For Immediate Release

September 9, 2011
Contact: Allen Kenitzer or Mike Fergus
Phone: (425) 227-2004

SEATTLE – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $590,000 civil penalty against Alaska Airlines, Inc., of Seattle, Wash., for allegedly operating a Boeing 737-400 on 2,107 flights when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

On Jan. 18, 2010, a flight deck ceiling fire occurred in a B-737-400 while it was parked at the gate at Anchorage International Airport.  Investigators determined the fire was caused by chafed wiring that had resulted from improper installation of a hose clamp. Alaska had most recently performed maintenance in the burned area in August 2008.

The B-737-400 maintenance manual includes an explicit warning about proper installation of the hose clamp. Alaska subsequently discovered the same problem existed on nine other B-737-400s in its fleet and made corrections. There were no other fires.

 “Maintenance work has to be performed precisely and correctly every time,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.  “Improper maintenance can have serious consequences.”

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