ValuJet Signs Pact with FAA, Will Pay $2 Million for Probe: Report Points to False Records on Canister Check
Field, David, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
ValuJet Airlines has agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration $2 million to cover the cost of the airworthiness investigation that closed down the airline Monday night, the FAA announced yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reported that two mechanics hired by a ValuJet subcontractor filed false records on oxygen generators that are believed to have played a part in the crash of a ValuJet airliner that crashed in the Florida Everglades on May 11, killing all 110 persons aboard.
The Atlanta-based airline will comply with a consent order to pay for the airworthiness investigation as "a remedial, not a punitive" payment to reflect the FAA's costs of mounting the intense investigations.
After the Everglades crash, the FAA stepped up its five-month investigation of the carrier.
The consent accord, in which the airline neither admits nor denies any violations, the FAA said, would avoid potential litigation and speed ValuJet's resumption of operations.
ValuJet has said it hopes to be back in the air in a month.
Under the pact, ValuJet is limited to 15 planes if and when it resumes operations. Before it was grounded, ValuJet flew 51 planes.
In its report, the Herald said the two mechanics were working for a company hired by SabreTech, which had a contract to do ValuJet's maintenance. They signed work orders falsely indicating that the oxygen canisters had the required safety caps on them before shipment.
Kenneth Quinn, an attorney for SabreTech, told the newspaper that the mechanics either cut the cords that passengers pull to activate the generators or wrapped the cords around the generators and taped them, wrongly believing they were safely deactivating the devices. He would not identify the mechanics or the subcontractor, the Miami paper said. …