuit, claiming Aviation Technologies has denied Rosado hangar space to park its planes. Aviation Technologies portrays itself as "a representative of the taxpayers of Luzerne and Lackawanna counties" looking for an accurate accounting of available hangar space either unleased or occupied by Aviation Technologies' own airplanes and equipment.

The company claims that has cost taxpayers "payment for potential leases" and wants the court to order Aviation Technologies to account for the use of all hangar space and landing fees since Jan. 1, 2020.

In its response, Aviation Technologies, represented by attorney Ernie Preate Jr., asks the court to dismiss the suit, calling it "a compilation of vague, nondescript allegations of what (Rosado) considers wasted tax dollars."

Efforts to reach airport Director Carl Beardsley Jr. were unsuccessful.

Contact the writer:

[email protected], 570-348-9147

@BorysBlogTT

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