Fri, Feb 19, 2010
Airline Has 30 Days To Respond
The FAA has proposed a $2.9 million civil penalty against
American Eagle Airlines for operating more than 1,000 flights using
airplanes on which improper repairs were performed on landing gear
The FAA alleges that between February and May 2008, American
Eagle conducted at least 1,178 passenger-carrying flights using
four Bombardier jets with main landing gear doors that had not been
repaired in accordance with an Airworthiness Directive that became
effective in August 2006.
"Safety is our number one priority at the Department of
Transportation," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
"And airlines must know that if safety is compromised, they will be
subject to stiff fines."
"Following Airworthiness Directives is not optional," said FAA
Administrator Randy Babbitt. "The FAA does not hesitate to levy
fines if maintenance standards are violated. Compliance with
mandatory maintenance requirements ensures the highest levels of
Airworthiness Directive 2006-14-05 required operators of
certain Bombardier jets to inspect the left and right main landing
gear inboard doors for cracks and other damage, including loose or
missing fasteners. The directive required operators to remove
affected doors and replace them with new or repaired ones, or that
the doors be removed and the discrepancy noted in the aircraft's
In this case, American Eagle found such damage on four aircraft.
Rather than removing the doors, the airline repaired them while
they remained on the planes. FAA inspectors found that the airline
operated at least 961 flights while it was unaware that the
situation existed on these aircraft. The FAA further alleges that
after the situation was discovered, the airline continued to
operate these airplanes on 217 additional flights.
American Eagle subsequently removed the landing gear doors on
each of the affected aircraft and repaired them in accordance with
the Airworthiness Directive. However, the violations resulted in a
proposed civil penalty of $2.9 million.
American Eagle has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's civil
penalty letter to respond to the agency.
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