DENVER — Air Methods Corporation, a medical helicopter operator, now facing a lawsuit after allegedly violating Federal Aviation Administration regulations by continuing to operate a helicopter with “severely corroded” parts.
United States Attorney, Jason R. Dunn, filed the complaint Monday, adding Air Methods continued to fly the helicopter on 51 flights after it was notified by the FAA, about the damage to the aircraft’s pitot-tubes, which are parts necessary to determine airspeed.
According to the complaint, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector inspected Air Methods aircraft in Tampa, Florida on November 4, 2014.
Air Methods did not fix or replace the corroded pitot-tubes.
The complaint goes on to allege Air Methods had previously experienced an incident in which a helicopter’s pitot-tubes were burnt, with the corroded tubes becoming clogged. The incident led the helicopter’s auto-pilot to partially disengage and caused the helicopter’s instruments to read its airspeed incorrectly.
“Air Methods kept the helicopter in the air despite being warned about the corroded pitot tubes, and we intend to hold the company accountable for its actions,” said Dunn.