Having investigated the company’s safety practices for months, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded cargo carrier Transair Hawaii (T4, Honolulu), whose B737-200C crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii on July 2, 2021.

The FAA in a statement said its decision was separate from the ongoing investigation into the accident in which both pilots survived the night-time ditching despite high swells.

“The FAA began investigating the maintenance and safety practices of Rhoades Aviation last fall. On June 13, the FAA notified Rhoades Aviation that the agency intended to rescind the authority for the airline to conduct maintenance inspections due to deficiencies identified during the investigation. The company was given 30 days under administrative process to ask the FAA to reconsider, which it did not do,” the FAA said.

Without an inspection authorisation, the carrier cannot operate legally. The FAA decision became effective at 0000L (1000Z) on July 16, 2021.

The carrier was not immediately available for comment.

N810TA (msn 21116), a B737-200 converted freighter operating as Transair Flight 810, crashed after losing one of its Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines shortly after departure from Honolulu. The two pilots had attempted to turn back after they had radioed that they had lost power in one engine and feared that the other engine would also fail.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board found the wreckage on the floor of the Pacific about 3km offshore from the Ewa Beach section of Oahu, Hawaii. The NTSB later released underwater images of the crashed freighter lying at a depth of about 200 m. The forward fuselage and one engine had broken away during the impact. Marine salvage companies were to retrieve the two flight data recorders.

Transair had voluntarily withdrawn its remaining B737s fleet from service for a week-long internal review but had resumed operations a week later, according to local news reports. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the cargo specialist has a remaining fleet of one B737-200(C) and one B737-200(F).

As reported, Rhoades Aviation is a division of Transair Express (R9, Honolulu). The two brands currently operate a combined fleet of five aircraft, including one B737-200, two B737-200(C)s, and two B737-200(F)s. Shorts 360 freighters are operated by Trans Executive Airlines under the Transair Express brand.