American Air Unit Grounds Most Jets for Door Inspections

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An American Airlines Group Inc. unit that operates regional flights has grounded most of its fleet to conduct inspections on aircraft doors.

The checks involve ensuring bolts on the nose-gear doors of most or all of PSA Airlines Inc.’s fleet of 130 Bombardier Inc. regional jets are properly tightened, said Sarah Jantz, a spokeswoman for American. The company is booking affected passengers on other flights while working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to return the planes to service.

“Out of an abundance of caution, PSA Airlines has temporarily removed most of its aircraft from service in order to complete a necessary, standard inspection on the nose-gear door,” American said in an email. “We are working with PSA and the FAA to immediately address the issue.”

PSA had canceled 200 flights, or 38% of its schedule, as of 4 p.m. Eastern time, according to tracking service FlightAware.com. The airline had also delayed 82 flights, FlightAware data showed.

The FAA didn’t immediately comment on the action and American didn’t immediately comment on how the lapse was discovered.

While the halt in flights wasn’t ordered by the regulator, it suggests that the inspections hadn’t been done as required by federal law. Airlines typically must complete various maintenance and inspections within proscribed deadlines.

The carrier was developing an operational plan for today and Friday, with a goal of getting all the aircraft back into service as soon as possible. Jantz said. She said she didn’t know if flight cancellations would roll into Friday.

The regional carrier, which flies under the American Eagle name, is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. The company operates CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets.

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