FAA Proposes $354,500 Civil Penalty Against US Airways

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events



October 24, 2012

Contact: Arlene Salac or Jim Peters                                  

Phone: 718-553-3015



FAA Proposes $354,500 Civil Penalty Against US Airways


WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $354,500 civil penalty against US Airways, Inc., of Phoenix, for operating a Boeing 757 airliner on 916 revenue flights when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.


The FAA alleges US Airways removed and replaced a leaking engine fuel pump on the aircraft on Aug. 3, 2010, and US Airways failed to carry out FAA-required tests and inspections before returning the aircraft to revenue service. The noncompliant flights took place between Aug. 3 and Dec 3, 2010.


US Airways, Inc., has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.


To view press release via the FAA website click, here.



Incident: Westjet B737 near Calgary on Oct 18th 2012, burning odour in cabin

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Safety



By Simon Hradecky, Monday, October 22, 2012, The Aviation Herald

A Westjet Boeing 737-700, registration C-FWBX performing flight WS-167 from Calgary, AB to Edmonton, AB (Canada) with 116 people on board, was climbing out of Calgary’s runway 16 when the purser detected a burning smell and haze in the mid cabin.  The flight crew levelled off at about 8000 feet, declared emergency repoting smoke in the cockpit and returned to Calgary for a safe landing on runway 28 about 10 minutes later.

The Canadian TSB reported that maintenance identified a problem with the Live TV system, further troubleshooting is underway.

Full story and comments, here.

All commercial jets (with the exception of the 787 Dreamliner) rely upon air pulled in through the engines to provide pressurized air to the cabin. During flight high-temperature compressed air is bled off the engines and, after being cooled, is re-circulated throughout the cabin and flight deck. Pyrolized engine oil or hydraulic fluid may contaminate the air in these compressors. As a result of exposure to this contaminated air, airline workers along with airline passengers, may develop chronic health problems leading them to seek attention from health care providers. 

If you have been exposed to contaminated air on an airplane there is important information that your doctor should know. Click here to obtain the Bleed Air Medical Protocol, a document designed to help doctors treat victims of fume events. Bring this document to your doctor.

For more information, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

‘Epidemic level’ of laser attacks directed at planes

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events


By Jim Barnett, CNN
updated 3:52 PM EDT, Sat October 6, 2012

Washington (CNN) — An increase in the number of brazen laser attacks on planes in the United States has reached an “epidemic level.”

According to an FBI blog post, the number of incidents is projected to reach 3,700 by the end of the year, compared to just 283 in 2005, a rise of more than 1,100%. Last year, there were 3,592 reported laser incidents, the FAA said.

The FBI cited the Internet as a source for cheap, easy to purchase hand-held gadgets about the size of fountain pens which have become more powerful in recent years. Lasers costing as little as a dollar can have ranges of 2 miles, the FBI said.

Incidents on the rise, harsh penalties sought

The number of attacks is reaching an “epidemic level,” said George Johnson, a supervisory federal air marshal who is a liaison officer with the FBI.

Lasers directed at aircraft can cause temporary blindness to pilots for a few seconds, posing risks during takeoffs and landings.

“Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is dangerous and reckless. Just don’t do it,” Johnson said.

Those who intentionally aim a laser at an aircraft can be prosecuted under two federal statutes, including a law put into effect this year that makes it punishable by up to five years in prison and $11,000 per violation without the benefit of a warning notice or counseling. An existing law allows punishment up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000.

Russian airliners targeted by ‘laser hooligans’

Michael Huerta, acting FAA administrator, is on record as saying his department will “aggressively” prosecute violators.

Laser incident reports have increased steadily since the FAA created a formal reporting system in 2005 to collect information from pilots.

In 2011, the FBI said those responsible for “lasering” aircraft fall into two general profiles, either minors with no criminal history or older men with criminal records. Human traffickers or drug runners have also sought “to thwart airborne surveillance,” according to the FBI.

See full story, from CNN.com, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law, please visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

Southwest Flight Strikes Bird On Descent Into Bradley

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Safety


By David Owens, The Hartford Courant

A Southwest Airlines flight descending into Bradley International Airport struck a bird about 25 miles south of the airport, airline and airport officials said.

The crew on board Southwest Flight 2102 reported hearing a loud popping sound and declared an emergency, said Paul Flaningan, a spokesman for Southwest. The aircraft, a Boeing 737 en route from Tampa, landed without incident.

The plane was checked briefly and officials on the ground determined the incident was a bird strike. The aircraft then continued on to the gate. There were 125 passengers on board when the incident occurred about 2 p.m.

Bird strikes are fairly uncommon, Flaningan said, but do occur. The 737 will be out of service until repairs are made, he said.

The most famous recent bird strike incident occurred Jan. 15, 2009 to US Airways Flight 1549, which experience a bird strike as it climbed out of LaGuardia Airport in New York. The Airbus A320 lost thrust in its engines and Capt. Chesley Sullenberger put the stricken aircraft down in the Hudson River. All aboard were saved in what has become known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Full story, here.

The Federal Aviation Preliminary Accident and Incident Notices database advises of at least three bird strikes in the past ten days, this information can be found, here.  The FAA provides preliminary accident and incident information reported to the Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention within the past 10 business days. All information is preliminary and subject to change.

To learn more about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

American Airlines inspecting jets for loose seats

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events


By DAVID KOENIG | Associated Press 

DALLAS (AP) — The federal government is examining two separate incidents in which passenger seats came loose midflight on American Airlines planes in the last three days.

American said Monday that it would inspect those and six other Boeing 757 jets overnight.

The Federal Aviation Administration said both planes had recently undergone maintenance work that required seats to be removed and reinstalled. American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said an initial review found that there could be a problem with the way the seats fit into tracks on the floor.

“Out of an abundance of caution, American has decided to proactively re-inspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue,” Huguely said. The FAA said it is looking into the incidents but didn’t provide many more details.

Boeing Co. declined to comment other than to say it had nothing to do with the recent maintenance work involving seats.

On Saturday, a flight from Boston to Miami made an emergency landing in New York after three passenger seats came loose shortly after takeoff. The airline said there were no injuries, and passengers were put on another plane to Miami.

On Monday, an American flight from New York to Miami returned to John F. Kennedy International Airport after loose seats were discovered.

The incidents involved separate repair facilities and groups of American Airlines and contract workers, Huguely said. American flew engineers, crew chiefs and inspectors from its maintenance base in Tulsa, Okla., to New York to examine the planes, she said.

American had 124 Boeing 757s as of December. The eight being inspected use a similar seat assembly, officials said.

The 757s that American operates in the United States have 22 first-class seats and 166 in economy.

Airline and government officials discouraged speculation that the incidents could be related to labor-management tension at American, which is cutting labor costs and laying off maintenance workers as it tries to turn around under bankruptcy protection.

Last week American accused some pilots of conducting an illegal work slowdown that has led to a spike in delayed and canceled flights. The airline threatened to take the pilots’ union to court.

On Monday, American continued to have more cancelations and delays than its rivals, according to tracking service FlightStats.com. But American’s 17 cancellations and 61 percent on-time rating for arrivals were better than many of the airline’s performances in September.

The delays and cancellations have annoyed passengers, but even the hint of mechanical issues could frighten them away and even threaten American’s existence, experts said.

“These things can kill an airline,” said George Hobica, founder of travel website airfarewatchdog.com. “With a delay or cancellation, you’re sitting on the ground. (With loose seats) if the plane hits turbulence, people go flying.”

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst in San Francisco, said that if travelers perceive maintenance to be lax, “passengers will start booking away from American Airlines in droves. This is very serious stuff.”

FAA officials said they have stepped up scrutiny of American as they do with all airlines operating in bankruptcy protection. American and parent AMR Corp. filed for Chapter 11 in November.

This story is posted via the Associated Press.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.