December 10, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $777,000 civil penalty against Horizon Air Industries for allegedly operating 32 Bombardier DHC-8-400 Dash 8 turboprop aircraft on 49,870 flights when the aircraft were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleged Horizon installed new external lighting systems on the aircraft, but did not conduct required tests for radio frequency and electromagnetic interference before returning the aircraft to service. Horizon operated the aircraft between Oct. 19, 2009 and Mar. 17, 2010, before the FAA discovered the compliance problems during routine surveillance. Horizon immediately completed tests and inspections of all 32 aircraft before further flights.
Horizon Air has 30 days from receipt of the civil penalty letter to respond to the agency.
November 21, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $180,000 against Evergreen International Airlines, Inc, of McMinnville, OR, for allegedly operating aircraft on seven flights in 2009 when the pilots on those flights had not been trained in accordance with the airline’s approved training program.
The FAA alleged Evergreen failed to conduct the appropriate required familiarization flights involving the use of the flight management system on the company’s Boeing 747s before assigning those individuals to revenue flights on those aircraft. The training program specifically calls for familiarization flights in Class I and Class II airspace. Class I airspace includes ground-based navigation aids; Class II is airspace without ground-based aids, such as over an ocean. Evergreen provided only the Class I familiarization flights.
The instruction and experience requirement is part of Evergreen’s FAA-approved training program. The flights in question operated from Aug. 23 to Sept. 19, 2009.
Evergreen has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the Agency.
October 21, 2011
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing $1,042,500 in civil penalties against Pinnacle Airlines, Inc., of Memphis, Tenn., for allegedly operating two aircraft on a combined 63 flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleges Pinnacle operated a Canadair Regional Jet on 23 flights between April 30 and May 4, 2009 on which flight crew members performed procedures that should have been performed by maintenance employees, after FAA inspectors had denied an airline request to make the work an operations task instead of a maintenance task.
The airline’s general maintenance manual requires maintenance workers to install and remove a cable kit when operating an aircraft with an inoperative or missing wheel assembly for the passenger door. Instead, flight crew members performed the procedure on the flights in question. The proposed civil penalty for this violation is $625,000.
The FAA also alleges Pinnacle failed to complete inspections of the low-pressure turbine case on a Canadair Regional Jet. The inspections were to identify and track growth of a crack in the case to make sure the crack did not grow to exceed the maximum allowable length. The inspections required by the airline’s continuous airworthiness maintenance program must be done every 300 to no more than 600 operating hours.
The FAA said Pinnacle let 640 operating hours pass between a May 22, 2010 inspection and a subsequent inspection on Aug. 31, 2010. During that time, a 3.5-inch crack grew to four inches in length. The FAA alleges the airline operated the aircraft on 40 passenger flights between Aug. 25 and 31, when it was not in compliance. The proposed civil penalty for this violation is $417,500.
Pinnacle Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the Agency.
September 16, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $1,892,000 against Colgan Air, of Manassas, Va., a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines, for allegedly allowing flight attendants to work on 172 revenue passenger flights when they were not properly trained to use the planes’ cabin fire extinguisher system.
The 84 newly-hired flight attendants worked flights on the Bombardier DHC-8 Dash 8-Q400 twin turbo-prop aircraft between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9, 2009 after the FAA told Colgan the flight attendants had not completed the required training.
The FAA inspected the carrier’s new-hire flight attendant training for the Q400 on Nov. 2, 2009. The FAA alleges the new Colgan flight attendants were trained with fire extinguishers used on the airline’s Saab 340s, which operate differently than those used on the Q400.
Colgan has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
September 12, 2011
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $1.1 million civil penalty against Aviation Technical Services, Inc. (ATS), of Everett, Wash., for allegedly making improper repairs to 44 Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300s.
The FAA alleges that ATS failed to accomplish all the work required by three FAA airworthiness directives calling for five repetitive inspections and a one-time inspection to find and repair fatigue cracks in the fuselage skins of the planes. The inspections are part of Southwest’s Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program.
After the inspections, ATS allegedly failed to install fasteners in all the rivet holes within the time specified for the task. The drying time of the required sealant dictates the window available to complete installation of the fasteners.
The aircraft involved returned to service between Dec. 1, 2006 and Sept.18, 2009.
The Southwest Airlines B-737-300 that suffered a fuselage crown failure in April 2011 is not one of the aircraft listed in the proposed civil penalty. ATS did not perform inspection and repair work on that aircraft prior to the April fuselage failure.
Aviation Technical Services has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
August 29, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $269,000 civil penalty against The Parachute Center, of Acampo, Calif., for allegedly operating a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter on 41 flights when it was not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.
The FAA alleges that The Parachute Center failed to comply with a 2009 Airworthiness Directive requiring repetitive inspections of the left and right front spar adapter assemblies to identify cracks that might threaten the structural integrity of the airplane. According to the FAA, the company operated the aircraft between November 2 and November 15, 2009, when it was out of compliance with the airworthiness directive.
The Parachute Center has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the Agency.
The operator had also been involved in a proposed fine of $664,000 in October 2010.
August 29, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $298,500 civil penalty against Capital Cargo International Airlines, Inc. (CCIA) of Orlando, Fla., for allegedly operating eight Boeing 727 aircraft when the aircraft were not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.
Specifically, the FAA alleges that CCIA permitted an unqualified mechanic to perform certain aircraft inspections and to sign airworthiness releases on the company’s aircraft. The FAA said the certificated mechanic in question had not completed a required general familiarization course for the B-727 and did not have prior training or experience equivalent to that course. The FAA also said the mechanic had not taken the required examination and the company had not evaluated his prior experience and training to perform required inspections on the B-727. As a result, he was not qualified to work on the B-727.
As a consequence, CCIA operated the aircraft on 46 flights in 2008 and 2009 while they were not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.
The FAA also alleges that the same mechanic performed required inspections on one B-727 on March 13, 17 and 19, 2009, when he was not qualified to do so. As a result, the company operated that aircraft on 463 revenue flights when it was not in compliance.
CCIA has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the Agency.
August 26, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $262,000 against Ameriflight, LLC, of Burbank, Calif., for allegedly violating Department of Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing programs and provisions of the company’s FAA-approved Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program.
The FAA alleges Ameriflight conducted the Department of Transportation’s required pre-employment drug tests, but did not wait to receive verified negative drug test results before hiring 14 people to perform safety-sensitive flight crew or maintenance duties. Ameriflight allegedly used the individuals to perform the safety-sensitive duties, again before receiving verified negative drug test results. The alleged violations of federal regulations occurred between March 2009 and March 2010.
The FAA also alleges Ameriflight failed to administer periodic alcohol tests to 11 randomly-selected individuals, as required by Department of Transportation regulations and Ameriflight’s random testing program.
Ameriflight has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
August 10, 2011
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing $155,000 in civil penalties against American Eagle Airlines of Fort Worth, Texas for allegedly operating eight flights with incorrect weight and balance data, and for using improper maintenance procedures when repairing a jet engine and then operating the aircraft when it was not in compliance with FAA regulations.
FAA inspectors observed 12 American Eagle flights arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dec. 28-29, 2010. In eight instances, loading documents for checked luggage did not match observations made by the inspector.
American Eagle’s FAA-approved weight and balance program calls for the use of an automated Electronic Weight and Balance System (EWBS) to make sure aircraft are operated with correct weight and balance information. However, accurate data must be entered for the EWBS to function properly.
Operators may not exceed an aircraft’s weight limit when loading the plane and the weight must be distributed so that the aircraft remains in balance during the flight. The FAA alleges American Eagle entered inaccurate data in the EWBS, then operated the aircraft with incorrect weight and balance information. The proposed civil penalty is $80,000.
The FAA also alleges American Eagle used improper procedures to repair an engine on one of its Embraer 135 regional jets, and that a mechanic signed off as “complete” on work he had not performed. As a result, American Eagle operated the aircraft on 34 flights between Sept.11 and Sept. 17, 2010, when it was not in compliance with regulations. The proposed civil penalty is $75,000.
American Eagle has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the agency.
July 8, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $689,800 against Federal Express Corp. (FedEx) of Memphis for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
The FAA alleges that in 89 instances from June 13 to Sept. 4, 2009, FedEx failed to provide pilots-in-command with complete, accurate information on the nature, quantity and weight of hazardous materials loaded on their aircraft. Pilots-in-command must be given this information under hazardous materials regulations.
The FAA also alleged that FedEx accepted four shipments of hazardous materials for transportation by air when those materials were not accurately described and certified in the accompanying shipper’s documents. The shipments were accepted between June 18 and Aug. 26, 2009.
The alleged violations were found during an FAA dangerous goods inspection at the FedEx cargo-handling facility at Bradley International Airport near Hartford, Conn., from Aug. 31 to Oct. 1, 2009.
“Pilots must know they are carrying dangerous goods so they can take all necessary safety precautions,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Shippers and airlines must follow the rules so they are able to move these materials safely.”
FedEx has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the agency.