American Airlines mechanic charged with sabotaging navigation system

BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

On 17 July, an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 (N861NN) was about to take-off for flight AA2834 between Miami, United States, and Nassau, the Bahamas, when the pilots received a warning signal on its navigation system: the air data module system that reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical flight data.

The aircraft – carrying 150 passengers – returned to the gate for an additional inspection of the error. A mechanic found a loosely connected tube in front of the nose gear underneath the cockpit that had been deliberately obstructed with some sort of hard foam material.

The flight departed 4 hours later after repairs were made.

On Thursday, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, an American Airlines mechanic has been arrested on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling the navigation system. The reason for his behaviour was his upset over stalled union contract negotiations.

Alani has been charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft” and is expected to have his first appearance in Miami federal court on Friday. He said that he only tampered with the plane’s air data module “in order to cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”

BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

Bart Noëth: Since 1996, I have been working in the Belgian airline industry, from a weekend job as a cabin aircraft cleaner to a flight attendant. After the demise of Sabena - in 2001, I created a website called, originally a meeting place for plane spotters and aviation freaks. Since 2017, the website changed into a professional news site. Next to aviation, I love to travel, wine and dine and enjoy my time off(-line) with my friends and family. My favourite football squad is KV Mechelen, I am an Ironman 70.3 finisher and my ambition is to complete a full Ironman.
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