FAA revokes a certificate and on the same allegations, now proposes a CP-WHAT ???

UFS NBTSB appeal ghostUFS NBTSB appeal ghost
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FAA switched from ENFORCEMENT to COMPLIANCE 

REVOCATION still available in certain circumstances

Revocation case changed to Civil Penalty–WHY???

In 2015, for a lot of good reasons, the FAA instituted a new philosophy for its dealing with certificate holders and their meeting of the standards of the FARs. Rather than having sanctions as the primary regulatory goal, Flight Standards and the Office of the Chief Counsel adopted an approach of compliance—using remedial rather than punitive methods.

N 8900.323 ,one of the originating documents, made it clear that there would be circumstances in which enforcement, including revocation, would be appropriate, and such actions have been taken to show that the FAA still has teeth. What is not clear is what facts, policies, voluntary remedial actions, etc. may move from REVOCATION to a less onerous penalty. There may be some administrative reason to not reveal what differentiate between severe and remedial actions, but such a hidden distinction position smacks of old enforcement litigation tactics.

Below are two FAA press releases dated June 2021 and the September 2021. The first announces that  Universal Flight Services, a Sarasota, Florida-based company, operated passenger flights in violation of the FARs to merit loss of its certificate; the second refers to the same company and facts, but offers a Civil Penalty?

In June, Universal surrendered its certificate and announced that it would appeal the FAA’s action (in effect then) to the NTSB. A search of the Boards new, improved website did not uncover an appeal or an action (withdrawal or NTSB decision).

In September, without any explanation, the FAA issued a subsequent press release offering to settle the matter for a mere $382,000 —  no mention of the revocation, the status of the surrendered certificate and nothing about what happened in the intervening 3 months!!!

The most querulous comment is included as the last line of the statement:Universal Flight Training and Universal Flight Services have been in contact with the FAA about the case.

Universal Flight Training and Universal Flight Services have been in contact with the FAA about the case.

No kidding!!! Many would like to learn what the precedential points of this change are.

FAA allegations justifying revocation on (06/04/2021:

      • 26 passenger-carrying flights without the required FAA certificate between Oct. 22, 2015, and Feb. 17, 2019
      • it operated seven subsequent flights using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft between Sept. 9, 2019, and Sept. 20, 2020

 

FAA allegations justifying $382,000 CP on (09/22/2021:.

 

      • conducted at least 26 paid passenger-carrying flights in multiple airplanes.
      • not have the required FAA operating or air carrier certificate to conduct those flights. 
      • companies used unqualified pilots who did not complete FAA-required training, testing, and competency checks

FAA Revokes Certificate of Florida-Based Universal Flight Services for Alleged Illegal Charter Flights

Friday, June 4, 2021

 

FAA logo

 

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order to revoke the ability of Universal Flight Services to charge passengers for flights. The FAA also revoked the pilot certificate of the owner of Universal Flight Services for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights.

Universal Flight Services, a Sarasota, Florida-based company, allegedly conducted 26 passenger-carrying flights without the required FAA certificate between Oct. 22, 2015, and Feb. 17, 2019. The flights occurred between the following airports: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Key West International Airport, Florida Keys/Marathon International Airport, and Witham Field.

In March 2019, Universal Flight Services obtained the FAA certificate required to conduct passenger flights. However, it operated seven subsequent flights using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft between Sept. 9, 2019, and Sept. 20, 2020.

On two of the flights, it operated seven subsequent flights using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft between Sept. 9, 2019, and Sept. 20, 2020they operated during this time.

United Flight Services surrendered its certificate as required by the emergency order and appealed the order to the NTSB.UFT logo

 

 


FAA Proposes $382,000 Civil Penalty Against Universal Flight Training of Sarasota, Fla.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $382,000 civil penalty against Universal Flight Training of Sarasota, Fla.,  for allegedly conducting illegal passenger-carrying flights.

The FAA alleges that between October 2015 and February 2019, Universal Flight Training and its affiliate, Universal Flight Services, conducted at least 26 paid passenger-carrying flights in multiple airplanes. The agency alleges the companies did not have the required FAA operating or air carrier certificate to conduct those flights. 

The FAA further alleges the companies used unqualified pilots who did not complete FAA-required training, testing, and competency checks

Universal Flight Training and Universal Flight Services have been in contact with the FAA about the case.

 

UFT training

 



 

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