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Federal Aviation Administration Fines Airline, Helicopter Company

Frontier Airlines, ERA Helicopters fined by FAA

Keith Stein  Apr 12, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed over $600,000 in fines against a helicopter company and major airline for violating federal regulations.

The agency has proposed to assess a $260,000 civil penalty against ERA Helicopters Inc., of Lake Charles, La., for failing to perform test flights and other required checks before returning an aircraft to passenger service.

The FAA alleges that in February 2009, ERA replaced a part known as a lag damper in the rotor system of one of its helicopters. Afterward, ERA operated the aircraft on 23 passenger-carrying flights without performing tests to ensure the work had been done properly, violating a number of Federal Aviation Regulations.

In addition, the FAA is also proposing to assess a $380,000 civil penalty against Frontier Airlines of Denver for operating several aircraft on approximately 900 flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges that in 2008 and 2009, Frontier reconfigured the passenger cabins on some of its Airbus A-318s and -319s, to permit dual-aisle access to the overwing emergency exits. However, the airline did not replace the existing placards with placards showing the new configuration, as required. The placards are in place to tell passengers how to operate the overwing exits. Frontier then operated these aircraft with the wrong placards in place.

Both companies have 30 days to respond to the agency concerning the fines.

Frontier Airlines, ERA Helicopters fined by FAA
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