The Associated Press September 9, 2011, 4:04PM ET

FAA plans $590,000 penalty for Alaska Airlines

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $590,000 penalty against Alaska Airlines on Friday, saying it operated a Boeing 737 on 2,107 flights with a defect that caused a cockpit fire.

The FAA said a hose clamp had been installed improperly and caused wiring to chafe, leading to the fire in the cockpit ceiling of the jet parked at the gate at Anchorage International Airport on Jan. 18, 2010. It said the maintenance manual for the 737-400 includes an explicit warning about installing the hose clamp properly. The airline then found the same problem on nine other planes in its fleet and fixed them. The FAA said there were no other fires.

Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said the fire was very small and was immediately extinguished by a technician who was working on the equipment in the cockpit at the time.

Egan said the airline will "work cooperatively with the FAA during the standard negotiation process regarding proposed civil penalties."

Shares of the airline's Seattle-based parent company Alaska Air Group Inc. fell $1.31, or 2.4 percent, to $53.40 86 in afternoon trading.


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