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Gazette Premium Content FAA: Utah helicopter company broke drug test rules

Associated Press Updated: March 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Federal officials are proposing a $55,000 fine against a Utah helicopter tour company accused of violating drug and alcohol testing regulations.

But Whirlybird Helicopters CEO Adam Wilkerson says the allegations against his company are a misunderstanding, and he plans to appeal.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the Ogden-based company failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on eight employees who were hired to perform safety-sensitive operations on the helicopters. The agency also says three of the employees weren't in Whirlybird's random drug testing pool as required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Wilkerson says the employees were contracted and underwent the required drug testing through their primary company of employment.

Whirlybird has 30 days from the time they received notice of the fine to respond to the FAA.

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