Federal aviation officials are proposing to fine American Airlines $300,000 for flying an airplane with a broken instrument on four occasions early last year in violation of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
The proposed fine comes one week after the FAA proposed fines against the airline totaling $787,500 for three other alleged maintenance violations.
In all four instances, American Airlines said it is reviewing the information and will meet with the FAA.
The most recent FAA allegation is that American Airlines mechanics deferred maintenance in February 2009 on a MD-82 aircraft after noting that a warning light relating to the aircraft's pitot probe heaters was broken. Pitot probes are tubes mounted on the exteriors of aircraft to measure aircraft speeds, and the heaters prevent them from icing in certain conditions.
The next day, the FAA said, maintenance crews determined that the heater itself was malfunctioning, instead of the warning light. But because the mechanics logged the problem as an inoperative panel light, the airline operated the plane on five flights in violation of FAA regulations, the FAA alleges.
"We expect full compliance with all of our maintenance standards," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement. "Safety is our top concern. Maintenance personnel must pay attention to every detail when they are working on an aircraft."