Thursday, September 15, 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration regulators have proposed to fine regional airline, Colgan Air of Manassas, Va, $1.9 million. Colgan Air allegedly has been allowing flight attendants who were not trained to use fire extinguishing systems aboard the plane to continue working despite warnings.
84 newly hired flight attendants were allowed to work onboard flights of the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400, a twin turbo prop aircraft, for a week in 2009 after an FAA inspector notified the company that the new-hires were not properly trained to use fire extinguishing mechanisms onboard that particular airplane. A total of 172 flights were taken that week with the untrained flight attendants.
The FAA stated that the flight attendants had been trained on a previous fire extinguishing system that was different from the system on the Dash 8-Q400 aircraft. The two systems work differently which is why additional training is required.
Colgan Air was heavily criticized for their lack of pilot training after the February 2009 crash in Buffalo, N.Y. which killed 50 people. In that crash, icing conditions were prevalent and cockpit recordings can hear both pilots discussing their inexperience handling certain situations.