Artorius Castus

Trans States planes grounded because of missed inspections

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on April 23, 2008

ST. LOUIS (Map, News) – Federal airline regulators said Wednesday that 24 jets operated by commuter airline company Trans States Airlines Inc. were grounded because they do not meet safety standards.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said the airline reported the problem Tuesday and the aircraft were being checked.

Trans States spokesman Bill Mishk said 45 flights had been canceled by Wednesday evening because of the problem. He estimated that all the planes would be checked and back in service by Thursday night.

The airline had not properly checked an electrical switch that controls steering of the nose wheel. The switches must be inspected every 6,000 flight hours or 36 months, Cory said. The airline discovered the problem during a self-audit as it prepared for federal inspections, Cory said.

Misck said the inspections were missed because of problems with a software program that notified mechanics when inspections should be made. He said the program caught inspections that were due at 36 months, but seemed to miss them when they were due after 6,000 hours of flight time.

“It’s a glitch in software,” he said.

Trans States operates more than 300 flights a day with service to 46 cities in 25 states. Trans States operates flights under the names AmericanConnection, United Express and US Airways Express.

At least three other companies fly the Embraer jets that Trans States grounded, according to the companies’ annual reports.

A spokesman for Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group said it is in compliance with the FAA order and has not grounded any of its jets. Representatives from ExpressJet Holdings and Republic Airways Holdings did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday evening.

First, they misspell the name of TSA’s PR man, then they say TSA doesn’t meet safety standards. The airline self disclosed because safety is the number one consideration. This should be obvious as the carrier grounded it’s own fleet, at it’s own expense, and to the detriment of a slowing economy. The FAA is spiraling out of control, so it appears that rather than deal with implacable civil servants, the company did what it had to do without involving the “helpful” folks from the government.

I have have it on pretty good authority that the government would like to see the number of 121 operating certificates reduced in the coming decade. And that’s a shame-it was the government who handed out slots at the nations busiest airports to anyone that asked, resulting in delay programs that cascade through out the country. The government didn’t bother to check with the controllers who would be working these slots, who would have told them that they were creating delays and cancels. Now we have arrived at a point where our Class B airports are perennial ground stops and delay programs. Further, the government does nothing to dispel the myth that delays, cancellations, and travel interruptions, are largely the fault of the carriers. That notion is on display in this poorly written article from the ASSociated Press…


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