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MrGtheSheepA346
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FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:58 am

The FAA accuses LH of performing illegal flights between Frankfurt and San Diego and between Frankfurt and Philadelphia.
The FAA alleges Lufthansa operated the flights into and out of San Diego International and Philadelphia International airports when it knew it lacked FAA authorization to do so. Foreign airlines can only conduct scheduled flights into and out of airports that are listed in their FAA-issued Operations Specifications, and the FAA alleges neither airport was in Lufthansa’s Operations Specifications.
. The SAN illegal flights ran between March 22, 2018 and May 27, 2019, the PHL illegal flights ran between Oct. 28, 2018 and April 10, 2019. LH is facing a $6,428,000 civil penalty. https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=24435
 
sadiqutp
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:22 am

So, airports in the US don't cross-examine the eligibility of airlines to operate before granting slots?
And why only LH is in hot water and not the airports?
 
tommy1808
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:24 am

Amazing how an airline can fly into the US illegally for month before the FAA notices....

And I would assume it's the JV that will pay the fine, not LH proper.

Best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
oldannyboy
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:32 am

Speaks heaps about how well the FAA operates..... I really have to laugh about this one.
 
bennett123
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:34 am

How do they communicate these approvals and how did the FAA take a year to notice.

Also who runs ATC?.
 
bhxalex
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:50 am

Quite a baffling and concerning oversight from the FAA.

Storm in a tea cup though and such a steep fine seems unnecessary and pointless.
 
santi319
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:54 am

The FAA continues their race to obliterate themselves...
 
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scbriml
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:55 am

bhxalex wrote:
Quite a baffling and concerning oversight from the FAA.


This and the MAX saga doesn't paint a glowing picture of a functional authority.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
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evanb
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:58 am

sadiqutp wrote:
So, airports in the US don't cross-examine the eligibility of airlines to operate before granting slots?
And why only LH is in hot water and not the airports?


Is either airport slot controlled?
 
DAL763ER
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:01 am

Hasn't Lufthansa been operating to PHL and SAN longer than the alleged issue? If so, why has it suddenly come up?
 
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zeke
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:04 am

scbriml wrote:
bhxalex wrote:
Quite a baffling and concerning oversight from the FAA.


This and the MAX saga doesn't paint a glowing picture of a functional authority.


Could you imagine the FAA auditing the FAA ?

The FAA said the rating means that FAA is deficient in one or more areas, "such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and/or inspection procedures."

FAA said "in carrying out its duties as an aviation regulator, some shortcomings exist. We wish to emphasize that the assessment only covered FAA’s role as an aviation regulator."

FAA said "plans are already well underway to address the findings of the audit" with the goal of getting its Category One rating restored.

Modified from Reuters article “ U.S. FAA downgrades Malaysia's air safety rating”
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
ei146
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:30 am

Maybe I live in a dream world. But somehow I just can't imagine that Lufthansa operated these flights knowingly violating FAA regulations. So either someone really made a bad mistake and overlooked something important in the paperwork and those flights were operated in good faith that everything was allright. Or there is more to the story.
 
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:52 am

I suspect the issue stems from a technicality about who was actually operating the flights.

For instance, it could be that Lufthansa CityLine operated these flights for Lufthansa, but the authority laid only with Lufthansa and not a subcontracted entity, meaning there was a discrepancy.
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BBDFlyer
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:28 am

Whoever was in charge of the OpSpecs at Lufthansa should have known this. At my airline, I know when we are going to add a new destination before a formal announcement half of the time because they add it to the OpSpec. 121/129 regulations are quite strict. This is not the fault of the airports or the FAA, and squarely falls on Lufthansa. This was most likely an oversight.
 
BNEFlyer
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:37 am

PlymSpotter wrote:
I suspect the issue stems from a technicality about who was actually operating the flights.

For instance, it could be that Lufthansa CityLine operated these flights for Lufthansa, but the authority laid only with Lufthansa and not a subcontracted entity, meaning there was a discrepancy.


That's what I was thining, CityLine operated the SAN flights.
 
ei146
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:41 am

The FAA press release says:
The FAA alleges Lufthansa operated the flights into and out of San Diego International and Philadelphia International airports when it knew it lacked FAA authorization to do so. Foreign airlines can only conduct scheduled flights into and out of airports that are listed in their FAA-issued Operations Specifications, and the FAA alleges neither airport was in Lufthansa’s Operations Specifications.


That is quite a specific accusation.

Between March 22, 2018 and May 27, 2019, Lufthansa operated approximately 600 flights with Airbus 340 aircraft from Frankfurt International Airport to San Diego, and from San Diego to Frankfurt. Between Oct. 28, 2018 and April 10, 2019, Lufthansa operated approximately 292 flights with Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft from Frankfurt to Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia to Frankfurt.


I know City Line has A340s and Eurowings has A330. But only Lufthansa mainline operates the 747. So if this is against Eurowings, City Lines, SunExpress or whoever, why are the 747 flights there?
 
KFLLCFII
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:53 am

So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
76er
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:11 am

Call me stupid, but I always thought we had full Open Skies between the US and the EU. Guess I’m too simplistic is this regard.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:30 am

ei146 wrote:
Or there is more to the story.

I guess that's the case. Even German aviation webpages were not able to describe properly what has happened.

Is it maybe related to swapping aircraft (B747 and A330 instead of A340)?

KFLLCFII wrote:
That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.

Hmm, the hobby psychologist in me tells me that sometimes this is actually true. ;-)
 
tommy1808
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:34 am

76er wrote:
Call me stupid, but I always thought we had full Open Skies between the US and the EU. Guess I’m too simplistic is this regard.


its the equivalent to non tariff trade barriers in free trade agreements...

KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.


if she publicly advertises her cheating for half a year before he complaints it is still her fault, but he can´t really complain about it anymore...

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
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Polot
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:51 am

76er wrote:
Call me stupid, but I always thought we had full Open Skies between the US and the EU. Guess I’m too simplistic is this regard.

That just means your approvals will be rubber stamped if everything is in order because of the lack of restrictions on capacity/routes. You still have to get various approvals from the US and EU, they want to make sure you have everything in place needed to operate the flight. Open skies does not mean you can suddenly just land on the other country’s doorstep without warning.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:58 am

KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.


It's more like: 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me 600 times, shame on me...'
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
N757ST
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:05 pm

Im guessing someone forgot to add either airports into the Lufthansa op spec, or they were there as diversion airports and not regular airports. I know it’s trivial especially because everyone serves these places, but by having it in and Op spec I believe this certifies that the airport has required CFR, pilots have charts, etc.
 
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:30 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.


Yeah the blame is 100% on Lufthansa. After all they're the ones who oversee the entire US aviation industry and are supposed to prevent this from happening...

Some of yall really try too hard to shift blame away from those who clearly are at blame.

Also like someone else said, why are they not also involving the airports in this? It's just as much the airports' fault as it is the FAA's and LH's, even though I'm really doubting the legitimacy of this.
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:33 pm

Polot wrote:
76er wrote:
Call me stupid, but I always thought we had full Open Skies between the US and the EU.

That just means your approvals will be rubber stamped if everything is in order because of the lack of restrictions on capacity/routes. You still have to get various approvals from the US and EU, they want to make sure you have everything in place needed to operate the flight. Open skies does not mean you can suddenly just land on the other country’s doorstep without warning.

Is that what Lufthansa really did?

One day, they got half way across the Atlantic and just decided "heute, landen wir bei Philadelphia"

It must have been a bit of a surprise for the ground staff at PHL, and for the passengers who were expecting to arrive at Miami. :biting:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:36 pm

OA940 wrote:
Yeah the blame is 100% on Lufthansa. After all they're the ones who oversee the entire US aviation industry and are supposed to prevent this from happening...

Some of yall really try too hard to shift blame away from those who clearly are at blame.

Also like someone else said, why are they not also involving the airports in this? It's just as much the airports' fault as it is the FAA's and LH's, even though I'm really doubting the legitimacy of this.


So if you run a red light 100 times, and on the 101st time you get pulled over and get a ticket, it’s the traffic cop’s fault that you ran the red light all those other times?
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
tommy1808
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:41 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
OA940 wrote:
Yeah the blame is 100% on Lufthansa. After all they're the ones who oversee the entire US aviation industry and are supposed to prevent this from happening...

Some of yall really try too hard to shift blame away from those who clearly are at blame.

Also like someone else said, why are they not also involving the airports in this? It's just as much the airports' fault as it is the FAA's and LH's, even though I'm really doubting the legitimacy of this.


So if you run a red light 100 times, and on the 101st time you get pulled over and get a ticket, it’s the traffic cop’s fault that you ran the red light all those other times?


i think the critique is that the "traffic cop" apparently never showed up at his post at the traffic light the other 100 times...

If that is his post you end up paying the ticket, and he ends up getting fired.

OA940 wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.


Yeah the blame is 100% on Lufthansa. After all they're the ones who oversee the entire US aviation industry and are supposed to prevent this from happening...

Some of yall really try too hard to shift blame away from those who clearly are at blame.

Also like someone else said, why are they not also involving the airports in this? It's just as much the airports' fault as it is the FAA's and LH's, even though I'm really doubting the legitimacy of this.


Perhaps LH did file the paper work, it got lost or not processed at the FAA, and as it usually is a rubber stamping process not getting the actually approval was overlooked. ...... in that case process failure on both sides. We may know at some point when LH replies.

best regards
Thomas
Last edited by tommy1808 on Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:42 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
I suspect the issue stems from a technicality about who was actually operating the flights.

For instance, it could be that Lufthansa CityLine operated these flights for Lufthansa, but the authority laid only with Lufthansa and not a subcontracted entity, meaning there was a discrepancy.


That's the only thing I can think of...that Lufthansa couldn't have upgauged PHL to mainline from CityLine yet. Was SAN also a CityLine destination?
 
jcwr56
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:06 pm

For me it's asking a single question.

Did LH file or update the necessary paperwork with the FAA? To me this is a simple yes or no answer. Still, the FAA has some explaining to do. Why did the FAA fail to take so long in regulatory oversight and who within HQ or the local FDSO's caught the error or was it self reported by LH?

Is it worth a $6.5MM clerical error fine? Probably not.
 
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enilria
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:07 pm

MrGtheSheepA346 wrote:
The FAA accuses LH of performing illegal flights between Frankfurt and San Diego and between Frankfurt and Philadelphia.
The FAA alleges Lufthansa operated the flights into and out of San Diego International and Philadelphia International airports when it knew it lacked FAA authorization to do so. Foreign airlines can only conduct scheduled flights into and out of airports that are listed in their FAA-issued Operations Specifications, and the FAA alleges neither airport was in Lufthansa’s Operations Specifications.
. The SAN illegal flights ran between March 22, 2018 and May 27, 2019, the PHL illegal flights ran between Oct. 28, 2018 and April 10, 2019. LH is facing a $6,428,000 civil penalty. https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=24435

Nobody at an airport would know anything about an airline filed FAA Ops Spec. You are essentially saying “why didn’t the airport Audit LH’s filings to FAA?” Clearly, the FAA barely audits them itself why would an airport do it or have the expertise to do something like that?

It would also be like asking why didn’t BestBuy check to see you are in a small apartment before selling you a mega-loud stereo.
 
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:16 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.

Some people believe regulators shuld be on top of things, acting proactively to keep things compliant and safe - not just handing out violation notices.
Man and woman are - at least for most people these day- are more or less equal partners. Relations of FAA vs airline is anything but equal.
 
Pavlakakos
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:37 pm

KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...


Usually that happens when your credibility goes down the drain.
Quiz: When FAA re-certifies the MAX (if ever), all the other agencies will accept its word for granted or they'll check every bolt before giving a green light?
 
Varsity1
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:06 pm

76er wrote:
Call me stupid, but I always thought we had full Open Skies between the US and the EU. Guess I’m too simplistic is this regard.


A.Net is too simplistic. Seemingly very few here understand what an opspec is.

For example, Delta cannot just wake up tomorrow and decide to fly a 757 into Aspen. It must get the airport listed and approved in it's opespec to be operated by that equipment. It's up to the airline's director of operations to make these changes, submit them to their FAA POI or CMO and receive approval.

Airlines can't just willy nilly fly any airplane anywhere they want. Even US airlines domestically.

LH's director of operations was slacking here.
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Varsity1
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:08 pm

kalvado wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
So many posts holding the FAA in contempt for an error Lufthansa allegedly made...

That's like blaming the man for the woman cheating on him.

Some people believe regulators shuld be on top of things, acting proactively to keep things compliant and safe - not just handing out violation notices.
Man and woman are - at least for most people these day- are more or less equal partners. Relations of FAA vs airline is anything but equal.


Every single 121, 125, and 135 operator has an OPSPECs like this. All the regionals, charter outfits.. you name it. The FAA can't track every flight into every airport every day on thousands of certificates. Maybe they will in the future as ADSB matures, but the technology isn't there. They find these things through audits.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
Varsity1
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:12 pm

jcwr56 wrote:
For me it's asking a single question.

Did LH file or update the necessary paperwork with the FAA? To me this is a simple yes or no answer. Still, the FAA has some explaining to do. Why did the FAA fail to take so long in regulatory oversight and who within HQ or the local FDSO's caught the error or was it self reported by LH?

Is it worth a $6.5MM clerical error fine? Probably not.


First Question, No they didn't. The San Diego FSDO is not LH's CMO. They have very little insight into LH's route authorities unless they go digging deep. LH's Director of operations needed to file an amendment, which they did not. The FAA reviews and approves these amendments electronically, it only takes about a week.


Second question, it was found in an audit. The FAA audits a small population of carriers every year, perhaps 5%. LH got audited and caught.


This is a mistake by the Director of Operations at LH. Not the FAA.
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Varsity1
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:15 pm

Lufthansa's CMO is the New York field office. All correspondence, approvals and audits are handled by them.

https://av-info.faa.gov/detail.asp?DSGN ... FTHANSA+AG
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phxa340
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:15 pm

So whenever the FAA comes out with a penalty in the future, it is going to be airliners.net protocol to immediately place blame on them ?

Logical and thoughtful posts are a thing of the past on here .... unfortunately.
 
Varsity1
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:28 pm

The exact appendix LH needed to update was the C070 section. It' LH's Director of Operations sole job to maintain this document in working order and he/she did not.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ... 00.477.pdf
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
Dalmd88
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:37 pm

I think the opinions aired here show the complete lack of understanding as to what the FAA does. They are not the Spanish Inquisition. They can't watch everything and pop up the moment when someone does something wrong. Most FAA finds are actually self disclosures. Yes, the airline or individual raise a hand and say 'I messed up". These get found in internal audits and cross industry audits. The FAA just doesn't have the manpower to be everywhere going through records of what is going on.

So in this case it sounds like LH has been flying to PHL and SAN with a multiple of airlines. So it's on the CityLine opspec to fly to SAN. They swap out for a LH aircraft a few times a month over the course of a year.

So if the SAN FSDO looks out and sees a Star Alliance A340 on one day and a LH 747 the next should that be a red flag? Nope, from that window they both look like LH flights. Plus of course they are both on the airline opsspec to operate that flight. Major airlines of the world don't make bush league mistakes like that.
 
smokeybandit
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:41 pm

The horror of a well-respected airline having a paperwork gap!
 
DfwRevolution
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:42 pm

jcwr56 wrote:
For me it's asking a single question.

Did LH file or update the necessary paperwork with the FAA? To me this is a simple yes or no answer. Still, the FAA has some explaining to do. Why did the FAA fail to take so long in regulatory oversight and who within HQ or the local FDSO's caught the error or was it self reported by LH?

Is it worth a $6.5MM clerical error fine? Probably not.


Guys... we don’t live in a police state. The vast majority of all laws and regulations - aviation or otherwise - rely on the public to self-enforce.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:57 pm

This is quite clear, LH has failed to complete the necessary paperwork. This is similar to NZ having one of their 789s turned back from China because it was not updated with the Chinese authorities. Airlines have to submit a list of planes they intend to operate to a country. This is part of the reason why some planes stick on short haul or domestic flights right after delivery. A paperwork issue with a newer plane is easier to be discovered than one of an older plane, because it is quite easy to assume that it has already been registered with authorities of the destination country.

The issue with LH is that they have quite a few subsidiaries doing everything and anything for each other, so it may be a bit of a task finding out what plane does what and by which crew.
 
max999
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:14 pm

BNEFlyer wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
I suspect the issue stems from a technicality about who was actually operating the flights.

For instance, it could be that Lufthansa CityLine operated these flights for Lufthansa, but the authority laid only with Lufthansa and not a subcontracted entity, meaning there was a discrepancy.


That's what I was thining, CityLine operated the SAN flights.


I've never heard of LH CityLine before. Can you someone tell me about this?

Is this their low cost subsidiary? Is the purpose of CityLine to fly to destinations that would not be profitable if flown by mainline LH?
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SteelChair
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:14 pm

After drifting way off course initially due to what i can only perceive is a lack of knowledge on the part of some posters, the thread seems yo be getting on track. LH was in error, and it took awhile for the FAA to catch the error.

Having said that, this incident demonstrates how out of date many FAA requiements are. Does anyone, for example, believe that an airline the quality of LH did not do all the requisite work prior to initiating the operations in question? I'm sure that they'll show that they did all that stuff: distributing IAP procedures, any specific pilot training, ground handling training, performance database updates for airport specific takeoff and landing performance data, etc. etc., and after they prove to the FAA that they did it all, but forgot to send the letter asking for the formal approval, the fine will be substantially reduced.
 
kalvado
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Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:23 pm

DfwRevolution wrote:
jcwr56 wrote:
For me it's asking a single question.

Did LH file or update the necessary paperwork with the FAA? To me this is a simple yes or no answer. Still, the FAA has some explaining to do. Why did the FAA fail to take so long in regulatory oversight and who within HQ or the local FDSO's caught the error or was it self reported by LH?

Is it worth a $6.5MM clerical error fine? Probably not.


Guys... we don’t live in a police state. The vast majority of all laws and regulations - aviation or otherwise - rely on the public to self-enforce.

and self-certification!
Big question is if underlying situation is a safety issue, security breach, or question of paperwork.
Fine amount is pretty large - and as far as I can tell, multi-million fines basically proposed for safety issues.
Is it a safety issue? I don't see how that can be the case.
Is it a security issue? Flight into national airspace by a foreing carrier without proper authorisation can be a big deal. But is this an LH problem or US government problem? I would say then FAA must be held responsible, and heads must roll.
Paperwork issue? OK, why so harsh penalty?
Any other explanations?
 
jeffrey0032j
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:11 pm

Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:25 pm

SteelChair wrote:

Having said that, this incident demonstrates how out of date many FAA requiements are. Does anyone, for example, believe that an airline the quality of LH did not do all the requisite work prior to initiating the operations in question? I'm sure that they'll show that they did all that stuff: distributing IAP procedures, any specific pilot training, ground handling training, performance database updates for airport specific takeoff and landing performance data, etc. etc., and after they prove to the FAA that they did it all, but forgot to send the letter asking for the formal approval, the fine will be substantially reduced.

I believe that it can happen, and quite easily. Especially when you have a web of subsidiaries and you transfer planes around the subsidiaries, plus paint and configure the planes in a way such that it may actually seem to be operating for another subsidiary - see Eurowings and SN for an example.

Even NZ with a smaller fleet faced such an issue with China.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
Posts: 1098
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:55 pm

So a three paragraph blurb from a government agency whose reputation has taken repeated beatings for a long period of time is supposed to be believable now? No airline would EVER play fast and loose with paperwork unless they were a fly-by-night carrier about to go belly up from smuggling, especially not the German flag carrier - no, this is entirely on the FAA and a paperwork SNAFU.

German isn't the best language in the world to curse in, so I would imagine that there are a lot of executives switching to either English or a Latin language to discuss the paperwork incompetence of a step below Patty & Selma at the DMV (a Simpsons reference to uncaring bureaucrats).

And God forbid this was a matter of national security! Nearly 20 months that LH has been serving SAN, and the FAA is just figuring this out now?

And to note: March 22, 2018 is the date of the inaugural FRA-SAN-FRA flights (LH 466 & 467). The summer before Condor was x3 and Edelweiss Air was x2 from ZRH. To my knowledge, this has only been operated by mainline LH aircraft, never a CityLine or other aircraft. It has occasionally had an A330 substitution.
 
LH779
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:31 am

Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 3:58 pm

max999 wrote:
BNEFlyer wrote:
PlymSpotter wrote:
I suspect the issue stems from a technicality about who was actually operating the flights.

For instance, it could be that Lufthansa CityLine operated these flights for Lufthansa, but the authority laid only with Lufthansa and not a subcontracted entity, meaning there was a discrepancy.


That's what I was thining, CityLine operated the SAN flights.


I've never heard of LH CityLine before. Can you someone tell me about this?

Is this their low cost subsidiary? Is the purpose of CityLine to fly to destinations that would not be profitable if flown by mainline LH?


It used to be their regional subsidiary operating mainly CRJs and E-Jets (and Avros, Fokker 50s in the past).
But they also operate a few longhaul planes on a lower cost basis to put pressure on the mainline pilots. Up to 6 A340-300s painted in the Star Alliance livery (without Lufthansa titles on the outside) were flown by LH Cityline pilots. The planes were in a low-J config (18 vs 30 on mainline A343s) and were used on routes with less premium demand( same product as mainline LH, just fewer premium seats). Internally this project was referred to as JUMP. There are 4 A343s left at Cityline but they will be moved back to mainline next year (IIRC).

In exchange for losing the A343s they now operate a few A319s on behalf of LH (in addition to the CRJs and E-Jets they still have).
 
IADCA
Posts: 2160
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:02 pm

Blaming the FAA for this is like blaming the police for someone parking in a handicapped space. Yes, the FAA could check that every proposed route filing (and aircraft type, plus everything else that goes on OpSpecs) is listed on a carrier's OpSpec before the route starts, but you'd introduce a huge new regulatory burden. You'd either have to significantly expand the FAA just to handle processing those filings or you'd end up introducing delay and uncertainty into the process of starting new routes or introducing new types for a carrier. Asking the FAA to review every new route for compliance with OpSpecs is like asking the IRS to manually review every tax return before acceptance. Yes, it could be done - it would also be horribly inefficient, especially as the OpSpec can be amended at the last minute before the route launches; it's not like you need to amend it when you announce the route.

Amending an OpSpec isn't hard, and it's an inexcusable oversight. But just like it's your responsibility to park legally, it's the airline's responsibility to properly amend its OpSpecs. And you can bet this fine announcement is causing a lot of other carriers to suddenly go through their own and make sure they're up to date. I'm no fan of the FAA - they have a lot to answer for vis a vis their relationship with Boeing - but they just don't have the scope to handle things like this right now. Thank the Republican Party if you don't like that fact.
 
bravotango75
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 5:14 pm

Re: FAA accuses Lufthansa of illegal flights

Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:37 pm

oldannyboy wrote:
Speaks heaps about how well the FAA operates..... I really have to laugh about this one.

I recall back in the 90s, someone tagged them with the title “The Tombstone Agency”..

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