Continental Fined for Landing Gear

Continental is the latest in a string of airlines to face scrutiny from the FAA for safety violations. The overseeing body has proposed a fine against Continental to the tune of $325,000. The penalty is being issued because the airline flew a jet with a reported landing gear problem. The airplane's warning light came on before a flight in 2008, but the crew and maintenance decided to continue the flight. The plane was then diverted because it was burning excessive fuel. On the ground, maintenance workers inspected the gear but didn't make an entry in the logbook, and the plane went on to fly at least 12 more flights before the problem was addressed.

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Interestingly, Continental is contesting the fine, at least in the media. The airline contends the violation comes from the fact that no entry was made in the logbook after the plane was diverted, instead of the extra flights with possibly faulty landing gear. According to the AP, a spokeswoman said, "This matter involves the aircraft logbook, which we believe was accurate. No actual maintenance was required on the aircraft, which was diverted to Phoenix because of head winds, not maintenance." The airline apparently didn't comment on why the aircraft flew so many routes before the issue was resolved.

Readers, what do you think about the latest fine on Continental? Is it fair? Does the recent increase of fines for safety violations make you feel safer in the air? Leave a message in the comments section below.

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