FAA Proposes $167,500 Civil Penalty Against Steele Aviation of Beverly Hills, Calif.
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $167,500 civil penalty against Steele Aviation, Inc., of Beverly Hills, Calif., for allegedly conducting unauthorized air carrier operations and using unqualified pilots.
Steele Aviation operated a Gulfstream IV and a British Aerospace 125 on at least 78 for-hire passenger-carrying flights between Sept. 17, 2015 and June 13, 2016 when neither aircraft was listed on an air carrier certificate, the FAA alleges.
The FAA further alleges the pilots who conducted the majority of these flights did not meet applicable training requirements for this type of operation. Additionally, the pilot who served as second in command lacked the proper pilot and medical certificates to serve in that capacity for a majority of the flights, the agency alleges.
On March 2, 2016, FAA safety inspectors met the Gulfstream after it landed at Van Nuys Airport, and interviewed the pilots and their paying passenger. On April 15, 2016, an FAA inspector notified Steele Aviation it was under investigation for operating without the proper certification. The company continued to use the unqualified co-pilot until May 30, 2016, and continued to conduct unauthorized air carrier operations until June 13, 2016, the FAA alleges.
Steele Aviation’s operation of the two aircraft was careless or reckless and endangered the life or property of another person, the FAA alleges.
The company has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.