22-Mar-2010 1:32 PM

FAA proposes over USD1 million in fines against American Airlines

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed over USD1 million in fines against American Airlines, for alleged safety violations (con.st, 19-Mar-2010). The proposed fines cover four separate instances where the FAA alleges that American was negligent in either maintaining aircraft or following proper maintenance procedures. Details include:

  • Case I: USD625,000 in proposed fines, based on allegations that a computer on an MD-82 aircraft was not replaced when it should have been. The FAA claims the aircraft wiith the faulty computer was flown ten times before the computer was replaced;
  • Case II: FAA stated they are proposing a USD300,000 civil penalty against American for not properly documenting a malfunctioning speed indicator on an MD-82, and for allowing the aircraft to be operated in conditions in which it should not have been operated. The FAA alleges that a heater designed to keep an externally mounted speed sensor from freezing over had broken, thus the the aircraft should only have been operated during daylight hours on clear days until the indicator was repaired. However, the pilots were allegedly never made aware of the problem and subsequently flew the jet at night and in poor weather conditions;
  • Case III: For allegedly not properly recording all the steps in a maintenance check on an MD-82. The USD87,500 proposed penalty also claims that maintenance crews replaced a landing gear on the aircraft without making a note of the procedure in its logbook;
  • Case IV: The FAA is proposing a USD75,000 fine against the carrier for allegedly not correctly following an airworthiness directive regarding the inspection of rudder components on certain B757s, with the carrier allegedly operates four B758s out of compliance in Mar-2008. 

The fines come only weeks after the FAA commented that it was considering a record high USD20 million in penalties against American. American Airlines stated it is reviewing the fines and will meet with the FAA to discuss the situation.

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