FAA seeks to fine Continental and American Eagle a combined $605,000

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FAA is proposing to fine Continental Airlines $275,000 and American Eagle Airlines $330,000 for operating aircraft not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.

The agency alleges Continental operated two Boeing 737-900ERs on 73 flights after mechanics incorrectly installed main landing gear and wheel-tire assemblies.

"The manuals contains specific instructions to mechanics not to use wheel-tire assemblies intended for the Boeing 737-700, -800 and -900 on the heavier 737-900ER," FAA states.

Additionally, FAA points out the manuals warn using those incorrect assemblies on the heavier version "might lead to damage to the aircraft or injury to people working on and around the aircraft".

The $330,000 proposed fine against American Eagle is based on FAA's determination that an Embraer ERJ-135 jet operated 12 revenue flights with damaged seats.

FAA states carrier mechanics failed to note broken passenger seats and armrests on two aircraft that would not raise and stow in the upright and locked positions after takeoff and landing. The agency also states it discovered damaged center arm rests that failed to stow in the upright and locked positions.

FAA states one of the ERJs was used on a dozen passenger revenue flights between inspection and eventual repair.