NTSB Judge Reinstates Air Trek’s Certificate

 - October 21, 2008, 11:53 AM
NTSB Administrative Law Judge William Pope II on Friday reversed an FAA emergency order of revocation issued in June that grounded Punta Gorda, Fla.-based aeromed transport company Air Trek. The FAA issued an emergency order indefinitely suspending Air Trek’s Part 135 certificate in May and two weeks later withdrew its suspension order and instead issued an emergency order of revocation. During this month’s NTSB hearing, the law judge found only two violations related to flight operations that occurred at Air Trek’s Winchester, Va. base of operations, which was closed more than a year before the revocation order. According to the law judge, the Winchester pilots did not follow the company’s operations specifications in reporting mechanical irregularities and calculating weight-and-balance. However, Pope said these violations were not “directed, caused or permitted” by management. As a result, the FAA did not present evidence to support a finding that Air Trek “lacks the qualifications necessary to hold an air carrier certificate,” resulting in reinstatement of the company’s Part 135 certificate. Air Trek’s attorney, Gregory Winton, said, “This case is just another example of an inadequate FAA investigation leading to protracted litigation without substantial justification.”