FAA has proposed fining Northwest Airlines $1.45 million for operating 32 Boeing 757s without proper windshield wiring inspections.

Northwest merged with Delta in 2008, and the carriers were awarded a single operating certificate from FAA in December 2009.

The agency explains an airworthiness directive (AD) issued in 1990 required inspections to detect undersized wires in the heating systems for the first officer's and captain's windows. Left uncorrected, says FAA, the problem could cause overheating, smoking and possibly a fire.

Northwest wrote instructions for its mechanics in April 1990 that omitted required inspections of wires under the first officer's window, says FAA, which resulted in the operation of 32 aircraft on more than 90,000 passenger flights from December 2005 through May 2008.

On 28 May 2008, Northwest discovered the inspections were not performed properly, and revised the instructions. However, the new guidance did not require completion of the work prior to further flight, but at the next layover. FAA says as a result 29 of the 32 aircraft operated 42 passenger flights while still out of compliance with the AD.

The latest fine against Northwest follows two fines issued against American Airlines this month, and two penalties against American Eagle this year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news