FAA revokes charter of Sarasota-based flight service for alleged illegal charter flights
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency order to revoke the ability of a Sarasota-based company to charge passengers for flights.
Universal Flight Services allegedly conducted 26 passenger-carrying flights without the required FAA certificate between Oct. 22, 2015 and Feb. 17, 2019. The flights occurred between the following airports: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Key West International Airport, Florida Keys/Marathon International Airport, and Witham Field.
The FAA also revoked the pilot certificate of the owner of Universal Flight Services for allegedly conducting illegal charter flights.
In March 2019, Universal Flight Services obtained the FAA certificate required to conduct passenger flights. The FAA alleges that the charter service operated seven subsequent flights using unauthorized pilots and/or aircraft between Sept. 9, 2019 and Sept. 20, 2020.
The FAA states that 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, reads the report, the aircraft that the company used had not undergone required inspections.
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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