NTSB blames American Airlines for plane fire at Lambert

Washington, D.C. – Safety officials are blaming poor oversight by American Airlines of aircraft maintenance for an engine fire in 2007 that forced an emergency landing.

The findings, by the National Transportation Safety Board, come as the airline faces heightened scrutiny by the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency recently assigned a special team of 17 inspectors to examine American's aircraft maintenance and other operations. The special audit is expected to take about three months.

The NTSB conducted a hearing on Tuesday to investigate the Sept. 28, 2007 incident in which American Flight 1400's left engine caught fire during a departure climb from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.