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Washington, DC

FAA revokes Universal Flight Services' certificate for alleged illegal charter



The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency order to revoke the ability of Florida-based Universal Flight Services to charge passengers for flights.

The FAA also revoked the pilot certificate of the owner of Universal Flight Services for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights.

Universal Flight Services, based in Sarasota, allegedly conducted 26 passenger-carrying flights without the required FAA certificate between October 22nd 2015 and February 17th 2019. The flights occurred between: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Key West International Airport, Florida Keys/Marathon International Airport, and Witham Field.

FAA revokes Universal Flight Services' certificate for alleged illegal charter

In March 2019, Universal Flight Services obtained the FAA certificate required to conduct passenger flights. However, it operated seven subsequent flights using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft between September 9th 2019 and September 20th 2020.

On two of the flights, the pilot did not have the medical certificate required to fly paying passengers, did not pass a flight check to fly in instrument conditions, and was not current to fly in instrument conditions. On two different flights, the aircraft that the company used had not undergone required inspections.

On all 33 flights conducted by Universal Flight Services between October 2015 and September 2020, the pilots had not passed required written and oral tests, competency checks, and flight checks in the type of aircraft they operated during this time.

United Flight Services surrendered its certificate as required by the emergency order and appealed the order to the NTSB.

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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 10th June 2021 | Issue #609


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