An American Airlines mechanic in Miami has been charged with sabotaging an aircraft after allegedly disabling a navigation system on a flight carrying 150 passengers, The Miami Herald reports, citing a criminal complaint affidavit. The veteran employee, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, was allegedly upset over stalled union contract negotiations between the airline and the mechanics’ union. He is accused of tampering with the navigation system of a plane about to take off to Nassau, Bahamas. Luckily, the sabotage triggered an alert as the pilots powered up the plane’s engines. The alert caused the flight to be aborted while routine inspection could be conducted. During the inspection, another mechanic discovered what appeared to be deliberate obstruction with a hard foam material.
Alani allegedly glued foam inside a tube leading from outside the plane to its air data module, according to the affidavit. If the obstruction had not been caught, the pilots would have had to fly manually, without any computer data. According to the affidavit, Alani told federal air marshals after his arrest that he did not want to harm passengers, and only wanted to “cause a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”