Abdul-Majeed Maraud Ahmed Alani, an American Airlines mechanic since 1998 is in Miami federal court today for “sabotaging” a plane carrying 150 passengers.
According to the Associated Press, the mechanic was frustrated with “stalled union contract negotiations” which had hit him financially. His solution? According to the criminal complaint affidavit filed in federal court Alani “tampered with a navigation system on the plane so that he could collect overtime work.”
His decision put the lives of 150 people on board at risk. The American Airlines plane was scheduled to fly from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas on July 17th. Thank goodness the pilots saw an error message “for a system that tracks speed, nose direction and other critical flight information” when they powered up the plane “and aborted the takeoff.”
Once the aircraft was inspected, they “found a piece of foam glued inside a navigation system part called an air data module.” Eerily, “video from an American Airlines surveillance camera captured a person who drove up to the plane, got out and spent seven minutes working around the compartment containing the navigation system, according to the affidavit.”
In an interview with the FBI entered in the affidavit, Alani stated “that his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers.” He continued, because of stalled contract negotiations with American Airlines and the mechanics’ unions he wanted “to cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”
Alani has been charged with willfully damaging or disabling an aircraft and is in federal court today in Miami.