$2.5 Million Penalty On American Eagle Airlines
February 1, 2010 – “The traveling public has to be confident that
airlines are following important safety rules,” said U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood. “When they are not operating to the highest levels
of safety, they are subject to stiff fines.” The Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has proposed a civil penalty totaling almost $2.5
million against American Eagle Airlines for operating flights without
adequately ensuring the weight of baggage was properly calculated.
The FAA alleges that between January and October 2008, American Eagle
conducted at least 154 passenger-carrying flights when the baggage
weight listed on airplane cargo load sheets disagreed with data entered
into the company’s Electronic Weight and Balance System.
Entry of erroneous
data into the weight and balance system results in an incorrect
computation of the weight and balance of a particular aircraft. This can
potentially lead to faulty calculations for the proper control settings
and reference speeds necessary for safe takeoffs and landings.
“Our inspectors are hard at work every day across the country looking
for any safety issues at airlines,’’ said FAA Administrator Randy
Babbitt. “When we find an apparent violation of our safety rules we
conduct an investigation, pursue civil penalties when necessary and
require the airline to correct the problems.”
The FAA alleges that after the situation was brought to the attention of American Eagle, the company operated at least 39 flights without correcting the problem.
After the FAA’s initial investigation, American Eagle took corrective
action by revising its Station Operating Manual to ensure that proper
weight and balance information is confirmed, pending automation of its
cargo load sheets. However, the violations resulted in a proposed civil
penalty of $2,475,000.
American Eagle Airlines is a brand name used by American Eagle Airlines, Inc. (formerly Simmons Airlines), based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Executive Airlines based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the operation of passenger air service as regional affiliates of American Airlines. All three airlines are wholly-owned subsidiaries of AMR Corp. American Airlines also has unrelated airlines under contract to provide regional service under the American Connection brand.
Operating over 1,800 flights a day, serving 159 cities across the
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