FAA Proposes $275,000 Civil Penalty Against Continental Airlines

SEATTLE – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $275,000 civil penalty against Continental Airlines Inc., of Houston, for operating two Boeing 737-900ER (extended range) aircraft on 73 flights when they were not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The FAA alleges Continental mechanics failed to follow the 737 Airplane Maintenance Manual when they installed incorrect main landing gear wheel-tire assemblies on two aircraft and released them for service on Nov. 7 and 19, 2009.

The manual contains specific instructions to mechanics not to use wheel-tire assemblies intended for the B-737-700, -800 and -900 on the heavier B-737-900ER. The manual says using the incorrect assemblies on the heavier version of the B-737 might lead to damage to the aircraft or injury to people working on and around the aircraft.

Continental has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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