Federal Raid At Century Helicopter Company

January 10, 2008


Officials with the U.S. Office of Transportation raided Van Nevel Helicopters in Century’s industrial park Wednesday seizing business records of the business and its owner, Georges Van Nevel.

“Van Nevel is suspected of improperly refurbishing helicopters and helicopter parts, selling unapproved aircraft parts, performing improper repairs on helicopters and misleading the aviation community by false advertisements,” according to federal documents from the Office of Transportation obtained by NorthEscambia.com.

vn12.jpgWhen NorthEscambia.com was on the scene Wednesday, three marked Escambia County sheriff’s cruisers were maintaining a perimeter around the building, keeping onlookers and employees away from the building on Industrial Boulevard. As the driver of one vehicle drove toward the parking lot not using the main driveway but a grassy area on the side, he was quickly approached by deputies before he entered the parking lot (pictured left, click to enlarge).

The raid began during the 5:00 hour Wednesday morning, according to deputies.

Van Nevel operates Helicopter Technologies. It held a FAA repair station certification until Van Nevel voluntarily surrendered the repair station certificate in early August 2007, according to federal documents. Helicopter Technologies supported the FH1100 Company until that certificate surrender, but he had the capability to continue performing helicopter maintenance and repairs under an “Airframe and Powerplant” certificate. But Van Nevel’s companies were still able to sell parts for the FH-1100 helicopter, according to federal documents.

According to documents filed with the Florida Secretary of State, Van Nevel is the only corporate officer for Helicopter Technology, Inc., FH1100 Manufacturing Corp., and Van Nevel Helicopters, Inc.

According to the website fh1100.com, the company also operated the “Van Nevel Helicopters Academy”. The “whois” service at Network Solutions, an internet domain registrar, identifies the owner of the fh1100.com domain name to be Georges Van Nevel.

Federal agents were to seize documents related to all of Van Nevel’s companies, according to federal documents. Documents to be seized include both paper documents and electronic information related to the operation of the company, including employee records, customer records, supplier records and aircraft maintenance information.

No charges have been filed against Van Nevel or any employee or agent of any of his companies.

NorthEscambia.com was unable to contact Van Nevel for contact on Wednesday.

At Monday night’s meeting of the Century Town Council, Town Clerk Dorothy Sims reported to the council that Helicopter Technology last made a payment to the town in September 2007, and that payment was for their May 2007 rent in the town’s industrial park.

Click here for more photos from Van Nevel Helicopters.

Pictured top: A marked Escambia County deputy cruiser sits outside Van Nevel Helicopters as federal agents conduct a raid inside Wednesday. All photos exclusive NorthEscambia.com photos.


2 Responses to “Federal Raid At Century Helicopter Company”

  1. Dan LeGro on January 17th, 2009 1:42 am

    Van Nevel from Van Nevel helicopters is on the run from the Feds after my sons death in that helicopter that Van Nevel put unapproved parts in and he is still on the run,where is the justice in this. My only son was only 24 years old and he didn’t have to die if people where doing their jobs and grief would not be haunting us every minute of the day. Our future died with our son and I just wait to died everyday because my son was my future. Where is the justice?

  2. Dan LeGro on January 17th, 2009 1:30 am

    My only son died in that crash and Van Nevel is on the run, where is the justice in this ? When a person knows he is doing something wrong and the Feds just lets this person run free and our families go throught hell everyday of our life ,missing a great son and not having anything to look forward too. No grandchildren,no more happy days with my son. Every day you wake up in the morning and the first thing that comes to mind is your son and thereĀ  is no let up in the pain that you have in your heart and your head. There is no future for us because we all live for our children and our future died with our son.Where is the law and where is justice. This man runs free and we know that someone in that family is helping him stay on the run. Also the people working for Van Nevel knew they where putting in unapproved parts,they all have blood on their hands,but the law doesn’t see it that way, WHY NOT? If this was your child what would you do? Just because we are from a working middle class family know one really cares, but if we where connected to a rich family or part of congress or a governor fromsome great state there would have been faster action taken against Van Nevels ,assest frozen and he would have been monitored by the police. But no he gets to take off and know no one knows where he is.People always wonder why people takes the law into their own hand. I was told I would have to hire an investigator to track him down. I’am a disabled Veteran unable to work and thats how it is for people who put on the uniform to protect people in the United States. I have college degree and was a major in the U.S.A.F. But again I’am not rich or very important person and that how we are looked at, just a speck of dust on this earth and now I just wait to die everyday and cry and cry,because know understands about the lost of a child until you loss your child and then you people would understand grief and heartache everyday ,every minute of your life. Isn’tĀ  their anyone out there that really cares about someone like Van Nevel that does things that kill people? We as a nation are not the same nation that I studied in school, we just go through the motions and our founders of American are rolling over in there graves when they see how our laws are and how the middle class people are treated. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THE UNITED STATES. I ‘am proud to have served our country,but the poeple of the United states needs to look a little harder at what we are doing to our law and our great nation. Sincerely Danny legro,