Thu, Jan 29, 2009
Audit Determined Seat Change Took Planes Out Of Regs
The next time you're onboard an American Airlines trans-Atlantic
flight, you may notice fewer people onboard. The Fort Worth,
TX-based airline will limit the number of passengers allowed to fly
onboard its Boeing 767-300s, after the carrier found the planes did
not have the required number of life rafts onboard.
American spokesman Tim Wagner told The Associated Press the
problem stems from American's recently-redesigned business-class
cabins on the widebody planes, which expanded the number of
Some planes have been flying since 2005 without a suitable
number of rafts onboard. Wagner said the problem came to light when
the airline reviewed life raft capacity on its recently-added
Boeing 737-800s -- spurred by the recent ditching of a US Airways
A320 -- and opted to conduct similar reviews throughout the
FAA regulations require enough life rafts to accommodate a full
cabin of passengers, including children seated on parents' laps,
even of one life raft fails to inflate.
American's 767-300s can hold 236 people, including 11
crewmembers. Until more rafts are added -- American expects the
process to take about a month, including crewmember training -- the
carrier will limit passenger capacity to no more than 228 people on
767-300 flights to Europe and Latin America.
The airline stressed passengers were not endangered by the
oversight, as there are other flotation devices available for
passengers to use in the event of a water landing.
Wagner was not aware of any affected flights that are booked to
capacity. "Given the time of year and what's going on in the
economy, I'm not aware of any flights where we're going to have to
bump someone," he said.
American has 58 767-300s in its fleet. All other types passed
the test, Wagner said.
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