FAA: Airline flew planes after lightning strike

By JOAN LOWY | June 16, 2011 | 2:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal aviation officials are proposing a $425,000 fine for a regional carrier that flies short haul flights for Delta and United airlines. The carrier, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, is accused of flying planes that had been struck by lightning without performing required maintenance checks.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that Atlantic Southeast, flying under the name Delta Connection, flew two airliners a total of 13 times after they had been struck by lightning before making the required inspections. The lightning strikes took place in 2008.

Airlines are supposed to conduct a detailed check for damage after a lightning strike. The discrepancy was found by an FAA inspector.

An airline spokeswoman said she was reviewing the proposed fine.

Atlantic Southeast is a subsidiary of SkyWest Inc., which also operates SkyWest Airlines.