MIAMI, FL. (THECOUNT) — Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, an American Airlines mechanic in Miami, was charged Thursday with “sabotaging the navigation system” aboard a plane prior to a flight bound for Nassau, Bahamas.
The incident, which came earlier this summer, was detailed in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Miami. American Airlines said, Alani, who works at Miami International Airport, admitted to investigators that on July 17 he intentionally blocked a sensor on a plane that monitors speed, pitch and other critical data.
Alani was arrested Thursday and will make an initial appearance Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami.
Thank all that is good, crews discovered the problem before taking off and aborted the flight.
Alani later admitted to investigators that he was upset with failed contract negotiations between American Airlines and maintenance workers that have been dragging on for more than four years.
In the interview with law enforcement, Alani reportedly said the contract dispute “affected him financially.”
“Alani claimed that he tampered with the Target Aircraft in order to cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work,” the court filing said, reports DallasNews.
Alani is charged with willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so, the complaint said.
Passengers boarded a new plane and continued to Nassau, Bahamas.
“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,” said a statement from American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein. “At the time of the incident, the aircraft was taken out of service, maintenance was performed and after an 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.”
Geo quick facts: Miami, officially the City of Miami, is an American city that is the seat of Miami-Dade County, and is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida. The city covers an area of about 56 square miles between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east – Wikipedia.