FAA Proposes $155,000 in Civil Penalties Against American Eagle Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing $155,000 in civil penalties against American Eagle Airlines of Fort Worth, Texas for allegedly operating eight flights with incorrect weight and balance data, and for using improper maintenance procedures when repairing a jet engine and then operating the aircraft when it was not in compliance with FAA regulations.

FAA inspectors observed 12 American Eagle flights arriving at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dec. 28-29, 2010. In eight instances, loading documents for checked luggage did not match observations made by the inspector.

American Eagle’s FAA-approved weight and balance program calls for the use of an automated Electronic Weight and Balance System (EWBS) to make sure aircraft are operated with correct weight and balance information. However, accurate data must be entered for the EWBS to function properly.

Operators may not exceed an aircraft’s weight limit when loading the plane and the weight must be distributed so that the aircraft remains in balance during the flight. The FAA alleges American Eagle entered inaccurate data in the EWBS, then operated the aircraft with incorrect weight and balance information. The proposed civil penalty is $80,000.

The FAA also alleges American Eagle used improper procedures to repair an engine on one of its Embraer 135 regional jets, and that a mechanic signed off as “complete” on work he had not performed. As a result, American Eagle operated the aircraft on 34 flights between Sept.11 and Sept. 17, 2010, when it was not in compliance with regulations. The proposed civil penalty is $75,000.

American Eagle has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the agency.

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