An American Airlines mechanic who was reportedly disgruntled due to failed contract negotiations was arrested and charged with disabling a plane’s navigation system before it was scheduled to depart.
According to the Miami Herald, veteran American mechanic Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani was arrested Thursday in Miami and charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft.”
American Flight 2834 was scheduled to depart from Miami International Airport en route to Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, The Bahamas on July 17 when the pilots noticed the aircraft’s warning system identified a problem and abandoned the takeoff.
After moving the 150 people on board to another flight, the damaged plane was moved to an American hanger at the Miami airport where it was inspected. During the process, mechanics found a tube underneath the cockpit that had been obstructed with foam.
The court documents show that Alani allegedly glued foam inside the tube leading from the outside of the plane to its air data module, hampering the navigation system that monitors aircraft’s speed and other flight data.
When questioned by federal officials, Alani reportedly admitted he installed the foam to cause a delay or cancellation but never meant to hurt anyone. He revealed the stalled contract negotiations between the mechanics’ union and the airline negatively impacted him financially.
Authorities reviewed CCTV footage and saw Alani exit a truck near the impacted plane and access the compartment where the foam was found. He is due in court Friday.
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