United Airlines faces $1.1M fine proposed by FAA over pre-flight system check

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $1,149,306 civil penalty against United Airlines after allegedly failing to perform a complete maintenance inspection on its Boeing B777 aircraft.

The FAA alleged that in 2018, United Airlines removed the Fire System Warning Check from its Boeing 777 Preflight CheckList, an inspection task required in its Maintenance Specifications manual. This resulted in the airline’s failure to perform the required check, meaning that the aircraft did not meet airworthiness requirements. 

The FAA claimed that United Airlines conducted flights from June 2018 to April 2021 using Boeing 777 aircraft that were not in an airworthy condition.

United Airlines confirmed to Reuters on February 7, 2023, that it did change its pre-flight checklist in 2018 in order to eliminate “redundant” checks that the aircraft performed automatically.

“The safety of our flights was never in question. In 2018 United changed its pre-flight checklist to account for redundant built-in checks performed automatically by the 777,” a spokesperson for United said.   

United Airlines has 30 days to respond to the FAA after receiving the agency’s enforcement letter. 

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