BREAKING NEWS One dead after Magalia house fire, Cal Fire says Full Story

Schumer demands FAA step up maintenance inspections after fatal accidents

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding the Federal Aviation Administration increase inspections of aircraf...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 10:05 AM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 10:05 AM

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding the Federal Aviation Administration increase inspections of aircraft maintenance after his office reviewed agency records and found that enforcement and fines specifically for maintenance issues have dropped over the last several years.

Schumer's office asserts that formal enforcement actions for airline maintenance issues decreased after 2014 and dropped dramatically in 2017. The data was compiled from the agency's quarterly reports on civil enforcement penalties, according to a statement from his office.

The New York Democrat said the decline in maintenance enforcement raises serious concerns about whether the FAA is meeting its oversight mandates. He demanded the agency examine the data and report back on why that enforcement has decreased.

"After each incident, the FAA says they're going to study that particular incident," Schumer said during a Sunday night news conference. "We want them to be proactive and not look at safety after a tragedy occurs. We don't want them to look at a particular instance of safety, maintenance, but at all of them."

In response to Schumer's release, the FAA said: "We are never content with the status quo, and the FAA is continually working to enhance safety for the flying public. The FAA's comprehensive oversight system is designed to identify potential risks before they become serious problems and ensure that corrective action is taken. The process is dynamic and requires that the FAA, and the airlines we oversee, constantly strive for safety improvements."

Recent accidents

Schumer's release comes after an incident last week on a Southwest Airlines flight killed one passenger, a recent "60 Minutes" report detailing numerous safety problems on Allegiant Air, and a helicopter crash in New York's East River last month that killed five passengers.

The Southwest Airlines incident occurred on a flight from New York to Dallas about 20 minutes after takeoff, when the jet's engine failed and shrapnel shattered a passenger window, fatally injuring 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two. The FAA on Friday ordered new inspection requirements for engines similar to the one that failed.

The "60 Minutes" report on Allegiant Air, meanwhile, detailed more than 100 of what it described as serious mechanical incidents between the start of 2016 and October 2017, including midair engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs. While Allegiant has not had a fatal crash since it began passenger flights in 1999, it reported at least 60 unscheduled landings and 46 in-flight emergencies over the past two years, the news program said. The number of serious safety problems on that airline were about 3- times greater than the nation's other major airlines, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the helicopter crash in the East River last month that killed all five passengers prompted Schumer to call on the FAA to suspend the operating certificate of the company, Liberty Helicopters, until its safety record and the crash are fully assessed.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1171802

Reported Deaths: 19025
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3832757580
San Bernardino884691129
Riverside850771434
San Diego75307988
Orange731521559
Kern39990448
Fresno37349477
Sacramento35739566
Santa Clara32454476
Alameda28378502
San Joaquin25675502
Contra Costa23381260
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20550308
Ventura18914175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco15053160
Monterey14695116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11846157
Merced11537179
Santa Barbara11205135
Kings1044087
Solano1003681
Marin7628129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo595635
Shasta460147
Yolo456174
Santa Cruz420228
Butte385359
Sutter314415
Napa294517
El Dorado21544
Yuba198110
San Benito181316
Lassen17733
Tehama158725
Mendocino148522
Nevada11839
Tuolumne9088
Glenn8918
Lake88619
Humboldt8199
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Mono5243
Amador48416
Calaveras47522
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1390
Mariposa1262
Modoc1220
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 32°
Oroville
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Paradise
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 32°
Chester
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Red Bluff
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 35°
Willows
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
The final Friday of November was a beautiful one for northern California with plentiful sunshine, warmer than average temperatures and weaker wind. We can expect plenty of sunshine and continued mild weather this weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events