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Thu, May 06, 2010

Atlas Air Slapped With Half-Million Dollar FAA Penalty

Administration Alleges Improper Window Replacements On B747's

The FAA has proposed to assess $572,150 in civil penalties against Atlas Air of Purchase, NY, a scheduled air cargo airline, for alleged FAR violations.

The administration alleges that Atlas Air incorrectly installed a replacement cockpit window on a Boeing 747F, and then operated the aircraft on 49 flights between April 4 and April 27, 2009, when it was not in compliance with those regulations.

The FAA said Atlas Air replaced one of the windows at the first officer's position, but failed to use the methods, techniques and practices specified in the manufacturer's maintenance manual or alternate procedures accepted by the FAA for the B-747F. The airline then approved the aircraft for return to service. As a result, the replacement window suffered pressurization leaks while in flight according to multiple reports made by crews operating or maintaining the aircraft. The FAA has proposed a penalty of $506,150 for those violations.

In a second instance, the FAA alleges that on May 14 and 15, 2009, Atlas Air operated a Boeing 747 on international flights from Huntsville, AL, to Glasgow, Scotland, Luxembourg City and back to Huntsville without a required outboard engine pylon access panel door. The FAA said Atlas Air improperly fabricated a panel cover from aluminum sheet metal and affixed it with speed tape over the access door opening. On each of these flights, the panel came off the aircraft enroute and a new panel was fabricated and installed in the same manner at each subsequent stop. The FAA has proposed a civil penalty of $66,000 for those violations.

Atlas Air has 30 days from receipt of the FAA's enforcement letters to respond to the agency.



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