Tropic Ocean Has Settled With One Pilot
The Broward County Clerk website indicates that a settlement has been reached between Tropic Ocean Airways in Florida and one of the two pilots who where sued for breach of non compete and non disclosure contracts after quitting their jobs with Tropic and signing up with Tailwind Air, LLC. No reasons or conditions for the settlement have been released. Documents pertaining to the case are on file under CACE18016421
In a long list of allegations, Tropic claimed that pilots shared internal and highly confidential information to help Tailwind Air, LLC to gain unfair advantages, causing Tropic to loose part of its business with BLADE. The lawsuit further claims that one of the pilots had acted as the Part 135 companies chief pilot; and was henceforth in possession of critical information and insights- enabling the competitor to gain unfair advantages. Actual FAA paperwork indicated that the chief pilot post had in fact been held by Jim Wagner, who perished during the Twin Seabee crash in Winterhaven, Florida in February of this year.
As of this writing, one of the pilots as well as Tailwind remain under legal challenge. Court documents do not indicate if the remaining defendant has been served properly, nor could an indication of any action in response to Tailwinds motion to compel be found. It is not known if Tropic Ocean Airways continues the practice of requiring signing of non compete and non disclosure contracts at the current time. The lawsuit caused a flurry of questions, comments and feedback from within the professional seaplane community in various parts of the world. Pilots repeatedly reached out to Seaplane Magazine on condition of anonymity or completely declined to go on record claiming fear of retribution from within the close-knit and small industry.