On crash anniversary, airline resumes own maintenance.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The commuter airline whose plane crashed on takeoff in Charlotte 13 months ago, killing all 21 aboard, will stop outsourcing routine maintenance on its aircraft.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators believe mechanics in Huntington, W.Va., working under contract for Air Midwest made mistakes that contributed to the deadly crash. Under federal regulations, Air Midwest was responsible for the outsourced maintenance on US Airways Express Flight 5481, which crashed on Jan. 8, 2003.
"After an accident like that, you reassess," said Jonathan Ornstein, chief executive of Air Midwest's parent company, Mesa Air Group. Bringing maintenance back in-house is cost-effective and provides the airline more direct control, he said.
Within months, the airline will again do all of its own routine, overnight maintenance, an airline spokesman said. A contractor will continue to do heavy structural repairs, which typically take planes out of service for 10 to 15 days.
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