American Airlines mechanic charged with sabotaging flight for overtime pay

Sept. 6 (UPI) — A man authorities say was a disgruntled American Airlines mechanic faces charges in a Miami courtroom Friday of sabotaging a flight this summer so he could collect overtime pay.

The American flight, from Miami to the Bahamas, aborted its takeoff roll at Miami International Airport on July 17 due to a malfunctioning navigation system. Pilots said an error message led them to stop the aircraft’s departure, with 150 passengers on board.

An affidavit filed in federal court Thursday said the mechanic, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, told authorities he’d been upset a stalled contract negotiations with American Airlines was affecting him financially.

Prosecutors say Alani inserted a piece of foam into the jet’s air data module, or ADM, which measures critical functions like the plane’s pitch and speed.

Alani said his intention was not to “cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers,” but rather to cause a delay or cancel the flight to secure overtime work, the affidavit said.

“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,” AA spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.


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