FAA: Talon Air let unqualified pilots fly

The Talon Air aircraft hanger located at Republic

The Talon Air aircraft hanger located at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale. (July 5, 2013) (Credit: Steve Pfost)

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $150,000 penalty against Talon Air for allowing four pilots to fly on at least 64 flights without proper training, in violation of federal regulations, the agency said.

According to a six-page letter sent to Talon Air Inc. by the FAA, the company "operated aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger life or property of another."

The $150,000 civil penalty, the agency said, reflects the fact that "safety in air transportation was affected by these violations."

In an emailed statement, representatives of Talon Air, which flies out of Republic Airport, said the FAA's regulatory requirements "have been met and exceeded by Talon Air. . . . The procedural matter in question is under administrative review. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment further."

According to the FAA, three of the Farmingdale-based charter company's pilots didn't undergo recurrent flight training or receive "competency flight checks" in the amount of time required by federal regulations.

And a fourth pilot was discovered to have received initial training from a person deemed unqualified as a flight instructor by the FAA.

"As a result, none of the pilots were qualified to fly the charter carrier's Hawker 4000 aircraft," the agency said in the release on Friday.

According to the letter sent to the president of Talon Air, the three pilots were operating Hawker 4000 aircraft for the company on at least 38 flights while "unqualified" to do so because they hadn't undergone recurrent training and exams.

The pilot who received initial training by a person the FAA said was unqualified as a flight instructor was used on at least 26 flights between March and June 2012, the agency said.

Altogether, "the pilots flew at least 64 times between Oct. 23, 2011, and July 9, 2012, while they were unqualified to serve as on-demand flight crew members," the FAA said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

advertisement | advertise on newsday