June 30 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a USD77,000 civil penalty against National Air Cargo Group for allegedly failing to comply with requirements for loading and securing heavy cargo.
The FAA alleges that during March and April 2013, National Air Cargo failed to comply with Federal Aviation Regulations while loading heavy military vehicles onto two of the company's Boeing 747 freighters operated by the company.
The jets were flown on seven flights while loaded with one or more mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), each weighing between 23,001 lbs (10.4 tonnes) and 37,884 lbs (17.1 tonnes).
The FAA alleges that National did not comply with the operating limitations set forth in the B747's flight manuals, resulting in cargo that was not properly secured to prevent movement that could affect the safe operation of the aircraft.
On April 29, 2013, one of the B747 aircraft crashed immediately after takeoff from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan while loaded with five MRAPs, killing its crew of seven and destroying the aircraft. The FAA alleges that National did not secure those vehicles in accordance with the limitations set forth in the aircraft's flight manual.
The probable cause of the accident is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. National has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.