A small regional operator appears to be the latest airline to
have its operations negatively impacted by the FAA's renewed
interest in monitoring safety records. Trans States Airlines, which
flies 50-seat Embraer regional jets under the AmericanConnection,
US Airways Express, and United Express banners, grounded 24 planes
Passengers began feeling the impact of those inspections Tuesday
night, as customer service personnel at Lambert-St. Louis
International Airport worked to find seats for passengers before
the grounding went into effect. But some weren't so lucky.
"They announced on our flight from Tampa that we'd be at Gate
C17, but when we got off the plane, the board says it's canceled,"
said passenger C.J. Holmes, who was trying to get home to
Indianapolis through STL. Instead, Holmes and a business colleague
spent the night in a St. Louis hotel, on the airline's nickel.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 10 American Connection and
one United departure from STL had been cancelled as of 0400
Wednesday morning. The airline hoped to have its planes back in
service early Wednesday morning, though Trans States spokesman Bill
Mishk acknowledged "there's a likelihood" more flights would be
An internal audit of Trans States' records found discrepancies
in checks of nosewheel steering systems on its ERJ-145s, Mishk
said. "This does not involve the safety of flights," he added.