American Eagle Airlines was fined
$2.5 million by the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to ensure the
weight of luggage was properly calculated, FAA said.
The agency proposed the civil
penalty because of flights that operated with erroneous data between January
and October of 2008.
FAA claims that American Eagle
conducted at least 154 flights where the baggage weight logged on cargo load
sheets was different than data entered into the airline’s Electronic Weight and
Erroneous data, in turn, can lead
to the incorrect computation of the weight and balance of passenger-carrying
jets, potentially affecting calculations for proper controls and reference
speeds for takeoffs and landings.
“The travelling public has to be
confident that airlines are following important safety rules,” Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood said. “When they are not operating to the highest levels
of safety, they are subject to stiff fines.”
FAA said American Eagle operated at
least 39 more flights after being made aware of the problem.
“Our inspectors are hard at work
every day across the country looking for any safety issues at airlines,’’ FAA
Administrator Randy Babbitt said. “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.”
American Eagle has taken corrective
actions to ensure weight and balance information is confirmed pending the
automation of cargo load sheets. The carrier has 30 days to respond to the FAA.