Aviation News

March 23, 2010

Northwest 757s Flew 17 Years Without Proper Inspections: FAA

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By: Mark Lawrence
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nw757-100

N534US on approach to LGA. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

The FAA has proposed a fine of almost $1.5 million against Northwest Airlines after if failed to inspect wiring near cockpit windows on some of its aircraft for 17 years.

A 1990 FAA directive ordered operators to inspect wiring in the cockpit window heating systems of Boeing 757s as the wires could overheat and cause fires. The order stated that aircraft were to be inspected within 90 days and the aircraft with faulty or incorrect wiring were to be grounded until repaired. However, the Northwest 757 maintenance manual written in early 1990 omitted the inspections.

The aircraft flew until May 2008 when the error was discovered. Delta Air Lines, which bought Northwest in 2008, is reviewing the FAA information and has 30 days to respond to the FAA.