FAA Proposes $2.5 Million Penalty On American Eagle Airlines <


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FAA Proposes $2.5 Million Penalty On American Eagle Airlines

By Mike Mitchell (update)

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 has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s civil penalty letter to respond to the agency. 

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 USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, American Eagle is considered to be the world's largest regional airline system. The American Eagle brand is an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance, and has code sharing agreements with Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines on California routes. The name was also used between April 1980 and April 1981 by an unrelated air charter service that suspended operations and filed bankruptcy before flying any scheduled operations.

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