Avantair Fleet Sidelined Again

 - June 11, 2013, 3:50 PM

After weathering a three-week voluntary grounding stemming from a maintenance issue late last year, operations at Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair have been pretty much normal. That is until last Thursday, when an anonymous call to the Clearwater, Fla.-based company’s whistleblower hotline initiated the grounding of its fleet again.

During last year’s grounding, Avantair committed to implement “industry-leading safety and maintenance programs” similar to those at major airlines. This includes self audits, one of which is a continual audit of time-controlled parts that must be inspected and/or replaced after a certain number of hours in service. Avantair was actively engaged in such an audit when it received the hotline call questioning the adequacy of its system for monitoring these time-controlled parts.

“Though we did not give credence to this call, our substantial internal operating procedures mandated that we take immediate action to fully investigate the concern,” Avantair CEO Steven Santo told AIN. “Since more than 100 parts on each of our aircraft are time-controlled, the only way to do this in a timely manner was to perform inspections and check our entire fleet. We are now in the midst of doing so.”

Santo said the company’s focus on safety “is unending and unwavering.” Despite past challenges, he said, “We will not be deterred in our efforts to operate Avantair as the safest carrier in the industry. Our owners and cardholders have demonstrated considerable patience and support for our safety programs.”

Avantair anticipates that it will begin release of aircraft back into service on a continual basis this week, following the completion of these inspections. One of Avantair’s airplanes, N140SL, was already airborne at press time.

Comments

Alex Johnson's picture

Again? Really? Unreal. I hope this compnay calls it a day before someone gets hurt, or worse.

More Santo B.S.'s picture

N140SL airborne at the time of press? Flight aware shows it flying just one leg on June 11th to McAllen, which happens to be an Avantair maintenance facility.

More B.S. from Santo? Sure smell like it!

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N140SL

Steven Huish's picture

Avantair is not flying again. I had scheduled to flights last week with over a months notice. They called and told me they could not accommodate me. I have had 3 flights cancelled. No one at Avantair knows when they will be flying again. I still have 20 plus hours they owe me. I have tried to contact the CEO, Steve Santo who will not respond to my e-mail. Owner services are polite but have no answers.

Geo's picture

Looks like Avantair doesn't have the money to purchase parts or the credit standing to get components on credit. They may have stiffed suppliers to the point where no one will sell to them, even on a cash basis, until they they get current with their accounts.

Cannibalizing aircraft to keep others flying is one of the worst possible maintenance practices for a whole host of reasons.

And some parts are not just hourly limited, there are cyclic limits, as well as calendar limits on many components. Some components have all three limits and replacement/overhaul is determined by which parameter is reached first. The system for tracking component status on each aircraft should be down stone cold.

To say that Avantair grounded their fleet because someone contacted them doesn't wash. Someone contacted the FAA who, in spite of itself, still has some good people who actually know what they are doing.

Jim's picture

I have called and just get a daisy chained on the phone call. no one home? 26 June 2013 5:30 PDT

joe 's picture

Avantair just furloughed the entire workforce and is not planning on paying them for the past two weeks of work...Looks like they are all done...Kaput...

Chad Trautvetter's picture

A new story was posted tonight about this latest development. Here’s the link: http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2013-06-26/avantair-shuts-down-se…

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