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FAA seeks to fine Utah helicopter sightseeing firm

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A Salt Lake City helicopter firm is accused of operating unauthorized sightseeing rides
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $330,000 civil penalty

(CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it has proposed a $330,000 civil penalty against Heli-Dudes LLC, of Salt Lake City for allegedly offering sightseeing helicopter rides for hire when it was not authorized to do so.

The agency alleges that Heli-Dudes did not have an operating certificate or letter of authorization when it conducted 30 sightseeing flights for hire last year between February 6 and February 14, using a Robinson R-22, which is a two-seat, piston engine-powered helicopter.

The FAA last year denied two Heli-Dudes applications for a letter of authorization. The first denial in January was because the company submitted the wrong employee drug-testing certificate. The second denial in March was because Heli-Dudes was conducting unauthorized for-hire flights.

The helicopter firm has 30 days to respond to the agency.