FAA assigned Curaçao and Sint Maarten Cat. 2 safety rating

January 20, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Curaçao and Sint Maarten do not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), based on an assessment of each country’s civil aviation authority.

As a result, the FAA has assigned both Curaçao and Sint Maarten an International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 2 rating. With a Category 2 rating, Curaçao and Sint Maarten air carriers will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States, but can continue existing service. Both countries were previously part of the Netherlands Antilles, which had a Category 1 rating.

A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority – equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.

As part of the FAA’s IASA program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or have applied to fly to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

Countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.

More information:

Russia revokes AOC of Dagestan Airlines for safety reasons

December 19, 2011

Dagestan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154, (c) Dmitriy Pichugin

The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsia revoked the Air Operator Certificate of Dagestan Airlines following safety issues and lack of financial resources.

Russian regional carrier Dagestan Airlines has been under scrutiny since an accident in December 2010. Two passengers died when a Tupolev 154 crashed during an  emergency landing at Moscow-Domodedovo Airport, Russia.

The Interstate Aviation Committee found significant violations in the organization of flight operations of the airline, aircraft maintenance, pilot training, issues of work and rest hours of crews, and other shortcomings in the airline, having a systemic character. The Commission also found that there were counterfeit parts installed on the accident plane.

During 2011 the airline did not show progress in dealing with those issues. Ramp inspections carried out by foreign aviation authorities revealed gross violations of flight safety and lack of a timely management response to the comments received. In particular, the inconsistencies identified at Ras al-Khaimah Airport (UAE) and Istanbul (Turkey) on a Tu-154 passenger jet showed a recurrence of  safety findings. For instance, the pilot’s proficiency in the English language was insufficient.

During an audit in December quality deficiencies were again identified. The results of the audit showed that the  management of Dagestan Airlines was unable to correct systemic weaknesses in the airline, which negatively affects the state of the safety of its aircraft and poses a direct threat to life and health of the passengers, according to Rosaviatsia.

These findings, and the fact that the airline is experiencing a significant shortage of financial resources, forced Rosaviatsia to revoke the airline’s AOC.

The airline was established in February 1927 as the Makhachkala department of Aeroflot, North Kavkaz Civil Aviation Directorate. In 1994, following the split-up of Aeroflot, it became known as Makhachkala Air Enterprise. In 1996, the company was rebranded as Dagestan Airlines.


FAA proposes $777,000 civil penalty against Horizon Air

December 10, 2011

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $777,000 civil penalty against Horizon Air Industries for allegedly operating 32 Bombardier DHC-8-400 Dash 8 turboprop aircraft on 49,870 flights when the aircraft were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleged Horizon installed new external lighting systems on the aircraft, but did not conduct required tests for radio frequency and electromagnetic interference before returning the aircraft to service. Horizon operated the aircraft between Oct. 19, 2009 and Mar. 17, 2010, before the FAA discovered the compliance problems during routine surveillance. Horizon immediately completed tests and inspections of all 32 aircraft before further flights.

Horizon Air has 30 days from receipt of the civil penalty letter to respond to the agency.


FAA proposes $180,000 civil penalty against Evergreen International Airlines

November 21, 2011

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $180,000 against Evergreen International Airlines, Inc, of McMinnville, OR, for allegedly operating aircraft on seven flights in 2009 when the pilots on those flights had not been trained in accordance with the airline’s approved training program.

The FAA alleged Evergreen failed to conduct the appropriate required familiarization flights involving the use of the flight management system on the company’s Boeing 747s before assigning those individuals to revenue flights on those aircraft.  The training program specifically calls for familiarization flights in Class I and Class II airspace.  Class I airspace includes ground-based navigation aids; Class II is airspace without ground-based aids, such as over an ocean.  Evergreen provided only the Class I familiarization flights.

The instruction and experience requirement is part of Evergreen’s FAA-approved training program.  The flights in question operated from Aug. 23 to Sept. 19, 2009.

Evergreen has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the Agency.


European Commission updates list of air carriers subject to an operating ban

November 21, 2011

The European Commission has adopted the eighteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the European Union. Thanks to further improvements in the safety performance of TAAG Angolan Airlines the air carrier is allowed to add two aircraft to those operating into the EU. The Commission was compelled to impose operating restrictions to exclude part of the fleet of Jordan Aviation in view of numerous and repeated safety deficiencies and to ban fully all operations of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras.

With this update , the TAAG Angolan Airlines is allowed to operate into the EU two Boeing 777-300 aircraft shown to be managed safely by the air carrier which oversees their operations appropriately .

There were  concerns with the performance of Albanian air carriers and their authorities. Following the formal commitment of Albanian authorities to employ full time qualified personnel to ensure the continuous surveillance of air carriers under their regulatory authority and coupled with very strong enforcement measures – revocation of the air operator’s certificate of Albanian Airlines and the removal of one aircraft from the fleet of Belle Air – no measures were deemed necessary. Member States and in particular Italy have accepted to further enhance their ongoing cooperation with Albania by providing technical assistance focusing on improving oversight.

In order to ensure that there were no risks for safety from the operations of certain air carriers, the Commission decided to impose operating restrictions on Jordan Aviation and to exclude three aircraft of type Boeing 767 from its fleet operating into the EU.

Following information received from France regarding the safety of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras, the Commission decided to impose an operating ban on all operations of Rollins Air pending the resolution of the various significant safety issues that were first raised by France.

Furthermore, the list now includes air carriers which have been certified by the aviation authorities of the Republic of Congo (Equatorial Congo), of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Stellar Airways) and of the Philippines (Aeromajestic and Interisland Airlines) not having received the necessary documented evidence that these carriers comply with international safety standards.

The Commission has examined three air carriers certified in the Russian Federation – VIM Avia, Yakutia and Tatarstan Airlines. Because of measures adopted the Russian aviation authorities, the Commission has decided to refrain from imposing an operating ban.

More information:


Russia restricts EU flights of six carriers

November 8, 2011

The Federal Russian Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsia, has restricted the operations of six Russian carriers to avoid them being listed on the EU list of banned airlines.

The airlines affected by the restrictions are VIM AirlinesDagestan AirlinesAviastar-TUYakutia AirlinesTatarstan Airlines  and UTAir-Cargo. The restrictions apply to flights into the European Union.

VIM Airlines reported that European flights will be operated by its subsidiary, Bashkortostan Airlines. Tatarstan Airlines reported in a statement that none of their flights was affected.


Zambian authorities suspend Zambezi Airlines’ AOC over safety issues

November 3, 2011

Effective November 1, 2011 Zambezi Airlines was grounded by the Zambian Minister of Transport, Works and Supply.

The Air Operator Certificate was suspended because the airline “posed a risk to passengers” as it operated outside Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) guidelines. A government spokesman reported that the airline employed air crew staff that had not been cleared by the DCA. Also, it failed to report an incident on a local flight and allowed pilots to work beyond the stipulated work schedule. Local and international routes were flown with aircraft that had faulty oxygen masks.

The ban may be lifted when the airline has corrected all issues within six to eight weeks.

The airline was founded in 2008 and operated three Boeing 737-500 passenger jets on regional services.


Transport Canada suspends Missinippi Airways’ Air Operator Certificate

October 24, 2011

Transport Canada has suspended Missinippi Airways’ Air Operator Certificate, effective October 21, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CDT for safety reasons.

This action is based on safety concerns due to deficiencies with the company’s Operational Control System identified during Transport Canada’s inspection. This inspection was scheduled to confirm that corrective actions put in place following a previous suspension in July were working effectively. On July 4 the airline suffered a fatal accident when a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan crashed on takeoff from Pukatawagan Airport, MB (XPK), killing one passenger.

Transport Canada consulted with Missinippi Airways throughout the period leading up to the suspension. This suspension does not rule out further regulatory action. Transport Canada will continue to work with Missinippi Airways. The company must demonstrate that it meets all applicable safety regulations before Transport Canada will reissue its Air Operator Certificate.

More information:



Russian ramp checks find 24 serious safety issues

October 21, 2011

The Russian Department of State oversight of civil aviation, Gosavianadzor conducted a total of 279 “ramp checks”  of civil aircraft of the Russian Federation during the month of September 2011. The results of checks on 150 aircraft revealed 311 comments, including 24 observations that affected flight safety (Category 3).

The following aircraft were temporarily grounded until the issues were resolved:

  • Kogalymavia Airbus A320 TC-KLA;
  • Grozny-Avia Yakovlev 42D RA-42418;
  • Gazprom Avia Yakovlev 42D RA-42451;
  • Izhavia Yakovlev 42D RA-42459;
  • Izhavia Yakovlev 42D RA-42385;
  • Tulpar Air Yakovlev 42D RA-42408;
  • Krasava Yakovlev 42D RA-42370;
  • Kuban Airlines Yakovlev 42D RA-42331;
  • Kuban Airlines Yakovlev 42D RA-42342;
  • Saravia Yakovlev 42D RA-42378;
  • UTair-Express Antonov 24RV RA-46494;
  • UTair ATR-42 VP-BLJ.

U.S. FAA proposes $1 Million in civil penalties against Pinnacle Airlines

October 21, 2011

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing $1,042,500 in civil penalties against Pinnacle Airlines, Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., for allegedly operating two aircraft on a combined 63 flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges Pinnacle operated a Canadair Regional Jet on 23 flights between April 30 and May 4, 2009 on which flight crew members performed procedures that should have been performed by maintenance employees, after FAA inspectors had denied an airline request to make the work an operations task instead of a maintenance task.

The airline’s general maintenance manual requires maintenance workers to install and remove a cable kit when operating an aircraft with an inoperative or missing wheel assembly for the passenger door. Instead, flight crew members performed the procedure on the flights in question. The proposed civil penalty for this violation is $625,000.

The FAA also alleges Pinnacle failed to complete inspections of the low-pressure turbine case on a Canadair Regional Jet.  The inspections were to identify and track growth of a crack in the case to make sure the crack did not grow to exceed the maximum allowable length.  The inspections required by the airline’s continuous airworthiness maintenance program must be done every 300 to no more than 600 operating hours.

The FAA said Pinnacle let 640 operating hours pass between a May 22, 2010 inspection and a subsequent inspection on Aug. 31, 2010.  During that time, a 3.5-inch crack grew to four inches in length. The FAA alleges the airline operated the aircraft on 40 passenger flights between Aug. 25 and 31, when it was not in compliance.  The proposed civil penalty for this violation is $417,500.

Pinnacle Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the Agency.

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