Click here for Microsoft Word Version
This document was converted from
WordPerfect or Word to ASCII Text format.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Word or WordPerfect version or Adobe Acrobat version (above).
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Oahu Aviation Flight School, Inc. ) File
Registered Owner of Aircraft N3180P )
Honolulu, Hawaii ) NAL/Acct. No
Adopted: February 23, 2001 Released: February 27,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of two thousand dollars
($2,000) against Oahu Aviation Flight School, Inc. (``Oahu
Aviation''), for violating Section 87.193 of the Commission's
Rules (``the Rules'') 1 by transmitting false distress calls. The
noted violations involve false distress calls resulting from the
repeated accidental activation of an emergency locator
2. On December 13, 2000, the Honolulu, Hawaii, Resident
Agent Office (``Honolulu Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') in the amount of eight
thousand dollars ($8,000).2 Oahu Aviation filed its response on
December 21, 2000.
3. On November 21, 2000, the United States Coast Guard
reported to the Honolulu Office that a signal on the distress and
safety frequency 121.15 MHz had activated the Search And Rescue
Satellite System (``SARSAT''). An agent from the Honolulu Office
tracked the signal to an ELT aboard an unattended aircraft
located at Oahu Aviation's place of business, 99 Iolana Place,
Honolulu, Hawaii, and determined that the ELT's activation was
``false,'' i.e., not as a locating aid for survival purposes.
4. On November 22, 2000, an agent at the Honolulu Office
informed Oahu Aviation by telephone that its ELT was defective
and requested that it be removed and repaired. An employee of
Oahu Aviation stated that she would contact maintenance to have
the violation corrected. In addition, the Honolulu Office issued
an Official Notice of Violation (``NOV'') to Oahu Aviation on
November 22, 2000, citing violation of Section 87.193 of the
Commission's Rules. The return receipt indicates that the United
States Postal Service delivered the NOV to Oahu Aviation on
November 24, 2000.
5. On December 3, 2000, the United States Coast Guard
reported to the Honolulu Office that a signal on the distress and
safety frequency 121.15 MHz had activated SARSAT. An agent from
the Honolulu Office tracked the signal to the same ELT aboard an
unattended aircraft located at Oahu Aviation's place of business,
99 Iolana Place, Honolulu, Hawaii, and determined that the ELT's
activation was false.
6. In response to the NAL, Oahu Aviation seeks
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture. Oahu Aviation states
that, following the first false ELT activation, an avionics shop
found no malfunction and reinstalled the ELT after changing the
batteries. Oahu Aviation further states that, following the
second false ELT activation, it installed a new ELT. In
addition, Oahu Aviation apologized for the false activations and
promised to take ``every precaution to prevent any further
7. As the NAL explicitly states, the Honolulu Office
assessed the proposed forfeiture amount in this case in
accordance with Section 503 of the Act,3 Section 1.80 of the
Rules,4 and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and
Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Policy Statement''). Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act'')5 requires that,
in examining Oahu Aviation's response, the Commission take into
account the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the
violation and, with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and
other such matters as justice may require.6
8. Section 87.193 of the Rules provides that:
``Transmissions by emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) are
intended to be actuated manually or automatically and operated
automatically as part of an aircraft or survival craft station as
a locating aid for survival purposes.''
9. False ELT activations disrupt the Commission's work
schedule. Disruption of the Commission's work schedule
compromises public safety because it may divert attention from
true emergencies and other high priority matters. It is
undisputed that, on two occasions, an equipment malfunction
activated the ELT aboard one of Oahu Aviation's aircraft and that
the steps taken following the initial false activation were not
sufficient to prevent a second false activation. In these
circumstances, cancellation of the proposed forfeiture is not
warranted. However, because of the accidental nature of the
false activations, we find that the proposed forfeiture amount of
$8,000 is excessive. 7
10. Taking the above statutory factors into account as
well as the factors set forth in the Policy Statement, we
conclude that the proposed monetary forfeiture should be
mitigated to $2,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of
the Rules,9 Oahu Aviation IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in
the amount $2,000 for repeatedly violating the provisions of
Section 87.193 of the Rules, which permits an ELT to be activated
only as a locating aid for survival purposes.
12. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules10 within
30 days of the release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not
paid within the period specified, the case may be referred to the
Department of Justice for collection pursuant to Section 504(a)
of the Act.11 Payment shall be made by mailing a check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The
payment should note ``NAL/Acct. No 2001132860001'' referenced
above. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations
Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.12
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this
Forfeiture Order shall be sent by Certified Mail --Return Receipt
Requested to Oahu Aviation Flight School, Inc., at 99 Iolana
Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819-1840.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 87.193.
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/No.
200132860001 (Enf. Bur., Honolulu Office, released December 13,
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 47 U.S.C. § 302a.
6 6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 Compare James Scott Martin, 7 FCC Rcd 3524 (1992).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
11 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
12 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.