FAA wants Southwest Airlines to pay $12 million penalty for sloppy maintenance

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The FAA is seeking a $12 million fine against Southern Airlines after finding that the Dallas-based airline did a lackluster job overseeing repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Back in 2006, Southwest carried out “extreme makeover” alterations that were intended to “eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners,” the FAA says.

But the contractor that handled the job, Aviation Technical Services, failed to follow proper procedures as mandated by the agency. Some of the problems — failing to properly place the airplanes on jacks during maintenance — weren’t exactly catastrophic. But others could’ve led to real problems down the road.

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