Comment on story Air Trek Air Ambulance Issues with the FAA and NTSB
It is interesting to note that more than a year has passed since the writing of the ‘Letter to the Editor’ associated with this story; yet Air Trek, Inc. Air Trek Air Ambulance of Punta Gorda, Florida is still continuing to have issues with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The latest of which is the suspension of Mr. Wayne Carr’s FAA pilot and FAA aircraft mechanic certificates (a matter of public record) which effectively removed the Air Trek Air Ambulance CEO from his other duties as Chief Pilot and Assistant Director of Maintenance at the company. Air Trek claims it is a witch hunt to vilify the operator, something which seems unlikely since they have provided no clear evidence to support such a claim.
Although the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sided with Air Trek, Inc. during the hearing last year, and the NTSB’s written decision did not exonerate the company of wrongdoing despite claims by the legal team representing the air ambulance company and its owners.
In fact, reading the decision would give the distinct impression that the FAA simply failed to adequately prepare its case prior to bringing forth its allegation…not that they were untrue. Furthermore, anyone following this case or thinking of using this company and making the assumption that there were no issues at Air Trek, Inc. couldn’t be more wrong; as would making the assumption that this company’s problems were limited solely to its Virginia base…something that is evident once the entire NTSB decision has been read.
It would be a far stretch to assume that a satellite with management personnel on site simply chose to ignore ‘written company policy’ without being provided at the very least, tacit approval if not direct guidance to do so. The previous statement becomes even more apparent if the background of the pilots at the site, those who were alleged to have committed this violation, are investigated.
It is also interesting to note that Air Trek’s legal team chose to single out two individuals who testified at the NTSB hearing. The names of John Roberts and Garrett Lunde appear in virtually every press release disseminated over the past year, taking comments from the NTSB written decision out of context in an effort to paint them in a bad light. It makes one wonder what Air Trek’s motives were for singling out these two individuals, despite the fact that their testimony was identical to what others had stated throughout the trial.
For those that would be interested in reading the decision and verifying the facts, the following link will take you to the official NTSB document: http://www.ntsb.gov/alj/O_n_O/docs/AVIATION/5440.PDF.
Air Trek will undoubtedly continue to stick to its public relations campaign stating that nothing was ever wrong and that its issues were the result of individuals operating outside of ‘written company policy’ despite having management personnel at all its sites; the prior history of multiple accidents, injuries and death, and damaged aircraft by Air Trek Air Ambulance all run counter to that argument and should leave the public wondering why this company wasn’t investigated by the FAA long before 2008.