Fractional business jet operator Jet It has voluntarily grounded its HondaJet fleet, according to a report, and now upon confirmation from the company to its stakeholders.
The company, one of the largest HondaJet fleet operators, reportedly notified employees internally of the aircraft “stand-down” following an accident involving another operator’s HA-420 model in Summerville, South Carolina, on Thursday, according to Private Jet Card Comparisons.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the Thursday accident that involved a HondaJet, listed as owned by Upfrunt Services LLC of Dover, Delaware. The aircraft hydroplaned at the end of Summerville Airport’s (KDYB) Runway 24, struck a berm, and caught fire, according to Aviation Safety Net. None of the five people onboard the aircraft were injured in the event.
“We are instituting a safety stand-down while we request further information from Honda. This means we will not be operating the Honda Aircraft until further notice,” Jet It said in an internal message, according to Private Jet Card Comparisons. “During this stand-down, we will be reviewing all information, procedures, and specific data as it becomes available. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.”
The stand-down was to occur over the weekend, and no date for the resumption of operations had been determined, according to the report.
In the days following the pause in operations, Jet It notified its stakeholders.
“After careful consideration of this and other recent similar events, we have made the difficult decision to implement a safety stand down as of May 18, and ground this aircraft type in our fleet effective immediately,” Jet It CEO Glenn Gonzales told company stakeholders in an email Monday. “Jet It has taken this precautionary measure to ensure the safety and well-being of our passengers, pilots, and the integrity of our operations. The stand down will be focused on reviewing policies and procedures for the safe operation of the HondaJet aircraft and gathering more information.”
Jet It’s action was voluntary and not made at the recommendation of an aviation authority, according to Honda Aircraft Company.
“Jet It’s decision to ground their HondaJet fleet was made independently by Jet It. Importantly, neither Honda Aircraft Company nor any aviation authority has recommended this grounding. Therefore, we have no comment about the decision by Jet It to ground its fleet,” the company told FLYING in a statement Monday.
“In all closed investigations of previous runway events, investigators found no causal factors from the aircraft’s design or any system malfunction. Our engineering and analysis supports our product as a safe aircraft to operate,” it said, adding that the rest of its feel will continue with normal operations.
“Honda Aircraft holds the safety and reliability of our aircraft as our top priorities and our dedicated team is working closely with the NTSB and FAA to determine the cause of the recent occurrence and to implement any necessary measures.”
The report of Jet It’s pause in HondaJet operations comes just weeks after Honda Aircraft Co. reached a confidential settlement with Jet It that ended its breach-of-contract lawsuit against the North Carolina-based operator. In the lawsuit, Honda alleged Jet It had violated agreements and made “disparaging comments” about the aircraft manufacturer.