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When the news broke that the Federal Aviation Administration was proposing to fine Delta Air Lines $987,000 for several maintenance infractions committed in 2010, many reports depicted it as a big deal. But is it? A million bucks may sound like a lot to us, but to a giant airline with annual sales of more than $30 billion, it’s chump change. And as our in-depth investigation of airline maintenance revealed, airlines rarely end up paying anything close to what the FAA initially proposes in these investigations.