Alpi Eagles has been temporarily grounded by the RAI, Italy's civil-aviation authority, after irregularities were discovered in the regional carrier's maintenance records during a routine aircraft inspection.

The RAIfound "informal" aircraft technical logs, where malfunctions were being recorded be- fore being entered into the official log book. The civil-aviation authority is concerned that this was leading to delays in corrective maintenance, and it is investigating whether it was prompted by a need to secure more time to locate spares from the maintenance shop.

Vincenzo Soddu, chief executive of privately owned Alpi Eagles, says that the "parallel technical book" was found on a single aircraft, and describes the violations as minor. Soddu nevertheless has dismissed the airline's chief pilot and the head of the carrier's maintenance department.

The RAI was due by 6 December to complete its initial investigation and to decide on whether to lift the grounding.

The Venice-based airline operates four leased Fokker 100s.

Source: Flight International