The FAA issued an emergency order revoking Universal Flight Services' (UFS) certificate to conduct passenger flights, alleging that the Sarasota, Florida-based company conducted illegal charter operations over a span of nearly five years, the agency announced today. UFS received its certificate for passenger operations in March 2019, but the FAA alleged it had operated 26 such flights between October 2015 and February 2019 at airports including Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Key West International Airport, Florida Keys/Marathon International Airport, and Witham Field.
After obtaining certification, the company conducted flights between September 2019 and September 2020 using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft, the agency additionally alleged. On two of those flights, the pilot did not have the requisite medical certificate, did not pass a flight check for flight in instrument conditions, and was not current in instrument conditions, according to the FAA. On two other flights, the company used aircraft that had not undergone the requisite inspection.
On all of the UFS flights conducted from October 2015 to September 2020, the agency further alleged, “the pilots had not passed required written and oral tests, competency checks, and flight checks in the type of aircraft they operated during this time.”
UFS surrendered its certificate as called for in the emergency order but is appealing the order to the NTSB. The company told AIN it is not commenting at this time.