The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $1.54 million civil penalty against Air Methods Corporation for allegedly operating Eurocopter EC-130 helicopters on dozens of flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleges that Air Methods operated two helicopters on 70 passenger-carrying flights for compensation or hire, over water and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, when they lacked required helicopter flotation devices and flotation gear for each occupant.
The agency alleges that the company operated another helicopter on 13 such flights when it lacked required flotation gear for each occupant.
All 83 flights by the emergency medical transport company occurred around Pensacola, Fla.
"The flying public correctly expects that American operators will place safety above all else," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. "We will hold operators accountable when they fail to meet those expectations."
"Operators must follow every regulation and take every precaution to ensure the safety of all those on board," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "Flying without required safety equipment is indefensible."
Air Methods has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's civil penalty letter to respond to the Agency.