The FAA is proposing a $110,000 civil penalty against Air Evac EMS of West Plains, Mo., for operating a Bell BHT 206 not in compliance with FARs. The FAA alleges a company mechanic installed a chin bubble window on the aircraft without following the manufacturer’s instructions and then failed to document the installation in the aircraft’s maintenance logbook. As a result of the improper installation, the aircraft was not compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations. The window is located at the front of the helicopter, near the pilot’s feet, and allows the pilot to see below and forward of the helicopter.
The company, which provides air medical services, flew the aircraft on eight passenger-carrying flights. On Sept. 4, 2012, after only 7.3 flight hours, the chin window fell off during cruise flight, resulting in a precautionary landing.
The FAA alleges Air Evac operated the aircraft in a careless manner that endangered the lives of people on the aircraft and on the ground. Shelly Schneider, a public relations specialist for the company, told AIN, “Air Evac Lifeteam has worked, and will continue to work, with the FAA regarding the two-year-old allegation.”