FAA fights the Eagle

THE cash-strapped Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US is looking to bring in some money where it can – American Eagle is first in line.

The FAA is seeking a US$155,000 civil penalty against American Eagle, which operates regional flights for American Airlines, accusing the airline of violating cargo weight and balance rules and mishandling an engine repair job.

The FAA said inspectors found that Eagle entered inaccurate information in an automated system used for calculating weight and balance and operated eight flights that way in late December.

The aircraft made 34 flights between 11 September and 17 September 2010 to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport while not meeting FAA standards, the agency said. The FAA proposed an $80,000 fine for the incidents, adding another $75,000 fine for allegedly using improper procedures to repair a jet engine. A mechanic indicated the job was complete, but the work had not been done, the FAA said.

Airlines have to abide by aircraft weight limits, and federal rules require that loads be distributed so that the aircraft stays in balance during flight.

Eagle spokesman Ed Martelle said the company was reviewing the FAA allegations and would meet with agency officials.

Eagle has 30 days to respond to the FAA and can challenge the proposed penalty.

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