NTSB Urges Oversight of Specific Alaskan Operators

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In an unusual move, the National Transportation Safety Board today identified a single owner, HoTH Inc., of a number of Alaska air carriers operating under FAR Parts 135 and 121 and issued an urgent safety recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the oversight of HoTH Inc.s operations. The urgent recommendation was issued as a result of six recent accidents and one incident. The specific operators include Frontier Flying Service, Hageland Aviation Services Inc. and Era Aviation, which may do business as Ravn Alaska, Ravn Connect and Corvus Airlines. The NTSB also issued an urgent safety recommendation to the FAA to conduct a comprehensive audit of the regulatory compliance and operational safety programs in place at HoTH Inc. operators.

In addition, the NTSB expressed its displeasure with the FAAs internal operations in Alaska, making those the target of a non-urgent safety recommendation that called for the FAA to conduct a comprehensive audit of its own oversight of these Alaska-based operators. The NTSB specifically said that the oversight audit should be conducted by FAA units that are based outside of Alaska. In announcing the safety recommendations, the NTSB said that the operator and the FAA had made several recent changes designed to improve safety and oversight, but that the NTSB believed, due to the breadth of the issues identified during its investigations, the recommendations were necessary to ensure the safe operation and effective oversight of the operators owned by HoTH Inc.