American Airlines inspects 48 planes, repairs loose seats
BY Staff and Wire reports
Friday, October 05, 2012
10/05/12 at 4:06 AM
See previous stories about American Airlines and its Tulsa operations.Original Print Headline: American finishes seat inspections on 48 jets
American Airlines says it has finished inspecting 48 planes and fixing loose seats on some of them.
A spokeswoman said Thursday that engineers were still determining how many planes needed repairs.
The airline says all the planes are back in service.
In the last week, seats came loose on three flights involving Boeing 757s that were recently refurbished inside, including having seats removed and reinstalled. Two of the flights were forced to make emergency landings.
American says it will spend the next few weeks working with federal aviation regulators and manufacturers to review what it did with the seats.
American blames the system used to attach the legs of each row of seats to the aircraft floor.
"We believe a contributing factor is with the seat tracking and locking mechanism, not with where the work was performed," said American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely. "While American Airlines employees and third-party contractors have worked on the 757 aircraft involved, we have the utmost confidence in our highly skilled maintenance and engineering teams as well (as) our contract maintenance providers."
As part of its bankruptcy restructuring, American in September outsourced two 757 "Main Cabin Extra lines" to TIMCO Aviation Services, a third-party maintenance provider in Greensboro, N.C.
TIMCO is relocating the Boeing 757 seating to create more passenger legroom, officials said, and the process involves removing the seats and relocating them along with the overhead fans, lights, wiring and power ports.
Some 757 seating also is maintained by American workers at the Tulsa Maintenance & Engineering Center where the aircraft are brought for major periodic maintenance, company executives said.