Yesterday, September 5, 2019, an American Airlines mechanic was charged with sabotaging an aircraft’s navigation system. The incident occurred early in the summer but charges were brought yesterday. The aircraft had been scheduled to leave for Nassau, Bahamas from Miami, Fla. shortly with 150 passengers.
A criminal complaint was filed in Miami and says Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani confessed on July 17 to investigators that he had purposely blocked a “sensor that monitors speed, pitch and other critical data,” according to reports. The reports say that crews discovered the problem and did not takeoff. The problem was discovered as the flight crew powered up for take-off and an alarm was triggered. The flight crew aborted the takeoff.
A story in the Dallas Morning News said, “Alani later told investigators that he was upset with failed contract negotiations between American Airlines and maintenance workers that have been dragging on for more than four years, according to the federal complaint.”
Back in the hangar, a mechanic found a tube connecting the air data module system had been blocked by some type of material. The complaint says Alani admitted gluing a piece of styrofoam to the tube so it wouldn’t come off. He verified it was blocking the sensor by checking the system in the cockpit. Alani said he was hoping to get create the need for overtime work. He was charged with “willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so,” according to the complaint.