To Comply With Landing Gear Doors AD
February 18, 2010 - The Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has proposed a $2.9 million civil penalty against
American Eagle Airlines for operating more than 1,000 flights using
airplanes on which improper repairs were performed on landing gear
The FAA alleges
that between February and May 2008, American Eagle 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.
“Safety is our
number one priority at the Department of Transportation,” said
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “And airlines must know that if
safety is compromised, they will be subject to stiff fines.”
“Following Airworthiness Directives is not optional,’’ said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The FAA does not hesitate to levy fines if maintenance standards are violated. Compliance with mandatory maintenance requirements ensures the highest levels of safety.”
Airworthiness Directive 2006-14-05 required operators of certain Bombardier jets to inspect the left and right main landing gear inboard doors for cracks and other damage, including loose or missing fasteners. The directive required operators to remove affected doors and replace them with new or repaired ones, or that the doors be removed and the discrepancy noted in the aircraft’s records.
In this case, American Eagle found such damage on four aircraft. Rather than removing the doors, the airline repaired them while they remained on the planes. FAA inspectors found that the airline operated at least 961 flights while it was unaware that the situation existed on these aircraft. The FAA further alleges that after the situation was discovered, the airline continued to operate these airplanes on 217 additional flights.
American Eagle subsequently removed the landing gear doors on each of
the affected aircraft and repaired them in accordance with the
Airworthiness Directive. However, the violations resulted in a proposed
civil penalty of $2.9 million.
Airlines is a brand name used by American Eagle Airlines, Inc. (formerly
Simmons Airlines), based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Executive Airlines
based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the operation of passenger air
service as regional affiliates of American Airlines. All three airlines
are wholly-owned subsidiaries of AMR Corp. American Airlines also has
unrelated airlines under contract to provide regional service under the
American Connection brand.
1,800 flights a day, serving 159 cities across the
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