Inspections Should Be Done By Friday, Carrier Says
Anyone else getting a bad sense of deja vu? One year -- almost
to the day -- after over 3,000 flights were cancelled due to
FAA-mandated safety checks on aircraft operated by American
Airlines, a regional operator for Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it
grounded several dozen 50-seat regional jets to check for
compliance with proper maintenance procedures.
The Associated Press reports Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a unit
of SkyWest, grounded 60 of its 112 Bombardier CRJ200s after
internal audits raised questions about whether federally-mandated
safety inspections to the aircrafts' General Electric CF34
turbofans had been performed. ASA spokeswoman Kate Modelo said the
airline notified the FAA, and voluntarily pulled the aircraft out
That was little comfort to passengers whose flights were
cancelled Wednesday as a result of those groundings... but Modelo
said the situation couldn't be helped.
"Safety is our number one priority, and we apologize for the
inconvenience this has been causing the passengers," Modolo told
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, adding passengers "are being
re-accommodated on next available flights."
Modelo added ASA began the inspections Tuesday night at
maintenance centers around the country. Those checks should be
completed and all affected aircraft back in service by Thursday
ASA was absorbed into SkyWest in
August 2005, and is one of nine regional operators operating
connecting service for mega-carrier Delta. ASA flies exclusively
for the Atlanta-based airline.
Wednesday morning, Delta spokeswoman Betsy Dalton said she
wasn't sure what the impact on Delta's operations would be from the
As ANN reported, nearly 3,000 American
Airlines domestic flights were cancelled in April 2008 after the
FAA ordered that carrier's 300-plane fleet of MD-82 and MD-83
airliners to undergo immediate checks of wiring harnesses. Similar
groundings and cancellations affected other MD-80-series operators
as well, including Delta.
In the matter that started the FAA's renewed focus on inspection
procedures, Southwest Airlines was forced to briefly ground
its oldest 737s in March 2008 to verify compliance with a number of
airworthiness directives related to fuselage fatigue issues.
Earlier this year,
the carrier settled up with the agency on the
matter, agreeing to pay a $7.5 million fine.