FAA could fine its Bagram litigant

National Air Cargo Boeing 747 Freighter

The US government’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $77,000 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 failed to comply with US government federal aviation regulations while loading heavy military vehicles onto two Boeing 747 freighters.

The 747F were flown on seven flights while loaded with one or more mine resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), with each MRAP weighing between 23,001 pounds (10,435 kilogrammes) and 37,884 pounds.

The FAA allages that one of the occasions of non-compliance during that two month period in 2013 was on 29 April. On that day one of the two 747Fs crashed immediately after take-off from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan while loaded with five MRAPs. The seven crew died and the aircraft was destroyed. The probable cause of the accident is still under investigation by the US government’s National Transportation Safety Board.

The FAA alleges that National did not comply with the operating limitations set forth in the 747 flight manual. National Air Cargo has asked to meet with the FAA.
The carrier has taken legal action against the FAA regarding an unpaid insurance claim. National, and its insurer AIG, are sueing the FAA for $45 million for refusing to pay out $42 million under a non-premium and liability war risk policy, which the firms claim covered the fatal 29 April crash.