An American Airlines mechanic was arrested and charged with sabotaging a plane.
An American Airlines mechanic has been charged with tampering with an aircraft before a flight of 150 passengers was scheduled to depart Miami International Airport.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani tampered with a sensor connecting to the plane’s air data module (ADM) on July 17.
His intention was to collect overtime payment, as he had been struggling financially due to stalled contract negotiations between the mechanics’ unions and American Airlines.
Flight AA2834 from Miami to the Bahamas was forced to abort its take off and return to the gate.
In the call from the cockpit to the air traffic control tower, the pilot can be heard saying: “Tower American 2834. Just, we got a work maintenance issue. We had some lights going on. We may have to go back to the gate. We’ll know in about 2 or 3 minutes.”
When mechanics examined the plane, they found a piece of foam glued inside the ADM.
Surveillance footage captured Alani driving to the aircraft earlier and spending seven minutes tampering with the plane.
The incident was “disturbing and disappointing to all of us,” David Seymour, American’s senior vice president of integrated operations, told employees Friday.
“Fortunately, with appropriate safety protocols and processes, this individual’s actions were discovered and mitigated before our aircraft flew. We have been cooperating with authorities in this matter and will continue to do so.”
Alani told police he did not intend to cause any harm to either the plane or the passengers.
He is expected to appear in federal court in Miami on Friday.