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FAA to fine regional airline for safety violations

Thursday - 9/15/2011, 4:02pm  ET

By JOAN LOWY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $1.9 million fine against a regional airline involved in a deadly crash two years ago for allegedly allowing flight attendants to work flights without proper training.

Colgan Air allowed 84 flight attendants to work a total of 172 flights on the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400, a regional jet, after being warned by FAA inspectors that the attendants weren't trained to use the planes' cabin fire extinguisher system.

Instead, the attendants had been trained how to use the extinguisher system on another plane, the Saab 340, which operates differently.

"The flight attendants' primary responsibility is to know exactly how to handle emergency situations, and they can't carry out that responsibility if they're not properly trained," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement.

Colgan's pilot training and safety regime were strongly criticized after a February 2009 air crash near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people. Colgan is a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. and is based in Memphis, Tenn. The airline was founded in Manassas, Va., according to its website.

Colgan officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)