American Airlines says sabotage incident involved one individual
American Airlines says sabotage incident involved one individual
American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a Florida plane with 150 passengers on board
10 September, 2019, 14:51
"On July 17, flight 2834 from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, returned to the gate due to a maintenance issue".
Another worker seen in other footage said that the man inside was Alani.
An American Airlines mechanic is facing a federal charge after the navigation system on a jet with 150 people on board, bound from Miami to the Bahamas, was found to have been tampered with.
Alani told authorities he did not intend to harm anyone with his tampering, and he is not now being charged with terrorism. The 60-year-old had worked for American Airline since 1988 but was suspended after his arrest.
Alani was taken into custody Thursday and is expected to appear in federal court in Miami on Friday.
The American Airlines mechanic allegedly sabotaged a plane's navigation system.
Investigators say Alani, one of 12,000 American Airline union mechanics, told them he hadn't meant to hurt anyone and was only "upset" over the progress of contract negotiations between American Airlines and the mechanics union, which he claimed had "affected him financially".
After the pilots notified the error in the air data module, a system which reports on flight speed, pitch and other data, crews took the plane to an Ameircan Airlines hangar. He told the Federal Bureau of Investigation he wanted "to cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work". Federal investigators say he admitted to tampering with a part that provides vital flight information to pilots.
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In this April 24, 2019, photo, American Airlines aircraft are shown parked at their gates at Miami International Airport in Miami.
John Hansman, an aeronautics professor at MIT, said pilots would notice the absence of an airspeed reading or conflicting readings and abort the takeoff, as the American pilots did.
Unions have complained that American is trying to outsource more maintenance jobs, a move American has indicated is necessary to cover increased wages. Talks broke off in April but are scheduled to resume September 16. The company, which recently apologized to investors for various problems, has accused the union - the TWU-IAM Association - of purposefully slowing down work, causing hundreds of flights to be canceled over the summer.
On Friday, union officials distanced themselves from Alani. "From a union standpoint we wouldn't condone even the thought of doing this", Gary Peterson, a vice president at Transport Workers Union of America, was quoted as saying by CNBC. "If these allegations of sabotage are true, they are outrageous and indefensible, and we fully condemn such actions".
CNN reports that American Airlines inspected the aircraft, and discovered what the airline calls "a loosely connected pitot tube".
A spokesman for American said the airline had an "unwavering commitment" to safety and security and had placed passengers on the July 17 flight subject to the criminal complaint on another plane to get to their destination.
The airline said the incident was "extremely serious". He said American maintains full trust and confidence in its employees.
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