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FAA proposes fine for AirTran

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • FAA proposes fine for AirTran's alleged disregard for regulations
  • AirTran allegedly used an airplane in need of required repairs
  • AirTran has 30 days to settle or challenge the claim

(CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday proposed fining AirTran Airways for allegedly operating an airplane not in compliance with regulations, the agency said.

The FAA wants to fine AirTran Airways of Orlando, Florida, $250,000 for allegedly operating a Boeing 737 on four passenger flights without testing the sensor that indicates potential loss of lift on the aircraft. The angle-of-attack sensor was damaged by lightning during a March 20, 2009 flight, said the statement.

AirTran is also accused of misusing the Minimum Equipment List when it decided to continue flights without addressing the needed repair, the statement said.

The MEL is a list of what systems must be working to fly a plane legally and what can be deferred for later repairs. Repairing a damaged AOA sensor cannot be deferred, said the statement.

AirTran has 30 days to respond or challenge the agency's enforcement letter.