The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $77,000 civil penalty against National Air Cargo for allegedly failing to comply with requirements for loading and securing heavy cargo.
The FAA alleges that during March and April 2013, National failed to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations while loading heavy military vehicles onto two Boeing 747 cargo aircraft that the company operated. The jets were flown on seven flights while loaded with one or more Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), each weighing between 23,001 pounds (10,433 kg) and 37,884 pounds (17,184 kg).
Federal Aviation Regulations require operators to comply with all operating limitations specified in an aircraft’s approved flight manual. The FAA alleges that National did not comply with the operating limitations set forth in the Boeing 747s’ flight manuals, resulting in cargo that was not properly restrained to prevent shifting that could affect the safe operation of the aircraft.
On April 29, 2013, one of the 747s crashed immediately after takeoff from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan while loaded with five MRAPs, killing its crew of seven and destroying the aircraft. The FAA alleges that National did not secure those vehicles in accordance with the limitations set forth in the aircraft’s flight manual. The probable cause of the accident is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
National Air Cargo has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.