Thu, Jul 27, 2006
Exemptions May Let Fatigued Planes Slip Through
The NTSB wants to know... what good is a rule if you don't apply
it? Case in point: aging aircraft like that Grumman G-73T
Mallard... the one that crashed off Government Cut in Miami last
December, killing all 20 people on board.
Although the NTSB final report is still in the works... it looks
like stress fractures in the airframe may have contributed to the
crash... cracks that become more prevalant with age.
The Chalks Ocean Airways Mallard was built in 1947. So the NTSB
wants the FAA to order closer and more frequent inspections of
older planes... looking for age-related issues.
But under FAA rules enacted last year... planes with fewer than
30 seats, and aircraft built before 1958, are exempt.
In a statement released by the NTSB this week... the safety
board blasted those exemptions... saying those exemptions would
have allowed the Chalks Mallard to get by without the very
inspections that might have uncovered critical airframe issues like
those that may have contributed to the Government Cut crash.
The FAA promises to look at the NTSB recommendations and get
back to the safety board as soon as possible.
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