AMR Faces Hefty Civil Penalties for Safety Violations

 - August 27, 2012, 3:35 PM
The FAA seeks to impose up to $5.2 million in penalties against the AMR airline group for at least 89 alleged safety violations.

Among the AMR Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection documents filed last fall were FAA proofs of claim against the company for 89 alleged safety violations that occurred between January 2007 and November 2011. “The documents detail both proposed and potential civil penalties in connection with ongoing enforcement cases involving both American Airlines and American Eagle,” an FAA spokesperson told AIN. “Because these cases remain open, the FAA cannot discuss the details of the individual investigations.”

Not all of the violations have yet been served on AMR because some FAA investigations are not complete. While each violation carries an individual penalty, the sum total of all claims comes to nearly $140 million, potentially representing the largest civil safety penalty ever against a U.S. airline. Of the 89 violations noted, 49 cited American Eagle Airlines, 36 were against American Airlines, four against Executive Airlines and one against Eagle Aviation Services.

The alleged American Eagle Airlines violations–with penalties amounting to $5.2 million–include items such as conducting 56 revenue flights without following proper aircraft maintenance procedures on a Bombardier CRJ. In this case the recommended sanction would be $906,875.

n another instance, American Eagle allegedly flew another CRJ on 1,454 revenue flights without properly inspecting a damaged passenger door (recommended sanction $522,500). After experiencing a number of equipment issues in flight, such as incorrect Mode C reporting to ATC, the transponder itself and the captain’s airspeed indicator, the crew of an Embraer EMB-135 was allegedly told by American Eagle’s maintenance department not to write up the issues (potential sanction $114,500).

Comments some thoughts about why this sanction could/should be different.

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