FAA Proposes Fines on American Eagle, Continental

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The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed fines against two airlines -- American and Continental -- for operating aircraft that were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

In the case of American, a $330,000 civil penalty was proposed against the carrier's regional subsidiary, American Eagle, for operating an Embraer 135 regional jet on 12 flights while it needed repairs.

The FAA alleges American Eagle mechanics failed to note broken passenger seats and armrests on two aircraft during a Dec. 18, 2008 inspection and did not follow the approved maintenance manual instructions during those inspections.

FAA inspectors discovered seats on two aircraft that would not raise and stow into the upright and locked position for takeoffs and landings.

Inspectors also found damaged center armrests that would not stow in the upright and locked position.

The FAA alleged that American Eagle continued to use one of the aircraft before it was repaired; the other did not fly until the work was completed.

The FAA also proposed a $275,000 civil penalty against Continental Airlines for operating two Boeing 737-900ER aircraft on 73 flights with landing gear wheel-tire assemblies designed for other 737 versions.

The FAA alleged Continental mechanics failed to follow the maintenance manual when they installed the assemblies and released them for service on Nov. 7 and 19, 2009.

The carriers have 30 days to respond.

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