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.
October 19, 2011
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $160,000 against SkyWest Airlines of St. George, Utah, for allegedly operating four regional jet aircraft on four revenue passenger flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleges SkyWest failed to follow its procedures for documenting cargo and baggage, and as a result operated those flights with incorrect weight, balance, cargo and baggage load data.
The four flights operated Mar. 3, 2011, from San Diego; Phoenix; Omaha; and Missoula, Mont., to Salt Lake City. The FAA alleges the airline operated the flights without a load manifest that accurately reflected the weight of the cargo and baggage, when the total weight of the aircraft was not computed under approved procedures, and when the aircraft were not loaded according to an approved load schedule.
SkyWest has paid civil penalties in eight previous cases involving improper weight, balance and loading calculations and documentation.
SkyWest has 30 days from receipt of the civil penalty letter 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.
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.
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.
June 27, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $1,050,000 civil penalty against the Boeing Company for allegedly failing to correct a known problem in production and installation of the central passenger oxygen system in its Boeing 777 airliners.
The FAA based its proposed civil penalty on inspections of nine newly assembled aircraft between April and October, 2010. Inspectors discovered that spacers in the oxygen delivery system distribution tubing on the aircraft were not installed correctly. Improper installation could result in the system not supplying oxygen to passengers should depressurization occur.
Boeing has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
June 17, 2011
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed to assess a $584,375 civil penalty against United Airlines, Inc, for allegedly violating FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) regulations for random drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees.
The FAA alleges United failed to perform required pre-employment drug tests and receive verified negative test results before transferring 13 individuals to safety-sensitive positions, as required by FAA and DoT regulations.
The FAA also cited United for allegedly failing to use a scientifically valid method to ensure that each member of the company’s flight crews, all of whom are safety-sensitive employees, has an equal chance of being selected for random drug and alcohol testing each time a selection is made. The FAA warned United at least twice before that the company’s random test selection methods did not give each eligible flight crew member an equal chance of being selected.
United Airlines has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.