Accused Of Operating Three Planes In Unsafe Manner
A British budget carrier faces
criminal prosecution for numerous safety breaches, including two
alleged trans-Atlantic trips from the US and back using an airliner
with faulty instruments.
According to The Sunday Times, Flyglobespan is accused of
operating a Boeing 757 last year from New York to Liverpool,
Ireland even after both the aircraft's engine pressure ratio gauges
failed on takeoff. The pilot did not report the issue until the
airliner reached Liverpool.
SOP calls for at least one of those gauges to be operational.
Not only did the 200-passenger airliner complete the June 28 flight
to Ireland, however... but Flyglobespan then allegedly dispatched
the plane back to New York with the inoperative equipment.
The airliner was later grounded at JFK International while the
gauges were repaired. Flyglobespan should have reported the problem
to the CAA within four days... but the problem did not come to
light until the FAA reported the issue to British authorities
nearly three months later.
Former pilot Graham Sturrock, who now advises airlines, told the
Times the gauges are on the minimum equipment list for the 757 to
fly with passengers onboard. "It also increases the pilot’s
workload and the chance of pilot error" when the gauges are
nonfunctional, he said.
Two managers were replaced following the incident, the Times
adds... but Flyglobespan, which flies over two million passengers
annually to 30 destinations, is also accused of operating two other
aircraft without proper authorization to return the planes -- one
of which suffered a lightning strike, the other victim of a ground
vehicle collision -- to revenue service.
The Scottish carrier has also suffered a spate of operational
breakdowns. As ANN reported, in July 2007
some Flyglobespan passengers were stranded at JFK as long as one
week, after the plane they were due to return to Ireland on was
grounded. A replacement aircraft was stranded in Glasgow following
an attempted terrorist attack on that airport's terminal.
The CAA suspended the airline's ETOPS certification for two
weeks last October due to undisclosed problems. In January 2008, an
engine caught fire on a Flyglobespan plane that had departed from
Last week, the carrier was served three summons to appear before
City of Westminster magistrates in July on criminal charges... the
first time a Brisith airline has faced such charges in over a
decade. Investigators are particularly worried the incidents are
indications Flyglobespan -- and other budget carriers -- may be
foregoing maintenance to offset high fuel prices.
If convicted of any one of the charges of endangering an
aircraft and its passengers, Flyglobespan faces an unlimited