150 people on board the Nassau flight could have been killed
(CMR) A mechanic for American Airlines was arrested Thursday and accused of trying to sabotage a commercial airliner shortly before it was set to take off from Miami International Airport for Nassau, Bahamas with 150 people on board.
He was disgruntled about stalled union contract negotiations and disabled a navigation system the flight. He claims that he did not intend to cause any harm to the plane or people but simply wanted to accrue some overtime.
As the plane was preparing for takeoff, the flight crew noticed an error with the air data module system and the flight was aborted. An American Airlines mechanic later discovered a loosely connected tube that connects to the air data module system.
“Further inspection revealed the ADM appeared to have been deliberately obstructed with what appeared to be a dark Styrofoam-type material,”Jose Ruiz – TSA Senior Federal Air Marshal – Affidavit statement
Upon reviewing surveillance video footage, Ruiz wrote, a man could be seen driving up next to the plane in a white pickup truck, getting out and accessing the compartment where the plane’s ADM is located. The man, later identified as Alani, spent about seven minutes fidgeting with equipment in the compartment before he returned to his truck and drove away, Ruiz wrote.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has been charged with “willfully damaging, destroying, disabling, or wrecking an aircraft, and attempting to do so,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.Alani allegedly tried to damage or disable the aircraft’s air data module (ADM) system, which reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical data, on July 17.