The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency order suspending the air carrier certificate of Western Air Express, based in Midland, Texas.
Western Air Express operates one twin-engine Beechcraft Queen Air model BE-70-70 certificated for passenger operations. An FAA inspection on April 28, 2016, revealed that Western Air Express had not complied with engine or propeller overhaul requirements. The aircraft’s right engine had been operating since November 2006 and the left engine had been operating since December 1994 without the required overhauls. In addition, the aircraft propellers required a maintenance overhaul in February 2015.
By failing to comply with these overhaul requirements, Western Air Express is in violation of Federal Aviation Regulations and the carrier’s operation poses an unacceptable risk to aviation safety.
Western Air Express must immediately surrender its air carrier certificate to the FAA. Failure to comply could result in further legal enforcement action, including a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for each day the certificate is not returned.
The period of suspension will be in effect until Western Air Express demonstrates to the satisfaction of the FAA that all engines and propellers on the aircraft meet the requirements of the manufacturer’s maintenance program.