American Airlines Finds Cause of Loose-Seat Scare

American Airlines (PINK:AAMRQ) now knows what caused rows of seats to come loose on two flights during the past week and forced a pair of emergency landings:

Poorly installed clamps.

Safety inspections on the planes — all Boeing (NYSE:BA) 757 models — determined that the aircraft involved had improperly installed seat clamps, according to the Associated Press. Similar problems were found on four other planes during the inspections. 36 planes have been inspected, and the airline plans to check 11 more.

The installation of the clamps in question are done by a mix of American Airlines personnel and an outside contractor, Timco Aviation Services. Both of the planes involved had been serviced with their seats removed and reinstalled within the last two months.

The issue of blame has inflamed already heated discussions between American Airlines and the Transport Workers Union. The TWU represents American’s maintenance workers.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incidents.

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