FAA Withdraws Action Against Boston Charter Pilots

 - December 9, 2010, 11:34 AM

The FAA has withdrawn the two certificate actions it previously proposed against the pilots-in-command of the pair of Boston Air Charter (BAC) Citations that departed from Norwood Memorial Airport (Mass.) last March 17 when the field was closed due to flooding. The agency said it made “no finding of violation associated with that operation.” In September, the FAA proposed a 30-day suspension of their airman certificates for allegedly conducting a careless and reckless operation under FAR 91.13 when they supposedly took off without an ATC clearance, as required by FAR 91.129(i). The pilots maintained that the substance of their radio communications with tower controllers, including a warning that they could take off at their own risk, amounted to a clearance. Meanwhile, BAC has sent a letter to the FAA to seek a generic interpretation of the rules. BAC “sought to use as general a wording as possible to enable issuance of an interpretation that could be used and be applicable nationwide by pilots-in-command.” As a result of the March flight, the Norwood Airport Commission voted to prohibit BAC from continuing to use the airport. Immediately after that decision, BAC filed lawsuits against the city of Norwood and the airport manager. Trial dates are pending.