American faces FAA scrutiny after landing problems

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FAA said Friday it is heightening scrutiny of American Airlines after the carrier had three landings go wrong in December.

"In situations where there may be several incidents involving a single carrier over a short period of time, FAA inspectors increase their oversight, which we're doing now," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said.

The review was prompted by the botched landings of three planes between Dec. 13 and Dec. 24. In the Dec. 13 incident, an MD-80 landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina touched down and went off the left side of the runway. While trying to get back onto the runway, the plane's right wingtip touched the ground.

On Dec. 22, a Boeing 737 overran a runway amid heavy rain at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica, injuring 91 passengers.

And on Dec. 24, an MD-80 en route from Chicago struck a wingtip upon landing in Austin, Texas.

Billy Sanez, a spokesman for American, a unit of AMR Corp (AMR, Fortune 500)., told CNN Friday that the airline is cooperating with the investigation, which he said was routine in landing incidents.

Lunsford said the review will help determine whether the botched landings "might be indicative of a larger issue."

If so, he said "the FAA communicates its findings to the air carrier and assists in the development of the appropriate corrective action."

-- CNN's Mike Ahlers and Dave Alsup contributed to this report. To top of page

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