Post Tagged with: "FAA"

No Safety Violations Proven Against Skydive Myrtle Beach

August 29, 2017 9:11 AM
No Safety Violations Proven Against Skydive Myrtle Beach

It is now apparent that Skydive Myrtle Beach was shut down from operating at Grand Strand Airport on the basis of safety allegations that were never investigated, much less proved.

For whatever reason, county officials (council members, staff or some combination thereof) decided they wanted to shut down Skydive Myrtle Beach (SDMB). The only way they could do that and not violate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Grant Assurances was to claim safety violations.

And this they did, sort of.

Horry County Department of Airports (HCDA) staff and Robinson Aviation employees, who were contracted with HCDA to operate the Grand Strand Airport control tower, created 112 “Unusual Incident Reports” (UIR) of SDMB alleged safety violations over a nearly two year period.

HCDP sent these UIR’s to the Federal Aviation Administration as documentation of safety violations. According to responses to FOIA requests by both Horry County and the FAA, none of these alleged incidents was ever investigated by HCDA and only one, number 86 on the compilation record, was investigated by the FAA.

Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti responses to two FOIA requests: 

“These records are provided in an abundance of caution, in that each may or may not demonstrate violation by Skydive Myrtle Beach of Horry County Department of Airports Minimum Standards, as that assessment has not been undertaken.” 

And

“Enforcement was held in abeyance due to pending litigation.” 

No investigation of any of the incidents was ever conducted by HCDA or other Horry County agencies.

The FAA found NO VIOLATION in the case of number 86, which occurred on May 31, 2015.

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U.S. Attorney Enters Skydive Myrtle Beach Lawsuit

July 31, 2017 2:14 PM
U.S. Attorney Enters Skydive Myrtle Beach Lawsuit

The U.S. Attorney for the South Carolina District has notified the Florence Federal District Court that she will be representing the individual federal defendants in a federal tort claims lawsuit brought by Skydive Myrtle Beach Inc.

The notification is included in a motion, signed by Interim U.S. Attorney for S.C. Beth Drake, to the court requesting an extension in filing a response just as time for a response was running out.

Skydive Myrtle Beach named Horry County, Horry County Council, the Federal Aviation Administration and a number of officials with all agencies individually as defendants.

The lawsuit claims Skydive Myrtle Beach was illegally closed when Horry County Council and its Department of Airports worked with the FAA to deprive Skydive Myrtle Beach of its constitutional right to due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In 2014, Skydive Myrtle Beach lodged a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration against Horry County Department of Airports alleging discriminatory actions against Skydive Myrtle Beach by HCDA.

In response, Horry County Department of Airports reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that Skydive Myrtle Beach was the subject of 112 alleged safety violations while conducting business at Grand Strand Airport.

In October 2015, the FAA issued a 73 page Director’s Determination Report supposedly basing the report on those safety violations. Horry County subsequently used this report as an excuse to shut down Skydive Myrtle Beach operations at Grand Strand Airport.

Skydiving is an approved aviation activity at all airports receiving FAA grants, according to FAA guidelines. Grand Strand Airport and the Horry County Department of Airports receive FAA grants on a routine basis.

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Council to Hear SkyDive Myrtle Beach Officials

July 5, 2016 4:36 AM
Council to Hear SkyDive Myrtle Beach Officials

SkyDive Myrtle Beach officials will address Horry County Council next week in an attempt to make members aware of the many inconsistencies in Horry County Department of Airports claims that were used as an excuse to close down that business at Grand Strand Airport.

The case for closure of SkyDive Myrtle Beach by Horry County is built around 112 alleged safety violations by the business, none of which are safety violations or violations of any other kind, according to FAA regulations.

Nevertheless, Horry County officials made what appear to be false claims to the FAA and the FAA, relying on the integrity of Horry County officials went along with the farce.

A preview of the address was sent to members of council and other Horry County officials by SkyDive Myrtle Beach last week.

Two statements at the beginning of the address tell the story:

“The County has attempted to style complaints in email only to the FAA, in order to have the FAA believe that something very dangerous is occurring at CRE.” (CRE is the FAA designation for Grand Strand Airport.)

And

“Not one FAA official has actually examined this process and the Director’s Decision was erroneously written, relying on the fact that the County was acting in good faith and being truthful, which they have never done in this case. You continually deny my due process with the Department of Airports, by denying my hearing before the Department, which is mandated in the County’s illegal Minimum Standards.”

In other words, the county is up to its old tricks of assuming ‘the law doesn’t apply in Horry County or, if it does, interpreting the law any way the county desires to justify its actions.’

The county depends on its deep pool of taxpayer dollars as a reserve to defend lawsuits brought by those same taxpayers attempting to seek justice.

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Horry County Department of Airports Terminal Expenditures

April 15, 2015 6:00 AM
Horry County Department of Airports Terminal Expenditures

The Horry County Department of Airports is preparing to spend at least $10 million refurbishing the old passenger terminal building.

This is on top of the approximately $120 million spent in the last few years for a new terminal building.

There should be some justification for these expenses, but it’s hard to fathom what that is when looking at passenger numbers at Myrtle Beach International Airport.

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What Does AvCraft Sale Bring to Horry County?

January 25, 2015 9:00 AM
What Does AvCraft Sale Bring to Horry County?

The recent request by AvCraft Technical Services to Horry County Council for further considerations by the county to help facilitate the sale of AvCraft appears extremely flawed.

According to several industry and county sources, Sun Air Scandinavia is considering the purchase of AvCraft.

According to sources familiar with the AvCraft request, Horry County is being asked to spend a significant amount of money upgrading at least two of the three hangars AvCraft now occupies at Myrtle Beach International Airport.

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Horry County Department of Airports Conundrum

January 5, 2015 9:02 AM
Horry County Department of Airports Conundrum

Setting minimum standards for general aviation airports in Horry County requires more than Horry County government’s typical “Independent Republic” approach.

Too much is at stake for Horry County government and its Department of Airports to assume it can do whatever it wants to do with respect to the treatment afforded to businesses conducting general aviation aeronautical activities at the county’s airports.

Accepting FAA grant money (of which Horry County receives millions every year) and free land conveyance of former Air Force property brings with it certain requirements of and assurances from the county, most importantly that the airport and its facilities must be available for public use in a non-discriminatory manner.

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Horry County Council Needs Counsel

July 14, 2013 12:04 PM
Horry County Council Needs Counsel

It has become increasingly apparent over the last several months that Horry County Council needs to contract an independent attorney to provide it with legal counsel and guidance exclusively.

The need was uniquely demonstrated during council’s Administration Committee meeting July 12th.

During that meeting, committee members discussed a resolution to be considered by full council at its regular meeting Tuesday July 16,
2013. The resolution states council does not intend to extend its current lease at Myrtle Beach International Airport with Huffman Helicopters.

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