Operator Allegedly Used Student Pilots & Unauthorized Aircraft on Private Jet Flights

In handing out an emergency order of revocation against TapJets for allegedly using unqualified pilots and unauthorized aircraft for private jet flights, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) says the company demonstrated “a cavalier attitude toward regulatory compliance.” Cavalier is one word. The FAA’s press release outlines a handful of alleged infractions made by the jet charter air carrier, which operates out of Spring, Texas, and Fargo, North Dakota, between September 2016 and January 2017, including: Operating ten (10) passenger-carrying flights with unqualified pilots.

  • One second-in-command pilot had only student pilot certificate, when the pilot should have had a commercial certificate.
  • The company’s president and director of operations “piloted several of these flights when either the crew was unqualified or the aircraft being used was unauthorized.”

Conducting fourteen (14) passenger-carrying flights with aircraft “not authorized to use because they were not listed on its air carrier certificate.” The FAA alleges TapJets “knowingly used unqualified pilots, operated in a careless or reckless manner that endangered lives or property, and exhibited a cavalier attitude toward regulatory compliance.” The emergency order of revocation, effective immediately, means the company cannot conduct private jet flights while the order is in effect. At Stratos Jet Charters, the word we use to describe how we feel about safety and standards is “obsessed.” Pilots and aircraft MUST meet industry requirements, as well as our own audit, and these are performed for each of the private jet flights we broker to ensure:

  1. Aircraft is properly registered and is air worthy.
  2. The crew have adequate experience overall and in the particular aircraft they are assigned to fly.
  3. The crew is healthy and meets FAA Medical standard requirements.
  4. That the insurance is active and in place on the specific aircraft assigned.

To do this, for every flight we harness information from:

PASS Reports

Pilot and Aircraft Safety Survey, delivered via Wyvern, confirms or verifies:

  • an air charter operator holds a current Air Operating Certificate (AOC)
  • the aircraft being chartered is listed on the air carrier’s Operations Specifications
  • current insurance for the aircraft
  • each crew member’s experience meets Wyvern’s proprietary safety standard

TripCheq

This analysis of commercial operators’ credentials, supplied by ARGUS’s business aviation due diligence database, provides access to information on:

  • Crew experience and qualifications
  • Operator’s registered name, DBA’s, contact information and ARGUS Rating
  • Accidents, incidents and enforcement actions
  • Insurance coverage
  • Aircraft make, model and year of manufacture
  • Verification of the commercial status of your assigned aircraft

The ARGUS TripCheq analysis shows brokers if private jet flights meet several critical safety criteria. -image courtesy ARGUS

Stratos ACI Audit & Operator Evaluation

The Stratos Aircraft Crew & Insurance Audit gives us one more window into the details that matter most when it comes to maximizing our clients’ margin of safety. We then take our due diligence a step further by using reports collected by ARGUS and Wyvern to evaluate the operator as a whole on every flight.  We review and confirm performance indicators such as:

  • no major enforcement actions against the carrier or any crew member
  • turnover in key personnel (Director of Maintenance, Director of Operations and Chief Pilot).

This extra step allows us to ensure that no issues or concerns have occurred outside of the assigned crew and aircraft. This is important, because a culture of safety starts at the top and reaches everywhere. In short, with our comprehensive analysis ahead of your private jet flights, there’s just no chance our clients would be at risk of being on an unauthorized aircraft flown by unqualified pilots. We hope charter travelers see why it’s critical not to book on price alone. Learn more about how pilots on private jet flights we broker must meet the highest level of credentials and time in type (experience with that type of aircraft) and how we evaluate pilot in command certification as well as require two pilots. What if you had a charter broker who was obsessed with your safety? Experience the difference with Stratos, where your safety is our priority and we’re committed to safe, seamless flying experience. Call 888-593-9066 to talk to a trusted agent today. 

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