The American Airlines’ mechanic who admitted to sabotaging a plane in Miami was previously fired from Alaska Airlines.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani was arrested by the FBI last Thursday and purportedly confessed to tampering with the Air Data system on an American Airlines aircraft bound from Miami for the Bahamas. Alani told investigators his hope was not to harm others, but for the aircraft to be taken out of service so that he would be assigned more overtime work.
That little ploy, if true, backfired when video surveillance easily identified him sabotaging the aircraft. He faces an extended prison term and fine.
But now it has been revealed that this is not Alani’s first problem with an airline employer.
Amani has been a mechanic for American Airlines since 1988 but simultaneously became a mechanic for Alaska Airlines in 1998. Ten years later, in 2008, he was fired by Alaska for several maintenance mistakes, including some that prompted Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation. This led to the brief suspension of his mechanic’s license.
Alaska also claimed, when firing him, that in at three instances he was caught clocked in for American Airlines and Alaska at the same time.
One thing I’ve learned in my own businesses is to always perform background checks and ask for references when I am thinking about hiring someone. And these checks must occur not only at the point of hiring, but on an annual basis.
Alani may not have put anyone in actual danger with his maintenance stunt, but his reckless behavior had a long paper trail…
image: Tomás Del Coro / Wikimedia Commons