Three Separate Fines For Maintenance Violations
The FAA is seeking to collect three proposed civil penalties
totaling $787,500 from American Airlines for maintenance
In the first case, which occurred in April 2008, the FAA alleges
American Airlines mechanics diagnosed problems with one of two
Central Air Data Computers (CADCs) on a McDonnell Douglas MD-82
jetliner. Instead of replacing the computer, mechanics improperly
deferred this maintenance under the airline's DC-9 Minimum
Equipment List (MEL) by noting that the auto-throttles were
inoperative. The MEL, however, does not allow deferral of an
The airline subsequently flew the plane on 10 passenger flights
before the computer was replaced. During this time, flight crews
were led to believe that both computers were working properly. The
FAA proposes a civil penalty of $625,000 in this case.
In the second case, the FAA found that in March 2008, American
failed to correctly follow an Airworthiness Directive involving the
inspection of rudder components on certain Boeing 757 aircraft. As
a result, four 757s operated by American Airlines did not comply
with the requirements of the Airworthiness Directive.
The FAA alleges that after American was advised of the
situation, the company said it would cease flying the planes until
they were repaired. However, during the following two days, the
airline flew two of the planes on a total of three passenger
flights. The FAA is seeking a penalty of $75,000 in this case.
In the final case, the FAA alleges that in May 2009, American's
mechanics returned an MD-82 aircraft to service, even though
several steps of a scheduled B-check maintenance visit had not been
checked off as completed. The airline also replaced a landing gear
door without noting it in the aircraft's logbook.
The aircraft was operated on two passenger flights with the
logbook error. An FAA inspection of the aircraft revealed several
discrepancies in the tail section, including loose screws, a
missing nut plate and a right hand elevator torque tube binding and
making noise. As a result of these discrepancies, the FAA
proposes a civil penalty of $87,500.
American Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's
civil penalty letter to respond to the agency.