Photo Credit: Photo by Quintin Gellar
American Airlines Mechanic Arrested For Sabotaging Aircraft To Get Overtime Pay
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani is an American Airlines mechanic who has been arrested for trying to sabotage a flight in July. In a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Alani was charged with “willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft.”
The tampering took place on July 17 when American Airlines pilots saw an error message on Flight 2834 departing from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. The flight was aborted for takeoff and the plane was then taken out of service.
Alani told law enforcement officials he tampered with the flight because he was “upset at the stalled contract dispute between the union workers and American Airlines and that this dispute had affected him financially.”
There is surveillance footage showing Alani at the gate prior to the flight’s takeoff. The criminal complaint says Alani purposely obstructed the ADM (air data module) system with a dark, styrofoam material.
According to USA TODAY, Alani says he had no intention to harm the plane or passengers. He tampered with the aircraft in hopes to cause a delay or cancellation so he could earn overtime pay.
In May, American Airlines filed a lawsuit against its mechanic unions, blaming mechanics for thousands of flight delays and cancellations. The lawsuit stated that mechanics were taking an “inordinately long time to repair aircrafts” and that they were refusing to work overtime.
In response to the criminal complaint, American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein issued a statement Thursday saying:
“On July 17, flight 2834 from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, returned to the gate due to a maintenance issue. Passengers boarded a new aircraft which then re-departed for Nassau. 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 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.”
According to the U.S. Attorneys Office in Miami, Alani will appear in court on Friday.