Gulfstream Intl. under FAA Scrutiny

 - June 30, 2009, 11:02 AM

The FAA continued to investigate charges leveled at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Gulfstream International Airlines last month after proposing in May that the carrier pay a $1.3 million fine for duty-time violations and installing automotive air-conditioner compressors and improperly maintained vent blowers on its fleet of 27 Beech 1900Ds.

Although the FAA found that the airline inaccurately transferred data from its manually generated aircraft logbook records into its electronic system, it stopped short of accusing anyone of falsifying records. “I’ve had a lot of talks with our attorneys and what they have told me is that we have no evidence to indicate that this was deliberate,” said an FAA spokesperson. “However, we’re continuing to look at them.”

Meanwhile, revelations that Gulfstream International pilots allowed a regular passenger to sit in a Beech 1900’s cockpit jumpseat during revenue flights added another dimension to what has become a public-relations dilemma for the company. The FAA spokesperson confirmed that the agency received complaints related to that issue, but wouldn’t provide details because, she said, “there are other cases that are open [related to Gulfstream International], so I can’t really discuss them.” She said the FAA began investigating Gulfstream International in “June or July” last year after one of its pilots filed a lawsuit and a whistleblower complaint charging the airline with firing him for his refusal to fly with a malfunctioning TCAS.