The assets of Clearwater Fla.-based Avantair will be sold and the company liquidated after it failed to meet an August 13 deadline to contest an involuntary Chapter 7 filing in the Florida Middle District U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. Judge Catherine McEwen signed an order during a hearing on August 16 authorizing the case to proceed under Chapter 7.
FAA enforcement cases tend to focus on the front-line employees, usually pilots or mechanics, who allegedly violate federal aviation regulations. Occasionally other certified airmen, such as aircraft dispatchers, parachute riggers or air traffic controllers at contract towers, face enforcement action.
A year ago, Laminar Research, the maker of the popular X-Plane flight simulator software, was sued by a company called Uniloc, which accused Laminar Research of infringing a Uniloc patent entitled “System and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data.” Uniloc is seeking a jury trial and wants agreement that its patent has been infringed, payment for damages and costs, post-judgment royalties and pre- and post-judgment interest.
On Tuesday, the judge overseeing the Avantair bankruptcy case approved a motion for trustee Beth Ann Scharrer to begin examinations of Avantair CEO Steve Santo, CFO Bret Holmes, president David Haslett, associate general counsel Tom Palmiero, executive vice president Kevin McKamey and executive vice president of finance and operations Stephen Wagman “to obtain any and all documents in [their] possession related to the assets, liabilities and business operations of [Avantair].”
FBO operator Saker Aviation Services filed a lawsuit against its landlords at Wilkes-Barre Scranton (Pa.) International Airport, claiming contract violation when the airport board failed to renew its lease and awarded a 15-year lease on the property to Aviation Technologies. According to Saker, the airport awarded the contract to Aviation Technologies without Saker’s ever being informed of the specifics of the competing offer or being given the opportunity to match it, which it says is required under the contract terms.
A U.S. District Court in Jacksonville, Fla., on August 1 sentenced Tyler Pennywitt to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service for deliberately shining a laser pointer at a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter in June last year.
FedEx Express awaits the result of Supreme Court proceedings in the Philippines that could determine its ability to fly freight within the archipelago.
Harbinger Capital Partners and other entities associated with the failed LightSquared 4G broadband network filed a lawsuit against Deere & Co., Garmin, Trimble Navigation, The U.S. GPS Industry Council and The Coalition to Save Our GPS. The lawsuit claims that the defendants failed to disclose information about GPS interference problems caused by an adjacent frequency spectrum that LightSquared was allocated to use and seeks $1.9 billion in damages.
On Thursday, four Texas-based creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy filing against Avantair in Florida’s Middle District (Tampa) U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A summons was sent to Avantair on Friday and the company has until August 16 to respond. If Avantair does not respond by then, the court may allow the bankruptcy case to proceed; if it does respond, a hearing will be set and the judge will then decide if the case has merit to proceed.
Henry Albert Schaller, II, president of B2BJets, was indicted June 28 in a U.S. District Court in Miami for making false statements on multiple FAA airman medical applications, specifically that he’d never been convicted of a misdemeanor. He was also convicted in April this year of making a false statement to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Schaller also allegedly falsified a bill of sale stating that B2BJets purchased an aircraft even though another company actually took possession of it.