Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Fines</span>

Press Release: FAA Proposes $295,750 Civil Penalty Against Skywest Airlines


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $295,750 civil penalty against SkyWest Airlines, Inc. of St. George, Utah, for allegedly violating DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The FAA alleges SkyWest failed to include more than 150 safety?sensitive employees in its random drug testing pool. Further, SkyWest allegedly failed to receive verified negative drug test results for two other employees before hiring one for, and transferring the other to, safety-sensitive positions.

The FAA also alleges SkyWest subjected three employees who were not in safety-sensitive positions to post-accident drug tests that are only applicable to safety-sensitive employees, and improperly cancelled a return-to-duty test because it was not directly observed.

SkyWest is scheduled to have an informal conference with the FAA this month to discuss the matter.

$325,000 Civil Penalty Against Alfa Chemistry

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $325,000 civil penalty against Alfa Chemistry of Stony Brook, New York, for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.

The FAA alleges that on two separate FedEx cargo flights, Alfa Chemistry shipped undeclared hazardous material that DOT regulations prohibit from being transported on passenger and cargo aircraft. The company allegedly shipped approximately one pint of Acrolein on April 19, 2013 and three additional pints of it on May 23, 2013. Acrolein can become explosive when combined with air and is classified as a toxic/poisonous material and flammable liquid under DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations.

On May 24, 2013, FAA and FedEx personnel tried to inspect the second shipment of Acrolein at the FedEx sort facility in Peabody, Massachusetts, after it began emitting a strong, pungent odor. However, they were unable to examine it because they began to experience coughing fits and extreme eye, nose and throat irritation due to the severity of the odor and vapors coming from the shipment. A FedEx employee had to put on a protective suit to inspect the shipment.

The FAA determined that neither shipment had required shipping papers or emergency response information. The FAA also determined that the May 23, 2013 shipment was not marked, labeled, or packaged as required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Additionally, the FAA determined Alfa Chemistry failed to properly train and test the employees who packaged the Acrolein.

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

$51,651 Civil Penalty Proposed Against AAA Services

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s proposes a penalty of $51,651 against All American Aviation Services, LLC for FAA drug and alcohol testing regulation violations. All American allowed eight employees in sensitive positions without securing their drug and alcohol testing records, and failed to abide by follow-up testing procedures on two marijuana-positive testees.

One employee who tested positive was excluded from the random testing program, and one employee who failed a test failed to provide the return to duty test result.

The discrepancies came to light during a March 2013 inspection where the company’s antidrug and alcohol misuse prevention program was audited.

Airlines Who Fail Families Pay Fines

In the first couple of weeks after a crash, an airline carrier will distribute partial payments of $20,000 to $30,000 to each family with no catches. Families should know that this money is available to them.

Money is not that important to families waiting for news of their lost loved ones, but for some, even that soon after someone is gone, the family is feeling the hurt. In many places, it is a paycheck to paycheck world. Airlines can drag their feet in regards to this partial payment. This is what is behind the recent fine to Asiana.

Asiana was fined $500,000 last month because they failed to attend to the victims and their families properly for the Asiana flight 214 in San Francisco in July. Airlines have to follow their “family assistance plan.” You’ve seen parts of that plan before—the toll free phone number, the reports of assistance to families. These things aren’t out of the goodness of their hearts, but the consequence of the Foreign Air Carrier Family Support Act of 1997.

Asiana dragged their feet in contacting families—about ¾ of the passengers were approached within 2 days, but some took as long as five days. Imagine that your loved ones died or were severely injured, and the airline didn’t call for five days. That’s an eternity.

The Department of Transportation’s statement on the matter said that “Asiana’s response to the crash of flight 214 indicates that the carrier failed to commit sufficient resources to carry out its family assistance plan….In the very rare event of a crash, airlines have a responsibility to provide their full support to help passengers and their families by following all the elements of their family assistance plans…The last thing families and passengers should have to worry about at such a stressful time is how to get information from their carrier.” Additionally, Asiana failed to widely publish the family members’ information hot line, failed to send in an adequate number of translators and personnel, in addition to not contacting family members quickly enough.

Take a look at the plan below:

DOT Fines American Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined American Airlines $60,000 for violating the Department’s full-fare advertising rule after the airline’s agents told consumers that surcharges levied by the airlines were government-imposed taxes. DOT ordered the carrier to cease and desist from further violations.

“We expect airlines to be truthful to their customers when they provide information about their fares,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to take enforcement action when airlines fail to disclose their fares fully and accurately.”
Under the Department’s full-fare advertising rule, the first price quoted for air transportation made by an airline or ticket agent must state the entire price to be paid by the consumer, including all mandatory taxes, fees and airline surcharges. Airlines do not have to break out the components of the fare, but if they do, they must accurately show the costs of the services or taxes.
Following a complaint from a consumer, the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office investigated how American described to potential passengers the taxes and carrier surcharges that it collected. It found that on a number of occasions in 2012 and 2013, American’s telephone reservation agents mistakenly told consumers that a variety of additional taxes and carrier-imposed surcharges were collectively “taxes.” A significant portion of these charges were not taxes but fees imposed by the airline, such as fuel surcharges. In addition, pop-ups on the airline’s website claimed that these surcharges were taxes and, on at least one occasion, American issued a reservation statement labeling surcharges as taxes. The carrier has corrected its website and provided additional training to its agents.


FAA Proposes $304,000 Civil Penalty Against Great Lakes Aviation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $304,000 civil penalty against Great Lakes Aviation of Cheyenne, Wyo., for allegedly conducting 19 flights with aircraft that were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

Great Lakes operated the aircraft in conditions in which the carrier could reasonably expect frost, snow or ice to adhere to the planes, the FAA alleges. The FAA maintains that Great Lakes flew Beech 1900 aircraft out of Hays, Kan., in January 2011 with deicing fluid that exceeded the maximum temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The Great Lakes deicing manual states that fluid heated to more than 180 degrees could damage the aircraft or the deicer.

FAA Proposes $325,000 Civil Penalty Against Southwest Airlines

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $325,000 civil penalty against Dallas-based Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that had been improperly modified, violating Federal Aviation Regulations.

On Aug. 29, 2011, maintenance personnel improperly installed a switch that enables flight crews to test the windshield heating system on a Boeing 717 that AirTran Airways Inc. was operating. Southwest is in the process of merging with AirTran.

Proper installation of the switch would have allowed personnel to isolate the windshield anti-ice system that was causing a warning that the windshield heater was failing. Instead, the center and left windshield warning systems were reversed. The right windshield warning system continued to operate properly. The aircraft was operated on 1,140 passenger flights before the problem was corrected.

1.9 Million Civil Penalty Proposed against Colgan Air

Formerly Colgan Air was under fire for long-distance commuting, crew-room sleeping and other fatigue-related factors that came to light after the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407. Now the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $1,892,000 civil penalty against Colgan Air of Manassas, Va. a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines, for allowing flight attendants to work on 172 revenue passenger flights when they were not properly trained to use the planes’ cabin fire extinguisher system.

“FAA rules on flight crew training are designed to help ensure the safety of passengers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We require carriers to comply with all of our safety rules, and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when they do not.”

The 84 newly-hired flight attendants worked flights on the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 twin turbo-prop aircraft between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9, 2009 after the FAA told Colgan the flight attendants had not completed the required training.

The FAA inspected the carrier’s new-hire flight attendant training for the Q400 on Nov. 2, 2009. The FAA alleges the new Colgan flight attendants were trained with fire extinguishers used on the airline’s Saab 340s, which operate differently than those used on the Q400.
“The airlines have to properly train crewmembers on the use of emergency equipment,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The flight attendants’ primary responsibility is to know exactly how to handle emergency situations, and they can’t carry out that responsibility if they’re not properly trained.”

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

According to Colgan, “Colgan Air was using the same type extinguisher for both the Saab 340B and Q400 training, although the Q400 extinguisher has a hose. This occurred in November 2009, and all flights during this period were completed safely and Colgan remains in compliance with these requirements today.

British Court Sentences Woman in Airborne Biting case

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Fred Seggie

What: Thomson Boeing 767-300, en route from Manchester to to Punta Cana Dominican Republic
Where: Bermuda
When: Occurred:Nov 5th 2010
Sentenced: Aug 19th 2011
Who: 45 year old British Citizen
Why: While Charity worker Carol Close’s flight had been delayed for 30 hours in Manchester with technical problems, the depressed woman passed the time by drinking beer and two mixed drinks. Probably not a good idea.

Six hours into the November 5, 2010 flight, the woman attacked her husband and other individuals aboard the flight. Her husband moved to another seat to get away from her, and Close then bit and kicked a flight attendant (or two) who attempted to restrain her. Then she started yelling.

The captain diverted to Bermuda where Carol Close was arrested.

On Aug 19th 2011, Close pleaded guilty to “two charges of assault and one of affray.”

British Court sentenced her to a suspended 6-months jail term, £2700 British Pounds. (£200 compensation to cabin crew, plus £2,476 to Bermuda Police)

Survivors Have Rights Too

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Andrei Visan

What is a life worth?

It appears that Manx2 Airlines doesn’t think a life is worth very much. Manx2 denied an advance payment of more than £15,000 to cover the costs of a crash survivor (Cork Airport) to fly by aircraft from Cork University Hospital to the U.K. They are trying to shift responsibility to BCN.

On the second approach to runway 17 the right wing-tip of the Swearingen SA-227BC Metro III hit the runway, flipping the aircraft upside down. The plane slid 190 metres along the runway and came to rest in the grass adjacent to Taxiway C when fuel tanks leaking fuel in the right wing caught fire.The leased plane crashed on Feb 10, 2011, killing 2 crew members, and 4 passengers. There were 6 survivors.

After a horrific accident like that, you’d expect Manx to step up to the plate.

When someone dies in a crash the question is asked: what is this life worth? You may not hear it in that many words, but it is there. The value of a human being, translated into dollars and cents. When someone survives a crash as 6 did in this instance, it is difficult not to see Manx’s petty delay tactic as a slap in the face.

Helicopter Lawsuit Filed, $16 Million

The family of flight paramedic Mickey Lippy is suing the FAA for negligent acts leading up to the crash on September 28, 2008, when Maryland State Police Trooper 2 (Eurocopter AS 365N1 Dauphin, N92MD) disappeared from radar and crashed. TFC Mickey Lippy, was one of the five people aboard. The others were Pilot Stephen Bunker, EMT Tonya Mallard (Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department), and two patients on board, one of whom survived.

According to the suit, the FAA visibility data was hours out of date, and ATC was unresponsive and inattentive.

The case seeks 15 million for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of companionship and loss of parental care and a separate case is pending for $1 million on behalf of Lippy’s pain and suffering.

Dangerous and negligent Use of a Helicopter

Sean O’Brien of the Island, Ballycumber, Co Offaly, was convicted on ten charges( relating to landing on the roof at the Parkrite Texas Centre, Athlone, Co Westmeath on 7 July 2007 to collect a set of keys) has been given a six month suspended sentence and fined €5,000.

The most significant charge applied is dangerous and negligent use of a Helicopter.

Failure to use common sense is not a charge.

The defendant holds a US pilots’ license but is a man of ‘no means’ who did not own the helicopter and is on disability.

The judge said, “You are telling me in Florida there are no regulations in relation to landing a helicopter on top of a supermarket?”

It is illegal under aviation law to land an aircraft of this kind on any elevated helipad in Athlone.

DOT Press Release: Travel Agency Fined

Office of Public Affairs

DOT 178-09
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Contact: Bill Mosley
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

DOT Administrative Law Judge Approves Ultimate Fares Settlement

The internet travel agency Ultimate Fares has been fined $600,000 and its owner $30,000 for violations of advertising regulations under a settlement approved by a U.S. Department of Transportation Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

The fine, which would be the largest ever assessed for advertising violations, will become final in 30 days unless the Department decides to review the action or a petition for review is filed.

An investigation by the Department’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Ultimate Fares failed to include the federal excise tax and the service fee it charged to consumers in fares published on its website between March 2008 and September 2009. This violated the Department’s requirement that published airfares must state the full price to be paid including service fees and any ad valorem tax, such as the Federal excise tax, which is assessed as a percentage of the fare. Ultimate Fares continued to omit the tax from its stated fares even after the Enforcement Office began its investigation, according to the consent order issued by ALJ Richard C. Goodwin. Ultimate Fares also failed to disclose which flights were being operated on a code-share basis as required by the Department’s rules.

In addition to the $30,000 penalty assessed against Ultimate Fares’ owner Roni Herskovitz, he also will be barred from any involvement in the online air travel agency business for 12 months.

The consent order and other documents in the case are available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2009-0002.

Content not attributed to or linked to original, is the property of AirFlightDisaster.com; all rights reserved.

Site Credits