FAA revokes license of Mesa copter repair firm - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

FAA revokes license of Mesa copter repair firm

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Posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:38 pm | Updated: 4:55 pm, Thu Sep 9, 2010.

A Mesa helicopter repair company had its license revoked Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration for allegedly performing improper repairs and falsifying maintenance records.

The emergency action against Phoenix Heliparts Inc. came after the company was unable to bring its operations up to minimum standards, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. An emergency revocation means the company must shut down operations immediately under that license.

Phoenix Heliparts President Tina Cannon told The Associated Press that the company has been operating under licenses held by its mechanics and will continue to do so while it appeals the FAA action. She said that the problems occurred two years ago, were addressed and the company was caught "flat footed" by the FAA action.

FAA inspectors found numerous problems with the company's work during an August 2008 inspection, the agency said. They allege that the company's mechanics used incorrect parts, failed to follow repair manuals, and made false entries in repair logs.

During a follow-up inspection the following month, FAA inspectors found hundreds of other discrepancies, including unserviceable parts labeled as serviceable and kept for reuse and failures to document maintenance work and inspections.

"Safety is not optional for aviation companies. Whether repairing airplanes or helicopters, repair stations are required to follow maintenance rules and procedures," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement.

The FAA also alleged that company employees deliberately falsified maintenance forms, including authorizing more than 100 parts to be put back in service when they had not been inspected.

"The accusations center around events that took place over two years ago when the company was under different management," Cannon told the AP. "The company has addressed all concerns under direction of counsel for over a year now and was reissued its certificate after standing down."

The company, partly owned by Cannon, cannot operate as a repair facility, but Gregor acknowledged its mechanics can continue to work under their own licenses.

But Gregor disputed that the company had been reissued an "air agency certificate," the formal name for the license revoked on Thursday. "They do not have an air repair station certificate," Gregor said.

The FAA allegations include an incident where the company performed major restoration work on a damaged Hughes 369 helicopter owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another company hired by the USDA to inspect the helicopter before it returned to service found more than 30 discrepancies.

Gregor said the agency rarely issues emergency revocations, instead working with repair stations to bring them into compliance with FAA regulations. In this case, he said, "given the severity of the problems, I don't think anyone should be surprised by a revocation."

Phoenix Heliparts specializes in repairs and overhauls of MD 500-series light helicopters.

A Mesa helicopter repair company had its license revoked Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration for allegedly performing improper repairs and falsifying maintenance records.

The emergency action against Phoenix Heliparts Inc. came after the company was unable to bring its operations up to minimum standards, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. An emergency revocation means the company must shut down operations immediately under that license.

Phoenix Heliparts President Tina Cannon told The Associated Press that the company has been operating under licenses held by its mechanics and will continue to do so while it appeals the FAA action. She said that the problems occurred two years ago, were addressed and the company was caught "flat footed" by the FAA action.

FAA inspectors found numerous problems with the company's work during an August 2008 inspection, the agency said. They allege that the company's mechanics used incorrect parts, failed to follow repair manuals, and made false entries in repair logs.

During a follow-up inspection the following month, FAA inspectors found hundreds of other discrepancies, including unserviceable parts labeled as serviceable and kept for reuse and failures to document maintenance work and inspections.

"Safety is not optional for aviation companies. Whether repairing airplanes or helicopters, repair stations are required to follow maintenance rules and procedures," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said.

The FAA also alleged that company employees deliberately falsified maintenance forms, including authorizing more than 100 parts to be put back in service when they had not been inspected.

"The accusations center around events that took place over two years ago when the company was under different management," Cannon told the AP. "The company has addressed all concerns under direction of counsel for over a year now and was reissued its certificate after standing down."

The FAA allegations include major restoration work that the company performed on a damaged Hughes 369 helicopter owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another company hired by the USDA to inspect the helicopter before it returned to service found more than 30 discrepancies.

A helicopter repair company in Mesa has had its license revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration for allegedly performing improper repairs and deliberately falsifying maintenance records.

The FAA says it took the emergency action against Phoenix Heliparts, Inc., on Thursday after the company was unable to bring its operations up to minimum standards. An emergency revocation means the company must shut down operations immediately.

Phoenix Heliparts President Tina Cannon tells The Associated Press that the problems occurred two years ago, were fully addressed and the company was caught "flat footed" by the FAA action. She says the company has been operating under a different license and will continue to do so while it appeals the FAA action.

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