FAA proposes $590,000 civil penalty against Alaska Airlines

September 10, 2011

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $590,000 civil penalty against Alaska Airlines, Inc., of Seattle, Wash., for allegedly operating a Boeing 737-400 on 2,107 flights when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

On Jan. 18, 2010, a flight deck ceiling fire occurred in a Boeing 737-400 while it was parked at the gate at Anchorage International Airport. Investigators determined the fire was caused by chafed wiring that had resulted from improper installation of a hose clamp. Alaska had most recently performed maintenance in the burned area in August 2008.

The B737-400 maintenance manual includes an explicit warning about proper installation of the hose clamp. Alaska subsequently discovered the same problem existed on nine other B737-400s in its fleet and made corrections. There were no other fires.

Alaska Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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