FAA Wants $580K Penalty from Hillsboro Aviation

 - August 17, 2010, 12:03 PM

The FAA is seeking a civil penalty of $580,000 from Hillsboro Aviation of Hillsboro, Ore., “for allegedly performing improper repairs, deliberately falsifying maintenance records and operating a helicopter in a reckless manner.” The proposed penalty amount is lower than it could have been, according to the FAA, because Hillsboro’s general manager “upon learning of the intentional falsifications, immediately terminated all personnel involved with these or any other possible deceptive practices, including the director of maintenance, and ordered a complete conformity inspection of all [Hillsboro] aircraft.” The FAA’s allegations include non-authorized persons performing required maintenance, non-compliance with required inspections, operating without required equipment, falsification of an Airworthiness Directive compliance record, and a pilot flying a Hillsboro helicopter under a bridge. “We acknowledge that there were some isolated events which occurred in 2008,” said a Hillsboro statement. But as soon as he became aware of the problems, company president and owner Max Lyons notified the FAA, suspended all flight operations, did conformity checks on the entire fleet, fired all the employees responsible for the events, instituted new policies and procedures and implemented a safety management system. “The FAA told us the actions we took to address these events went above and beyond its expectations,” he said.