Story by Mary Carr Mayle via BusinessSavannah.com

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $425,000 civil penalty against Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. for failing to comply with federal guidelines related to training aircraft mechanics.

The FAA says an inspection determined that some Gulfstream mechanics did not complete required training within the time limits established in its FAA-approved training manual. Numerous training deadlines were missed, the FAA said.

In a statement Wednesday, Gulfstream spokeswoman Heidi Fedak said safety was never compromised in the maintenance of the company’s business jets.

“Safety is our biggest priority,” Fedak said. “These events, which happened several years ago, were largely administrative in nature. We assure our operators that there was no safety-of-flight issue surrounding these circumstances and all maintenance was performed properly.

“Gulfstream continuously cooperates with the Federal Aviation Administration to further enhance our training and operational procedures.”

After reviewing employee training records, FAA inspectors could not determine whether some of the employees completed training or whether the records were inaccurate. The FAA also alleges that Gulfstream allowed mechanics to maintain aircraft when they had not completed the required training.

The FAA said inspections in November 2009 and March 2010 initially identified the training discrepancies. During a June 2010 follow-up inspection, the agency determined that Gulfstream’s corrective actions were insufficient to address systemic training and record-keeping issues.

“Training is a critical component of a safe aviation system,” FAA administrator Michael Huerta said in a press release. “Operators must ensure that mechanics meet all FAA training requirements before working on complex jet aircraft.”

The FAA alleges the violations compromised safety because mechanics maintained aircraft without receiving required recurrent training.

Gulfstream has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s Civil Penalty letter to respond to the agency.

Original story, here.

To view the Federal Aviation Administration Press Release visit the FAA website, here.

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