Regional carrier ASA grounds jets for inspections

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlantic Southeast Airlines said Wednesday it has grounded 60 of its 112 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 jets after an internal audit raised safety concerns.

ASA is a unit of SkyWest Incorporated and one of nine regional carriers for Delta Air Lines Inc.

The groundings, which represent nearly 40 percent of ASA's total fleet, were expected to cause some flight delays for passengers flying ASA. Company spokeswoman Kate Modolo said it could take 36 to 42 hours to complete the inspections.

Modolo said the paperwork audit raised questions about whether the engines on Bombardier CRJ200 jets had been properly inspected according to the guidelines provided by the engines' manufacturer.

She said the company reported the problem itself to the Federal Aviation Administration and grounded the planes so they could be re-inspected as a precautionary measure.

The number of flights affected was not immediately available. The airline services airports in Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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