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June 16, 2011

Delta Regional Carrier Fined $425K for Not Inspecting Planes After Lightning Strikes

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The FAA announced Thursday that it had proposed a $425,000 civil penalty against Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines for allegedly not conducting mandatory inspections of two Bombardier CRJ jets after they were struck by lightning in 2008.

An Atlantic Southeast/Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ-700 N741EV sets down in Albany Photo by Mark Hsiung

An Atlantic Southeast/Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ-700 (N741EV) sets down in Albany. (Photo by Mark Hsiung)

The planes struck by lightning in two separate incidents on July 21st and July 23rd, 2008. Rather than conducting detailed inspections outlined in the aircraft operators manuals, the FAA alleges both planes operated a total of 13 revenue passenger flights in the following days before they were finally inspected on July 24th.

College Park, Georgia-based ASA is a subsidiary of SkyWest Airlines which is headquartered in St. George, Utah.

“All operators must comply with maintenance regulations and requirements in a timely fashion,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

In a statement, an ASA spokesperson told us, “Safety is our top priority at Atlantic Southeast and we continue to work closely with the FAA to ensure the safety and compliance of our entire fleet. We worked with the FAA to immediately address this concern through FAA-approved steps when it was raised in 2008, and the aircraft were returned to service.”

Atlantic Southeast has 30 days to formally respond to the FAA’s charges.

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