The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a civil penalty of $1.8 million against Colgan Air, of Manassas, Va., a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines, for allegedly allowing flight attendants to work on 172 revenue passenger flights when they were not properly trained to use the planes’ cabin fire extinguisher system.
The 84 newly-hired flight attendants worked flights on the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 twin turbo-prop aircraft between Nov. 3 and Nov. 9, 2009 after the FAA told Colgan the flight attendants had not completed the required training.
The FAA inspected the carrier’s new-hire flight attendant training for the Q400 on Nov. 2, 2009. The FAA alleges the new Colgan flight attendants were trained with fire extinguishers used on the airline’s Saab 340s, which operate differently than those used on the Q400.
“The flight attendants’ primary responsibility is to know exactly how to handle emergency situations, and they can’t carry out that responsibility if they’re not properly trained,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “We require carriers to comply with all of our safety rules, and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when they do not.”
Colgan has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
Landing at the wrong airport
Meanwhile, Colgan Air has relieved a flight crew involved in a landing at the wrong airport earlier this month in Louisiana and Congressional members want answers on the incident.
After recent news citing a Colgan Air flight landed at the wrong airport, Western New York Representatives Kathy Hochul (NY-26), Brian Higgins (NY-27), Louise Slaughter (NY-28) and Tom Reed (NY-29) Thursday sent letters to the Presidents of Colgan Air, Pinnacle Airlines and Continental Airlines stating “these mistakes are unacceptable and the airline industry must be held accountable for making safety improvements.”
“The airlines should be a partner in promoting flight safety,” said Higgins. “When it comes to air travel, there are no second chances and no room for mistakes. The companies should take it upon themselves to be accountable to their customers and aggressively pursue measures to protect those they serve. If they don’t, the federal government has no choice but to take additional action to make sure that happens.”
“We can’t have more errors, we can’t have more delays and we can’t have any more tragedies,” said Slaughter.
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