American Airlines: seats not installed properly - New York News

American Airlines: seats not installed properly

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The federal government is examining two separate incidents in which passenger seats came loose midflight on American Airlines planes in the last three days.

The airline said the seats were not properly installed and would inspect 47 Boeing 757 jets "out of an abundance of caution." It fixed the seats on 36 of the jets, the AP reported.

"American's internal investigation has focused on one of three types of Main Cabin seats on the 757s and how the rows of these three seats fit into the track that is used to secure the rows to the floor of the airplanes," the airline said in a statement. "Our maintenance and engineering teams have discovered that the root cause is a saddle clamp improperly installed on the foot of the row leg. These clamps were used on only 47 of our 102 Boeing 757 airplanes."

American Airlines said the FAA was aware of its internal review and its findings.

A Boston-to-Miami American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy Airport when a row of passenger seats became unbolted and reportedly slid around.

Flight 685 landed safely at JFK on Saturday afternoon.

The Texas-based carrier admitted the problem was forced to land in New York.

On Monday, an American flight from New York to Miami returned to JFK after loose seats were discovered.

A pilots' union spokesman said the seats weren't attached.

"A row of seats basically became unbolted from the floor. The seats were completely not attached," Sam Mayer, a New York-based AA pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association told the New York Post.

"With turbulence, you have to be cautious. That's why everyone has to stow everything under the seat to prevent loose objects from flying around the cabin — and you've got a whole row of seats unbolted," Mayer added. "It's a head-scratcher, the first time I've heard of it in 24 years with American."

The crew became alerted to the problem after takeoff, but the Boeing 757 was already too far out to return to Logan Airport, and requested an emergency landing at JFK.

Because the jet had just taken off it had to land "heavy" or with a near-full tank of fuel prompting a crash-emergency response unit to be on hand.

The cause of the incident is under internal review, according to American Airlines.  It says the FAA was notified about the incident and that it would inspect those and six other Boeing 757 jets.

In yet another blow to the beleaguered air carrier, which is struggling with labor strife and bankruptcy.

American Airlines threatened legal action against the pilots' union over an alleged work slowdown. The airline had complained about an unusually high number of frivolous maintenance write-ups that have caused a spike in delays and canceled flights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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