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FAA May Fine AA $162.4mil For Safety Violations  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26172 posts, RR: 50
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4450 times:

 Wow!

The Federal Aviation Administration has notified the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that it may seek penalties against American Airlines related to ongoing safety investigations.

The FAA is seeking a record $162.4 million in proposed and potential civil penalties from American Airlines parent AMR.

The fines are related to allegaged on going separate maintenance violations dating back to 2007 involving 757, 767 and 777 fleets.


Story:
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...fine-american-airlines-over-safety
and
http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/p...merican-airlines-fine-faa/819344/1

=


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinekparke777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3766 times:
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U*S Airways can provide an organization that has received industry awards. One of them was by Aviation Week and Overhaul & Maintenance magazines for technical excellence. This was given during the 2012 aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) awards at Dallas in April. This industry award is given to the world’s top MRO and maintenance related companies that demonstrate outstanding achievement and innovation in tech ops. Certainly can't hurt.

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7975 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3753 times:

Quoting kparke777 (Reply 1):
U*S Airways can provide an organization that has received industry awards.

How could a company the size of US actually improve AA, given the fact that it's a much older legacy?

In order for AA to improve the maintenance safety record (i'm shocked it's the long haul planes!) they must first examine what their engineers are doing that violate these procedures. Should a merger happen, I highly doubt that US's engineers are going to have much of an impact, especially given the fleet size and composition of AA. A merger won't do squat to fix the situation and may make it worse given the fact that it's now 2 separate a/c manufacturers which require different maintenance procedures, along with 2 (or more) separate groups of maintenance engineers. Too many people to oversee= more issues.



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User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

Let's all take a deep breath...first of all, these are claims going back as far as 5 years. On top of that, you will notice that these are proposed amounts, not settled amounts. That means that AA will pay only a fraction of this absurd "fine". Third, the FAA on the ground in DFW in many cases requested MUCH smaller fines, only to have Washington increase the fines by factors as high as 20x.

Lastly, the government is broke seeking revenue and they have become unscrupulous about extracting it from regulated private sector businesses. I work in a highly regulated industry and traditionally, we have been audited once every year or two. This year, we have already been audited multiple times...they are hoping to find something...really anything to stick private sector businesses with fines. And the fines have become more and more disproportionate to the severity of infractions.

This article says more about the desperation to raise revenue in Washington without having to raise taxes, than it says about AA's safety record.

Incidentally, it is worth pointing out that sticking AA with this kind of a claim will further hasten the outsourcing of maintenance work to places like Hong Kong and away from places like Tulsa, thereby eliminating US jobs.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26172 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3479 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 3):

I don't see what the point of sugar coating this is.

There seems to be a culture, or systemic issues at AA in regards to compliance with approved and correct maintenance practices. Look the the repeated MD-80 fiasco which grounded over 100 aircraft from one day to another. Now FAA has found issues with service and repairs of other fleet types.

In regards to the government being out for money, I don't put one cent into that argument.
The FAA is a safety regulator and does it job without any consideration of dollars. The way things work is violations are often assigned a monetary value, and then multiplied by the number of violations. In AA's case the volume of such violations, and likely repeat nature makes this an ever more egregious issue calling for ever more punitive action.

Imo - this is a pretty damming against AA, having its name on the largest proposed fine in history by the department.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineaaexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):

I am not disagreeing with the culture aspect you speak of...what I am saying is that the amount is inflated...just take a look at the part where they say that the Dallas DFW recommended a $2 million fine and Washington upped it to $25 million....


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26172 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Its the way the FAA works. Local offices make a recommendation, and HQ decides.

Frankly, I believe its good airlines are sent a strong punitive message.

In AA's case as we seem to agree about, there is a systemic problem in this area, and if its takes a massive fine to get the message across and pay for their sins, so be it.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinelaxboeingman From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 581 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2951 times:

These fines would be a record. I heard on the radio, which is how I found out about this, that one of the incidents the FAA stated is not repairing wiring on one of the planes. I believe the radio said a B767, but I may be incorrect. One of the contributors that was on the radio said something along the lines of: AA does great work and he [the commentator] has seen the maintenance facility in Tulsa, etc.

If the FAA does in fact go through with the fines, it will be another devastating blow to AA. It will hurt the bankrupt airline financially, possibly take away pax for the fear of flying on an airplane that has not been serviced properly, and make the staff upset. I am not quite sure how AA will be able to handle this, but I do not believe the long term effects are good for the airline; however, that is just my opinion.

Thank you,

laxboeingman



The real American classics: LAX and Boeing.
User currently offlineTrucker From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 190 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2796 times:

Quoting aaexecplat (Reply 3):
I work in a highly regulated industry and traditionally, we have been audited once every year or two. This year, we have already been audited multiple times...they are hoping to find something...really anything to stick private sector businesses with fines.

If your business is anything like the trucking business how often you get audited has a whole lot to do with how well you do on those audits. If there's problems you'll be audited more often. If you pass with flying colors you'll be audited less often.

Big question here is are they nailing other airlines in the same fashion. If not then it's hard to make a case that the government is trying to raise money wherever it can. And we found out in the banking world what happens when there's a lack of government oversight.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3498 posts, RR: 46
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Point-1: This is nothing more than a "place-holder" in the BK process. FAA was required to file a "claim" (just as any other potential "creditor" had to file) before the deadline to file claims expired. Another news organization publishing this story pointed out that there are now more than $94 BILLION in "claims" filed in the AMR BK case.

Point-2: This "claim" is EVERYTHING the FAA is investigating or MIGHT investigate at AA/AMR. No action has been taken against AA/AMR. Remembering that this is a financial claim in BK court process explains the "over valued" POTENTIAL fines that the claim is making. You're filing in BK court... claim ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you can POSSIBLY find legal grounds to support no matter how weak your claim might seem. The bigger the claim, the more potential leverage you have in the BK process.

Point-3: The FAA has returned to previous methodology for measuring its "effectiveness." Away from reducing actual incidents and back to public disclosure of the number of PROPOSED violations and dollar amounts of PROPOSED fines. Actual violations and fines enforced has historically always a very very small fraction of what is proposed. Many safety professionals have left FAA due to the drastic reduction in information coming in (airlines & people do not self-report nearly as often as under previous ASAP programs).

Point-4: Any inspector can "fail" any "inspectee" during any inspection. Especially true when government paperwork is involved.

Bottom Line: There are no new "safety violations" at AA. Just more of the same old stuff that goes on at every airline with every government. The MD80 fiasco was created by two FAA inspectors (since "reassigned" to desk jobs) who redefined what previous FAA inspectors had approved into a "non-approved" procedure --eg: defining direction of screws when neither the AD nor MD's original manufacturing process did not define a direction for those screws.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16908 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2403 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
Imo - this is a pretty damming against AA,
Quoting laxboeingman (Reply 7):
If the FAA does in fact go through with the fines, it will be another devastating blow to AA



This reminds me a great deal of the Eastern airlines maintenance forgery scandal that was uncovered during their bankruptcy. Prior to Eastern entering bankruptcy it seems Eastern maintenance was signing off on work that was never completed, IIRC it dealt with JFK and ATL maintenance (not MIA). It was all over the evening CBS, NBC, ABC news as well as CNN. While this happened prior to the bankruptcy, the investigation and news coverage began during their bankruptcy. It hurt Eastern severely and one of the reasons they never exited bankruptcy.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
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