FAA proposes $2.43m fine against Cessna for disbonding incident

Washington DC
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a $2.43 million penalty against Cessna for lack of manufacturing quality control, following an incident last December where a section of wing skin came apart from a Cessna Corvalis during a test flight.

The incident subsequently led to the FAA grounding 13 such aircraft that had wings and parts manufactured in Cessna's plant in Chihuahua, Mexico.

"FAA investigators determined that the wing skin separated from the spar due to excessive humidity in the factory that prevented the bonded materials from curing properly... The FAA alleges that Cessna failed to follow its FAA-approved quality control system when it manufactured the wings on the damaged airplane, as well as 82 additional parts, in the Chihuahua factory. The manufacturer has since made improvements to the plant," said the agency.

In the 6 December 2010 incident, a section of the aircraft's left wing skin, measuring seven feet, separated from the forward spar and damaged a fuel tank. The aircraft, piloted by a FAA test pilot, made an emergency landing at Independence, Kansas.

The FAA has given Cessna 30 days to respond to the agency's enforcement letter, it said.