It is now apparent that Skydive Myrtle Beach was shut down from operating at Grand Strand Airport on the basis of safety allegations that were never investigated, much less proved.
For whatever reason, county officials (council members, staff or some combination thereof) decided they wanted to shut down Skydive Myrtle Beach (SDMB). The only way they could do that and not violate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Grant Assurances was to claim safety violations.
And this they did, sort of.
Horry County Department of Airports (HCDA) staff and Robinson Aviation employees, who were contracted with HCDA to operate the Grand Strand Airport control tower, created 112 “Unusual Incident Reports” (UIR) of SDMB alleged safety violations over a nearly two year period.
HCDP sent these UIR’s to the Federal Aviation Administration as documentation of safety violations. According to responses to FOIA requests by both Horry County and the FAA, none of these alleged incidents was ever investigated by HCDA and only one, number 86 on the compilation record, was investigated by the FAA.
Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti responses to two FOIA requests:
“These records are provided in an abundance of caution, in that each may or may not demonstrate violation by Skydive Myrtle Beach of Horry County Department of Airports Minimum Standards, as that assessment has not been undertaken.”
“Enforcement was held in abeyance due to pending litigation.”
No investigation of any of the incidents was ever conducted by HCDA or other Horry County agencies.
The FAA found NO VIOLATION in the case of number 86, which occurred on May 31, 2015.