Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Evergreen International fined $4.855 million by FAA over pilot training

by B. N. Sullivan

Evergreen International Airlines faces a $4.855 fine, proposed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  "for allegedly using pilots on 232 revenue flights who had not bee trained in accordance with an FAA-approved training program."

In 2009, Evergreen aircraft were equipped with a new Flight Management System (FMS).  The FAA says the new FMS was different enough from the prior system that it required pilots to be specifically trained on it.  According to the FAA, Evergreen "did not complete its FAA-approved training for pilots before assigning them to fly revenue trips using the new FMS."

In a press release announcing the proposed civil penalty, the FAA explains:
The FAA alleges Evergreen line pilots received ground training and a check ride on the new FMS, but that the company did not provide required familiarization flights supervised by the company’s check pilots despite being told to do so by the FAA.  The familiarization flights are part of the FAA-approved training program for Evergreen aircraft equipped with the FMS.  Evergreen also failed to distribute copies of the required system manual to crews who would be using the FMS.

Subsequent to these improperly conducted flights, Evergreen has ensured that its pilots are trained in accordance with its FAA-approved training program and continues to operate under an FAA-approved training program.
The flights in question took place between February 19, 2009 and July 9, 2009.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said, “Even though Evergreen now complies with its training program, this penalty is appropriate because requiring operators to complete required, approved training is the only way to make sure crews are fully qualified to operate the equipment and systems to manage flights safely.”

Evergreen has 30 days to respond to the FAA regarding the allegations.