American Eagle faces $2.9 million fine for noncompliant CRJs

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American Eagle faces $2.9 million fine for noncompliant CRJs

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Feb 18, 2010

http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=19432

American Eagle faces $2.9 million fine for operating noncompliant CRJs
Thursday February 18, 2010

FAA yesterday proposed a $2.9 million civil penalty against American Eagle Airlines for operating more than 1,000 flights using four CRJ700s "on which improper repairs were performed on landing gear doors," the second significant fine for an alleged safety violation proposed against AMR Corp.'s regional subsidiary this month.

The carrier already faces a $2.5 million fine for "operating flights without adequately ensuring the weight of baggage was properly calculated" (ATWOnline, Feb. 2). It now must address yesterday's allegations that in February-May 2008 it "conducted at least 1,178 passenger-carrying flights using four Bombardier jets with main landing gear doors that had not been repaired in accordance with an Airworthiness Directive that became effective in August 2006."

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said complying with ADs "is not optional. The FAA does not hesitate to levy fines if maintenance standards are violated. Compliance with mandatory maintenance requirements ensures the highest levels of safety."

The AD in question requires operators of certain Bombardier aircraft, including CRJ700s, "to inspect the left and right main landing gear inboard doors for cracks and other damage, including loose or missing fasteners," according to FAA. The directive requires carriers to remove affected doors and replace them with new or repaired ones. FAA said American Eagle "found such damage on four aircraft" but "rather than removing the doors, the airline repaired them while they remained on the planes."

The regional became aware of the situation after improperly operating 961 flights with the four CRJ700s but "continued to operate these airplanes on 217 additional flights," FAA alleged. The agency said the landing gear doors since have been removed and repaired in accordance with the AD. Eagle has 30 days to respond to the latest allegation. The Feb. 1 proposed fine must be addressed by early March.

by Aaron Karp

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