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Friday, October 1, 2010

Phoenix Heliparts: FAA Revocation a ‘Complete Surprise’

Describing FAA’s move to revoke its Part 145 repair station certificate as unexpected, Phoenix Heliparts has filed a formal appeal with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to overturn the action. FAA stripped the certificate on Sept. 9, alleging that the Mesa, Ariz.-based company carried out “improper repairs” with incorrect parts and for “falsifying maintenance records.” Among the FAA claims were that company mechanics did not follow repair station and quality control manuals; tagged unserviceable parts as serviceable for reuse; failed to document some inspections and maintenance work; and used unapproved manuals for major repairs and alterations.

Phoenix Heliparts President Tina Cannon refuted the FAA accusations. “To imply our work is unsafe, as the FAA has done, is both wrong and harmful to our employees and customers alike,” she said. Despite FAA’s assertions, the company “has instituted a very solid quality system and is using that system to ensure that its individually certificated mechanics can prove that every step is taken in accordance with the regulations,” Cannon said.

Phoenix Heliparts will continue to operate under mechanics’ individual Part 65 certificates until the issue is resolved. Cannon noted that the company has aggressively pursued initiatives to improve compliance with its repair station certificate, including: establishing new senior management, rewriting its quality manual and refraining from maintenance work under the certificate while the changes took hold. After moving into a new 40,000-square-foot facility in March, FAA inspectors conducted “an audit of the manuals and facility and reissued the repair station certificate on June 21,” Cannon said. “Consequently, this revocation action comes as a complete surprise.” (From October 2010 Rotorcraft Report)

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