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FAA proposes $360,000 civil penalty against Empire Airlines
1 September 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $360,000 civil penalty against Empire Airlines, Inc. of Hayden, Idaho, for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges that one of the airline’s Cessna 208B Super Cargomasters experienced a lightning strike. The aircraft maintenance manual requires the propeller be removed from service following such an event and inspected for damage at an authorized aircraft repair station.

The FAA alleges that two days after the lightning strike, Empire inspected the aircraft as a result of the event but failed to send the propeller to an authorized repair station. The agency alleges the carrier returned the aircraft to service without performing a complete lightning strike inspection.

Empire operated the aircraft on 35 revenue flights before removing its propeller from service and sending it to an authorized repair station for the required inspection, the FAA alleges. The aircraft was not in an airworthy condition during those flights, the FAA alleges.

Empire is scheduled to meet with the FAA in late September to discuss the case.