DALLAS — Federal regulators are proposing a $2.5 million penalty against a sister carrier of American Airlines for not making sure crews had accurate information about the weight of baggage on dozens of flights.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced the penalty today against AMR Corp.'s American Eagle.
Incorrect takeoff weights are considered a safety hazard if pilots rely on faulty information when determining the right speed for takeoff and landing.
The FAA charged that Eagle operated at least 39 flights after being told of the problem.
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American Eagle representatives did not immediately return a call for comment.
The FAA said that between January and October 2008, Eagle operated at least 154 flights in which baggage weight listed on cargo records differed from data entered into an automated system for tracking and balancing weight.
The agency said that Eagle eventually corrected the situation by changing its operating manual to ensure that proper weight and balance information is confirmed.
"The traveling 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."
Eagle has 30 days to respond to the FAA.
Weight and balance of cargo is considered a more significant issue for the kinds of smaller jets typically operated by Eagle and other regional carriers. Eagle often connects passengers from secondary airports to main hub airports served by American Airlines.