It was mid 2014 when Air Methods Corporation, a well-known air ambulance transport company was in trouble with the FAA. The regulatory authority had proposed a fine of $428,000 as civil penalty for operating two choppers without being in compliance with the FAA rules. It was alleged that the air ambulance transport service had failed to install the mandated NVIS or night vision imaging system and also had not conducted inspections on its choppers which had made them unworthy of flying.
The Air Ambulance Transport Service is in Trouble Again
This time Air Methods has gotten in trouble with OSHA or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of US Department of Labor. The charge this time around is that the air ambulance transport service had fired a pilot for refusing to fly in hazardous conditions. The US air ambulance company has been ordered to not only reinstate the pilot but also pay a sum of $158,000 as back-wages in addition to damages amounting to $8,500.
What did the Air Ambulance Transport Company Allegedly Do?
The pilot had initially refused to fly the chopper which had a dysfunctional emergency location transmitter. The very next day, the air ambulance transport service allegedly placed the pilot on administrative leave and terminated his services on August 5, 2013.
Air Methods has Denied All Charges
The air ambulance transport company has responded to OSHA’s charge and said that it disagrees with the decision and will appeal against it. It must be noted in this regard that Air Methods was the first air ambulance transport service provider that had achieved Level 4 in the voluntary Safety Management System program – a level awarded by FAA itself.
OSHA had earlier said that the company was in violation of Wendell H. Ford AIR Act for 21st Century. The Act protects employees who report safety violations by employers.