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FAA proposes $1,231,000 in civil penalties against SkyWest Airlines
11 July 2015

FAA proposes $1,231,000 in civil penalties against SkyWest Airlines

File photo of a Skywest Canadair CRJ-100LR (Alan Wilson; CC:by-sa)

File photo of a SkyWest Canadair CRJ-100LR (Alan Wilson; CC:by-sa)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes two civil penalties against SkyWest Airlines, totalling $1,231,000 for allegedly operating several aircraft that were not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.

The FAA alleges SkyWest failed to inspect certain main landing gear components on four Bombardier CL-600 RegionalJets at required intervals for wear that could lead to an unsafe condition or failure of a component. SkyWest allegedly operated the aircraft on more than 6,700 flights when the inspections were overdue.

The FAA also alleges SkyWest failed to inspect the cargo door skins on two Bombardier CL-600 RegionalJets at required intervals. The inspections were required by an Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued in 2006 after cracks were discovered in the aluminum cargo door skin of a CL-600 during fatigue testing. The FAA determined that regular inspections of that type of aircraft for similar cracking could help prevent a situation in which a cracked skin could lead to an accident or unsafe condition. SkyWest allegedly operated the aircraft on a total of 15,969 flights when the inspections were overdue.

SkyWest has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Court rejects Pakistani CAA’s AOC suspension of Air Indus

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended the Air Operator Certificate of Air Indus for safety reasons. A decision that was rejected by the Sindh High Court (SHC).

Pakistani domestic carrier Air Indus commenced operations in 2013 and operated three Boeing 737-300 passenger aircraft. Two of which are airworthy.
“Despite repeated safety directives and warnings, the operator did not make any improvement and ignored the safety instructions,” the CAA said in a statement quoted by local media.

The suspension became effective on July 1 and would remain until all safety concerns have been addressed. Yet on July 2, the Sindh High Court (SHC) rejected the decision and allowed Air Indus to fly again.

 

 

FAA proposes $77,000 civil penalty against National Air Cargo following fatal Afghanistan crash

An MRAP vehicle being loaded on the accident flight 29 April 2013

An MRAP vehicle being loaded on the accident flight 29 April 2013

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.

More information:

Rise in incident reports involving drones in the Netherlands

Typical small drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

Typical small drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

The Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate reports a rising trend in the number of incident reports involving drones in the Netherlands.

The number of incident reports increased from 8 in 2012 to 27 in 2014. The increase in the number of reports is likely due to the increased use of drones.

Since 2012, the Inspectorate received 36 incident reports involving multiple aircraft are involved. Most incidents were reported by general aviation pilots and low-flying aircraft like medevac helicopters. Most likely recreational drone users were involved in these incidents.

Since July 1, 2013 drone operators risk a charge by Dutch police when they do not comply with the rules. Thirty drone operators were charged by police in 2013 and 2014. This involves violation such as flying without clearance from local air traffic control, professional flight without exemption, flying at night or in low visibility conditions and flying over people and buildings. The number of fines for model aircraft/drone recreational users is significantly higher than for professional users.

The Inspectorate states that pilots may not realise that drones and model aircraft may be operated to a height of 300 m (1000 ft) in uncontrolled Class G airspace.

Source:

 

U.S. FAA proposes $735,000 civil penalty against Mexico-based Volaris

File photo of a U.S.-registered Volaris A319 (photo: Aero Icarus / CC:by-sa)

File photo of a U.S.-registered Volaris A319 (photo: Aero Icarus / CC:by-sa)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $735,000 civil penalty against Volaris of Mexico, for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges that on March 12, 2013, Volaris returned a U.S.-registered Airbus A319 to service after performing a heavy maintenance inspection. During that inspection, mechanics allegedly failed to ensure that certain safety tasks related to the heavy maintenance underwent required inspections according to Volaris’ maintenance manual. These included removing and replacing an emergency slide, verifying that ailerons were properly rigged, and verifying the aircraft’s weight and balance calculations.

On March 19, FAA inspectors reviewed the carrier’s maintenance records and told the company that the required inspections had not been done. On March 27, Volaris allegedly performed the required inspections on the slide and aileron tasks, but not the weight and balance calculation. On April 4, a subsequent FAA inspection found that Volaris allegedly still had failed to complete the inspection of the weight and balance calculations. Additionally, the inspection found the company had allegedly failed to perform the required inspections for two additional tasks related to the heavy maintenance: a right wing slat seal edge replacement and a nose landing gear spring nut replacement.

The FAA alleges that Volaris flew the aircraft on a total of 121 passenger flights before bringing the aircraft into compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

Volaris has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

 

FAA proposes $75,000 civil penalty against Murray Aircraft Manufacturing

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $75,000 civil penalty against Murray Aircraft Manufacturing  for allegedly operating a Jetstream aircraft that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges that between Dec. 12, 2012 and Feb. 18, 2014, the company operated a British Aerospace Jetstream 3101 on at least 300 flights when 11 required maintenance checks had not been performed. The company was required to perform the checks every 200 flight hours.

The company has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

FAA proposes two civil penalties against Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes two civil penalties totaling $328,550 against Southwest Airlines for allegedly violating Federal Aviation Regulations.

In the first case, the FAA alleges Southwest failed to properly inspect an aircraft that experienced a cabin depressurization. On May 13, 2013, a Southwest Boeing 737 lost cabin pressure during a flight from Boston Logan International Airport to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The cabin’s oxygen masks deployed and the aircraft made an emergency landing in Baltimore.
The FAA alleges that after the event, Southwest mechanics failed to complete a mandatory inspection to check whether the change in cabin pressure damaged the aircraft and to ensure used oxygen bottles were replaced. The airline allegedly operated the plane on 123 flights before completing the inspection on June 3.
Additionally, the airline allegedly operated the aircraft on May 14 and 15 flights with two of the four portable oxygen units unserviceable. A minimum of three were required under the conditions of Southwest’s Minimum Equipment List (MEL). The MEL specifies what equipment may be inoperable during a flight, and a carrier cannot fly an aircraft with inoperable equipment unless it complies with the MEL.
Further, the agency alleges the airline operated the aircraft on approximately 120 additional flights with a portable oxygen unit that did not comply with the conditions of the MEL. The FAA proposes a $265,800 civil penalty in this case.
In the second case, the FAA alleges Southwest failed to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations for accurately recording repairs in an aircraft’s logbook. On March 18, 2013, the pilot of a Boeing 717 operated by Southwest Airlines under the Air Tran Airways livery reported seeing ice and water coming from the jetliner’s galley vent. Over the next few weeks, maintenance technicians replaced several components in an attempt to correct the problem, which was traced to a faulty component in one of the aircraft’s air-conditioning systems.
The FAA alleges that the airline failed to fully comply with its FAA-approved maintenance procedures, which describe in detail how to make repairs and then accurately account for them in the aircraft’s logbooks. The FAA further alleges that during the troubleshooting process, mechanics deferred making the repairs by improperly applying an MEL exemption to this particular situation. The aircraft was flown on several passenger-carrying flights before the issue was resolved. The FAA proposes a $62,750 civil penalty in this case.
Southwest Airlines has requested to meet with the FAA to discuss each case.

Source:

 

FAA proposes $1.3 Million civil penalty against United Airlines for alleged hazardous materials violations

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a $1.3 million civil penalty against United Airlines for allegedly violating Hazardous Materials Regulations.

The FAA alleges that during inspections in Boston, San Francisco, Denver and Chicago, the FAA discovered at least 120 instances in which the carrier failed to comply with the regulations. Almost all of the alleged violations involved failing to provide the pilot in command with accurate information about hazardous materials aboard the aircraft, including the location of the materials on the aircraft; the materials’ type, quantity, weight, proper shipping name, identification number and hazard class; dates of the flights; and confirmation that no damaged or leaking packages had been loaded onto the aircraft.

Further, the FAA alleges that on two separate occasions, United improperly accepted hazardous materials for air transportation. Additionally, the carrier allegedly failed to retain copies of shipping papers.

Among other things, the hazardous materials included lithium metal batteries, dry ice, corrosive liquids, radioactive materials, detonating fuses, compressed oxygen, engines, isopropanol, non-flammable aerosols, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide and ethanol solutions, air bag modules and printing ink.

The alleged violations occurred on domestic and international flights.

United told the FAA that it has made technological improvements to the pilot notification system and will enhance training for employees who load hazardous materials onto aircraft. The FAA will conduct inspections in early 2015 to assess the results of those changes.

United has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency

Dubai Airport briefly closed due to illegal drone activity

Flight SV590 was the first flight to arrive at 15:23 after airport closure (Flightradar24)

Flight SV590 was the first flight to arrive at 15:23 after airport closure (Flightradar24)

Dubai Airport was closed for over 40 minutes  because an unknown drone was illegally operated in the vicinity of the airport.

Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SV558, an Airbus A330 from Riyadh, was the last flight to land at Dubai Airport at 14:43 hours local time before traffic was halted because of drone activity near the airport. Arriving traffic entered a holding pattern with some flights diverting to Al Maktoum Airport.

The airport was opened again at 15:23 hours.

”These UAVs are strictly prohibited in Dubai air space for any purpose without a prior permit from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority,” the Director-General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) told local media.

Airspace around Stockholm-Bromma briefly closed following drone sighting

Bromma CTR (source: LFV)

Bromma CTR (source: LFV)

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that the sighting of a drone in Stockholm, Sweden caused the closing of the airspace near the city airport.

On December 4, 2014, shortly after 12:00 hours local time, the Stockholm police received reports of a drone flying in the area of the Karolinska University Hospital, which is located about 4 km east of the Stockholm-Bromma Airport. The Swedish CAA then decided to close the Bromma CTR for traffic below 2000 feet. This effectively halted all flights from and to the Bromma Airport.

Brussels Airlines flight SN2303, performed by Avro RJ100 OO-DWF, was forced to divert to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport as a result.

At 12:54 hours the person operating the drone was located and the airspace closure was lifted. The operator claimed he was documenting the construction of a motorway in Stockholm using the drone.