FAA Fines Pinnacle
Airlines $1 Million, Crew Members Performed Maintenance Work
By Shane Nolan
October 25, 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
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
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.
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.
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
proposed civil penalty for this violation is $417,500.
operation in all modes of transportation is our highest
priority,? said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
?This means paying attention to detail and following the
necessary rules and procedures.? ?All operators must comply with
maintenance regulations and requirements in a timely fashion,?
said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.
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