The owner was a designated part 135 check airman

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owner did not have any documentation which proved that the pilot had passed a 135-check ride. The owner was a designated Part 135 check airman himself, and didn’t remember conducting a flight test with the pilot. The owner possessed insufficient documentation, as his records never displayed the dates that the 135 check rides or line checks were completed. The pilot was required to take a Part 135 check ride two days before to the crash. The crash flight was the pilot’s first flight into Lake Tahoe Airport. The pilot had flown light twin aircraft under part 91. The pilot had 50 hours flying twins, and only had 15 hours flying the make and model of the crash aircraft. The pilot had experience flying in Arizona alone, as he had trained, and later
8.4 - RESEARCH PAPER: 9 worked there. The pilot had only five hours of real IMC (Instrumental Meteorological Conditions) experience. The pilot was a low time pilot, as he had a total of 300 hours. The pilot’s logbook was never traced. Nor was there any evidence of the pilot receiving flight training from an accredited organization. The pilot was seen by many of the company’s employees frequently napping in the crew lounge prior to going on flights. The pilot was having some personal issues and did not want to go home. This could have caused the pilot to stress, not eat well, or rest adequately. Unforeseen fatigue is a result of such conditions. Other employees describe the pilot as being tired all the time. The pilot wasn’t intoxicated at the time of the crash according to the toxicology reports. Company information and operations Zonk Air Charters operated this flight out of Oxnard, CA. This company generates revenue by conducting operations such as scenic flights. This is a small business operation that is certified under Part 135 and Part 91. This company has been cited by the FAA for not maintaining records that are required to operate under 135 CFR. The owner of the company trained the pilots that were hired and ensured that they were competent at flying. All their three aircraft were sent to numerous companies, some of which are on the airport, for maintenance. The maintenance documentation reveals that there were missing signoffs and aircraft logs. The company was trying to sell for two years and was in the midst of filing bankruptcy. The owner had defaulted on paying the costs of maintenance inspections and fuel. The aircrafts had records of deferred maintenance requirements. The company would frequently call mechanics to visit them, in order to take a fast peek at an issue. The company representatives would then log squawks themselves. This was done in the case of the crash aircraft when it leaked fuel from its right engine. The owner knew that the crash aircraft had an old vent/fuel cap that would leak a little after a top off,
8.4 - RESEARCH PAPER: 10 but considered it normal for an aircraft of that age. The company failed to offer a proper dispatching and flight monitoring system in spite of it being mentioned as a requirement in their own operating manual. A safety culture wasn’t emphasized by the owner. He asked pilots to be safe, but asked them to explore all their options of going around the rules and their limitations before making the decision to cancel a flight. The owner allowed pilots to fly knowing the fact

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