How safe is your commercial flight?
Recently the Federal Aviation Administration announced fines that are being imposed on two of the major carriers. American Eagle airlines and Continental Airlines. Both airlines allegedly operated aircraft which was not in compliance with federal aviation regulations. The proposed penalties include a $275,000 fine for Continental airlines and a $330,000 fine for American Eagle airlines.
In 2009, Continental mechanics allegedly installed incorrect main landing gear wheel-tire assemblies on two aircraft. The FAA claims this could have further damaged the aircraft or led to injuries. Meanwhile American Eagle airlines failed to log broken passenger seats and armrests on two planes during a 2008 inspection. American Eagle then reportedly used one of the aircraft on 12 flights before finally repairing it.
As a pilot I know it is not as simple as to just pull over if you have a problem. Oversights like these cause many accidents every year. Incorrect nuts and bolts, non working or missing equipment and poorly maintained aircraft can be found at nearly any airport. Now whether or not these oversights by Continental or American Eagle was intentional or not may never be known but with rising cost of flying we could see more marginal calls on repairs.
As you are performing the preflight on your airplane take a few extra minutes to double check all the required components. A few extra minutes just may save your life.
I would like to hear back from you on this subject. Do you think this is an isolated event or could this possibly be happening more then we may know? Do you have a story from your own airport that you wuld like to share?