Okay, now this is lunacy. . .FAA after AA.


Well-Known Member
Okay. . .so. . .

Yeah, I rode hard on the SWA MX screw-ups of a couple weeks ago.

Now I'm starting to think the FAA just has an annual list of company's they have to screw with.

Wasn't it the end of the summer travel season where the FAA cracked down on SWA, AA, and a number of other companies last year?

Seems it's that time again.


DALLAS – Federal regulators are investigating American Airlines over structural repairs to its aging fleet of MD-80 series aircraft.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said Friday that the investigation centered on 16 planes.

The Wall Street Journal reported FAA officials suspect American rushed to retire one of the planes to keep it from inspectors.

A spokesman for American declined to comment on the circumstances under which the one plane was retired but said mothballing the aircraft wouldn't let it escape scrutiny.

"The FAA has complete access to retired airplanes, and it exercises that access frequently," the spokesman, Tim Wagner, told The Associated Press. "All airlines have the authority to make decisions regarding the retirement of individual aircraft based on economic and competitive factors."

Wagner said American is responding to the FAA's investigation, and he declined to comment further.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the investigation centered on repairs to the rear bulkhead of the MD-80 series aircraft. As of May, American had 270 MD-80 series jets, or 44 percent of its fleet, according to the company's Web site.

Airplanes expand and contract as the cabin is pressured for flight and then depressurized. That can lead to metal fatigue that requires close monitoring and sometimes repairs, especially around the rear bulkhead.

Improper rear bulkhead repairs were blamed for the 1985 crash of a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 that killed 520 people, still the worst single accident in aviation history.

The Journal reported that FAA inspectors believe at least 16 American jets may have flown for months or years with improper repairs to structural cracks.

Fort Worth-based American, a unit of AMR Corp., is slowly replacing the MD-80s with new, more fuel-efficient planes.

FAA investigations can lead to exoneration of the carrier or, as in recent cases involving American and Southwest Airlines Co., penalties that run into the millions of dollars.

Shares of American parent AMR Corp. rose 7 cents to $5.56 in midday trading Friday.
Man, you guys are certainly scrappy this weekend! :)

Stay tuned for my master's thesis when I eventually go for my MBA: "Airline Pilots and the Utility of Light Recreational Usage of Tetrahydrocannabinol."
Funny how this thread has not generated as much debate as the SWA one did. That's somewhat curious to me, considering SWA self-disclosed, whereas AMR did not.
Funny how this thread has not generated as much debate as the SWA one did. That's somewhat curious to me, considering SWA self-disclosed, whereas AMR did not.
SWA really didn't self-disclose to the FAA. The FAA was inspecting a MRO facility that performs maintenance on SWA aircraft and found that the facility was installing parts from a manufacturer that was not certified by the FAA to manufacture and distribute that part. As far as Southwest's involvement depends on if the part is a consumable (use and throw away) or a repairable component. AZbigdog might know since he's a USairWest mech and I'm sure performs mx on their 737's in PHX.

All rotable parts need 8130's with is the FAA certificate for aircraft parts that must be signed by an A&P who has IA(Inspection Authorization), in additition you need tear down reports if the component was torn down to be inspected and or repaired. These are required to either be in the aircraft's mx logbook or on file. If these parts were repairable, then Southwest had to have know when SWA mx went to remove and replace these parts out on the line. If they were consumables, then SWA was completely unaware of what the MRO faciltity was doing since all you need is a certificate of conformity and those don't need to be kept on file. Though there should be SWA mx reps there to oversee the contract maintenance work.