Boston Air Charter Pilots Facing Certificate Action

 - September 30, 2010, 12:25 PM

The FAA has concluded that two Boston Air Charter pilots were in violation of the FARs when they took off in their respective Cessna Citations from Norwood Memorial Airport (Mass.) on March 17, during which time the field was closed due to flooding. The pilots face a proposed 30-day suspension of their airman certificates. Specifically, the agency determined that the pilots conducted a careless and reckless operation under FAR 91.13 when they took off without an ATC clearance, as required by FAR 91.129(i). The pilots have 60 days to respond, either by accepting the penalty, negotiating for a lesser penalty via an informal hearing with the FAA or appealing the proposed action before the NTSB. After that, the pilots can take their case to federal court. At press time, it was unclear what the pilots planned to do. As a result of the flight, the Norwood Airport commission voted to prohibit Boston Air Charter from continuing to use the airport. Immediately after that decision, Boston Air Charter filed lawsuits against the airport and its manager. Trial dates have not yet been set.