American Airlines Mechanic Charged with Sabotaging Aircraft Navigation System Before Flight

By Jesse Sokolow on 5 September 2019
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American Airlines aircraft at Miami International Airport

American Airlines aircraft at Miami International Airport

A Miami-based American Airlines aircraft mechanic was charged on Thursday with sabotage after he tampered with an aircraft’s navigation system.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani was frustrated with the slow pace of union negotiations with American Airlines, he told authorities.  He is said to have glued foam inside a tube leading from outside the plane to its air data module, a component of the aircraft’s navigation system that gathers critical flight data including aircraft speed and pitch.  The plane was then scheduled to take off as Flight 2834, which had 150 passengers on board, although the flight was cancelled when the sabotage resulted in an error alert.

Alani told the arresting federal air marshals that “his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers” and that his goal was to “to cause a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”  He was charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft.”

The arrest is the latest issue to arise in the strained relationship between the airline and its 12,000-strong mechanics union.

Earlier this summer, a federal judge in Forth Worth, where American is headquartered, told the two unions representing the airline’s mechanics they would have to fine their own members if their actions cause flight delays or cancellations after having two weeks earlier issued an order telling them to end their work slow down and other efforts to disrupt the airline’s schedule.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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