FAA proposes $341,893 fine against 93 Air for alleged illegal charter operations

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $341,893 civil penalty against Nebraska-based 93 Air for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights. 

In a statement dated November 19, 2021, the FAA claims that for almost a year (October 2018 to September 2019), 93 Air conducted approximately 32 paid passenger-carrying flights in a single-engine Pilatus PC-12/45 without the required air carrier certificate or operations specifications that outline what the company is authorized to do.  

The FAA further alleges the company used unqualified pilots who did not complete required training, testing and competency checks for the 32 flights. 

Proper certification and authorization of charter flights are significantly important in flight safety. 

In September 2018, a Falcon 50 owned by Air America Flight Services, a Part 135 charter company overran a runway at Greenville, South Caroline. Both pilots tragically died, while the two passengers were seriously injured. 

Investigations from NTSB and the FAA showed that, alongside a host of other issues, the operation was not registered as a revenue flight, though documents proved otherwise. It also demonstrated that neither pilot was rated to fly as pilot-in-command of the aircraft. In addition, the aircraft, N114TD, was not airworthy and had not been released from maintenance for any flight.

Outside of the United States, the UK’s Air Accidents Aviation Branch (AAIB) found that the pilot who flew the charter plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala was not licensed for flight. Sala and the pilot died when the aircraft crashed into the English Channel. 

93 Air has 30 days to respond to the FAA after receiving the agency’s enforcement letter  

According to Open Corporates, an open database listing corporate companies, 93 Air was registered in 2017 under the jurisdiction of Nebraska. 

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