The American Airlines mechanic that has been charged with “willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so,” was seen on surveillance video footage tampering with the aircraft systems just an hour before the aircraft was scheduled to depart.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani had worked for American since 1988 and admitted to the act during questioning by authorities. He said in the interview he was upset about the stalled contract negotiations with the airline and their union and that these delays impacted him financially. Alani said he was hoping to get overtime pay for working to “fix” the aircraft in question.
The airline is cooperating with investigators. A statement released by the airline says, “At American we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members and we are taking this matter very seriously. At the time of the incident, the aircraft was taken out of service, maintenance was performed and after an inspection to ensure it was safe the aircraft was returned to service. American immediately notified federal law enforcement who took over the investigation with our full cooperation.”
Reports says Alani had been fired from Alaska Airlines decades ago after several bad performance reviews. It is also reported that he worked simultaneously for both airlines for years. Alani filed a discrimination suit at that time and during the investigation for that lawsuit, it was shown that he clocked in for both companies on numerous occasions. His A&P certificate was suspended briefly by FAA at that time.
A joint terror task force made the arrest in Miami, Fla. the first week of September. Alani is scheduled to be arraigned on September 20, 2019.