An American Airlines employee, reportedly angry over stunned union talks with the company, has been accused of disabling the navigation system on a flight scheduled to depart from Miami during the summer, investigators said Thursday.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran mechanic in the airline, was arrested on Thursday and charged with willful damage, destruction or deactivation of an aircraft, The Miami Herald reported, citing a rights certificate.
Pilots on aircraft 2834 heading for Nassau were alerted to a problem with an aircraft warning system before taking off on July 17, to prevent possible damage to the 1[ads1]50 people on board.
EASY EASY PASSENGER, AN OFF-DUTY PILOT, AIRCRAFT PILOT HAS NOT SHOWN
Crews took the aircraft to an American Airlines hangar at Miami International Airport for routine maintenance and eventually discovered a tampering inspection. A mechanic found a pipe under the cockpit that had been obstructed with foam, according to the paper.
Alani glued the foam inside the pipe leading from the outside of the aircraft to the air data module, federal prosecutors say. The system reports aircraft speed and other flight data.
He allegedly said that federal air ants were angry because of stalled contract negotiations between the mechanic's union and the airline, which had hurt him financially. He allegedly said he did not intend to harm anyone on board and had tampered with the aircraft's data module to cause a "delay or get the aircraft canceled."
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Investigators said they suspected Alani after considering video footage. In it, he is said to be on his way out of a truck on the flight day and to access the passenger compartment where the navigation system was located.
He is expected to appear in court Friday.