FAA Proposes $585,725 Civil Penalty Against Corporate Air


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FAA Proposes $585,725 Civil Penalty Against Corporate Air

Bill Goldston

February 20, 2011 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $585,725 civil penalty against Corporate Air of Billings, Mont., for allegedly operating a Shorts SD-3-30 twin-turboprop cargo aircraft when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. 

The FAA alleges Corporate Air failed to maintain the aircraft under the company's general maintenance manual, which requires daily post-flight inspections that include examining the exterior skin for corrosion. In addition, the maintenance manual requires structural inspections on the basis of flight hours or flights. 

The FAA alleges that Corporate Air operated the aircraft in violation of regulations on at least 81 revenue flights between Dec. 21, 2009 and Feb. 4, 2010 with corrosion that had not been detected during the post-flight inspections. The FAA also alleges that structural inspections were not conducted at the required intervals, between Mar. 16, 2006 and Feb. 3, 2010, in violation of federal regulations. 

Corporate Air operates charter and air taxi service under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations and makes daily feeder cargo flights under contract to a major next-day air package airline. "Keeping aircraft well-maintained and in good condition must be a top priority for any operator," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "All operators must comply with maintenance requirements." 

Corporate Air is a airline based in Billings, Montana, United States. It was established in 1981 and operates primarily domestic scheduled cargo services, Feeder service on behalf of FedEx Express, as well as the United States Postal Service. Its main base is Billings Logan International Airport. 

Back on October 13, Corporate Air faced with $455,000 in FAA fines for allowing a small airliner to carry passengers on 80 flights despite an engine that needed repair. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the airline flew the Beech 1900C - a 19-passenger twin-engine turboprop plane without repairing its right engine, which was consuming excessive amounts of oil. 


The FAA-approved aircraft and engine manuals call for post-flight inspection and repair of an engine experiencing excessive oil consumption. Corporate Air did not correct the oil consumption problem despite repeated inspections in which oil had to be added. ?The safety of the passengers and crew must be the top priority for any operator,? said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. ?All operators must comply with maintenance requirements.?


The Billings, Mont., company has scheduled flights in nine states in addition to Montana: Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. It also operates six aircraft repair and maintenance facilities, according to a company website. Corporate Air has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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