SabreTech closes Orlando maintenance facility
Jan. 18, 1997
WASHINGTON (AP) _ An aircraft maintenance company that worked on the doomed ValuJet airliner will close its repair station in Orlando, Fla., in the face of alleged safety violations, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.
The FAA said SabreTech Inc. took the action voluntarily after the agency notified the company that it was prepared to order the facility be shut down.
A two-month investigation of SabreTech's Orlando repair station found the company falsified records by signing off on work that was not actually performed and failed to have proper tools, equipment and materials needed for repairs it performed, the FAA said. The company also performed maintenance without the proper manuals on hand, the agency said.
``Safety of the traveling public is our charge and we must ensure the safe operation of every facet of the aviation system. The traveling public expects no less,'' said acting FAA Administrator Linda Hall Daschle.
The FAA said it would begin examining SabreTech's operations in Texas and Arizona in the next two weeks.
SabreTech's Miami base, which prepared oxygen generators as cargo for ValuJet Flight 592, shut down Wednesday and is for sale.
Handling of the oxygen canisters is suspected of causing the ValuJet crash in the Everglades on May 11. The crash killed all 110 people aboard.
An Aviation Week magazine report to be published Monday says alleged safety problems at SabreTech's Orlando and Phoenix operations were reported by SabreTech workers who came forward with concerns about maintenance performed at their facilities.
SabreTech, part of privately held Sabreliner Corp. based in St. Louis, is the nation's third largest aviation maintenance company for major aircraft overhauls of cockpits, passenger compartments and cargo holds.