Mon, Jun 08, 2009
Company Says No Intentional Violations
Fort Lauderdale Based Gulfstream
Airlines is preparing a response to the $1.3 million fine imposed
by the FAA after it found the company over-scheduled pilots and
violated other regulations. The regional carrier operates flights
in Florida and the Bahamas. In response to the FAA findings,
Gulfstream President and CEO David Hackett told the South Florida
Sun Sentinel that in a couple of "extremely isolated instances,"
records show scheduling discrepancies that were the result of
"human error. In no case, did anyone here do anything wrong on
purpose," Hackett said. Occasionally, "scheduling [pilots] may
extend out because of a storm or something."
The FAA began the investigation of the carrier last summer,
after a pilot who had been fired complained about scheduling.
Reviewing the airline records, agency investigators found
discrepancies between the company's electronic records and pilot
log books for an 8 month period beginning in October, 2007.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency has no evidence the
airline deliberately made record-keeping errors, but the
discrepancies make it impossible to prove Gulfstream pilots
followed FAA work rules. The agency found six pilots whose rest
times had been violated, as well as a large number of problems in
flight-time records from a June 2008 inspection.
Gulfstream's Hackett told the paper that regional airlines,
including his own, look for ways to trim costs. But those tough
business decisions do not compromise safety, he said.
Former Gulfstream pilot Kenny Edwards, who filed the
whistleblower complaint that spurred the review of the airline by
the FAA, says he was fired in December 2007 because he would not
fly a Gulfstream aircraft he thought was unsafe.
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