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Horizon Air faces $45,125 fine, accused of not inspecting plane

May 03, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Horizon Air operates as a regional airline for Alaska Airlines.
Horizon Air operates as a regional airline for Alaska Airlines. (Alaska Airlines )

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $45,125 fine against Horizon Air, accusing it of operating a small, twin-engine plane without inspecting it for cracks or corrosion around the engines.

Horizon, the regional airline owned by Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, has 30 days to respond to the fine. Horizon operates nearly 50 Bombardier Dash 8-400 planes.

The federal agency charges that Horizon failed to comply with an order to inspect a section of the aircraft the near the engine for cracks or corrosion every 300 hours, and make repairs as needed.

Between March 17 and 23, 2011, the FAA said Horizon operated the aircraft on at least 45 passenger flights after it had accumulated more than 300 hours of flight time since its last inspection.

In a statement, Horizon said it performed the required inspection but did not properly document the work due to a misunderstanding over wording on the work order.

The aircraft was immediately removed from service the day after the inspection when Horizon realized it had incorrectly documented the work, the airline said. The aircraft was re-inspected and found to be in proper order, it said.

Horizon has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

The FAA also proposed a civil fine of $210,000 against Alaska Airlines, alleging that it failed to properly document and tag deactivated systems and equipment before making repairs. Alaska said in a statement that is has since changed its procedure to ensure compliance.

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