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Eastern Grounds 4 Wide-Body Jets at FAA's Behest

May 18, 1986|Associated Press

MIAMI — Eastern Airlines has voluntarily grounded four wide-body jets whose leased engines were rebuilt with foreign parts and lacked proper documentation, federal officials said Saturday.

Inadequate paper work for four A-300 "Airbus" engines and one DC-10 engine was discovered during a routine inspection and reported to Eastern on Friday, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jack Barker in Atlanta.

The DC-10 engine was later cleared for use, Barker said, but Eastern was forced to delay use of the four other jets, in Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta and New York, until it obtains paper work tracing the origin of parts and airworthiness certification.

The jets were grounded as Eastern ignored an FAA deadline Friday for payment of a record $9.5-million fine for more than 78,000 safety violations, many involving record-keeping.

Court to Decide Dispute

Jerry Cosley, Eastern's chief spokesman, said Saturday that the Miami-based carrier is being made a scapegoat for national criticism of FAA performance. Cosley said Eastern prefers to let a civil court decide the dispute over the fine.

The FAA has asked the Justice Department to take Eastern to court and seek the full fine allowed by law of $1,000 per violation, or $78 million.

Barker said the discovery of the improperly documented engines was not related to the fine disagreement.

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