Sky Talk

FAA proposes $328,550 in fines against Southwest for maintenance violations


The Federal Aviation Administration proposed $328,550 in fines against Southwest Airlines for two different maintenance violations.

The agency alleges that the Dallas-based carrier failed to properly inspect a Boeing 737 that experienced cabin depressurization on May 13, 2013. The flight, which was heading from Boston to St. Louis, made an emergency landing in Baltimore.

“The FAA alleges that after the event, Southwest mechanics failed to complete a mandatory inspection to check whether the change in cabin pressure damaged the aircraft and to ensure used oxygen bottles were replaced,” the agency said in a statement.

The Dallas-based carrier then operated the plane on 123 flights before it completed an inspection on June 3, the FAA said.

Southwest also failed to accurately record repairs on a Boeing 717 that was having problems with its air-conditioning systems and continued to fly the plane before the issues were resolved, the agency said.

Southwest said the two aircraft are no longer being operated by the airline.

“Upon discovery, each repair was appropriately addressed in accordance with applicable regulations and Southwest Airlines’ Maintenance Program,” Southwest said in a statement. “We are committed to continuous enhancements to our internal maintenance procedures, with a focus on Safety in all aspects of our operations.”