News & Current Affairs

August 14, 2008

US airline ‘broke safety rules’

US airline ‘broke safety rules’

American Airlines planes (file image)

American Airlines has joined forces with British Airways

US aviation officials are accusing American Airlines of major breaches of safety, including intentionally flying planes known to need repairing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to fine the company a total of $7.1m (£3.8m).

An FAA statement said two MD-83 planes were used on dozens of flights in 2007, even though repair work reported as necessary by pilots had not been done.

Problems with drug and alcohol testing were also found, officials say.

The FAA statement comes hours after British Airways confirmed it had sealed an alliance with American Airlines, allowing the two carriers to agree fares, routes and schedules together.

The alliance also includes Spain’s Iberia, which is merging with BA.

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August 7, 2008

Nine feared dead in US air crash

Nine feared dead in US air crash

Map

Nine people are missing feared dead after a helicopter carrying  firefighters crashed on its way to a forest fire in northern California.

The helicopter went down on Tuesday night about 35 miles (56km) north-west of Redding in a remote area.

The cause of the crash of the Sikorsky S-61 was not immediately known.

The helicopter was carrying 11 firefighters and two crewmen. Four people are being treated in hospital for burns.

Two are said to be in critical condition and two serious.

Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the helicopter was destroyed in the crash.

The firefighters had been tackling a blaze that was covering 27 sq miles (70sq km) of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Investigators are being sent to the scene.

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