FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE PROPOSING A $55,000 FINE -- AGAINST A UTAH HELICOPTER TOUR COMPANY -- ACCUSED OF VIOLATING DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING REGULATIONS.

BUT "WHIRLYBIRD HELICOPTERS" CEO ADAM WILKERSON SAYS, THE ALLEGATIONS -- AGAINST HIS COMPANY -- ARE A MISUNDERSTANDING... AND HE PLANS TO APPEAL.

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SAY THE OGDEN-BASED COMPANY FAILED TO CONDUCT PRE-EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTS, ON EIGHT EMPLOYEES WHO WERE HIRED TO PERFORM SAFETY-SENSITIVE OPERATIONS ON THE HELICOPTERS.

WHIRLYBIRD HAS A MONTH TO RESPOND TO THE FAA.