American Airlines issued this statement this afternoon saying it will inspect 47 of its Boeing 757 aircraft for problems with the main cabin seats.
“Overnight, a group of engineers, tech crew chiefs and inspectors from American's Tulsa Maintenance Base evaluated airplanes at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport while other airplanes were inspected at other facilities around the country. Originally, American planned to evaluate the seats on eight Boeing 757 airplanes, but out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to proactively evaluate a total of 47 Boeing 757 airplanes that have the same model Main Cabin seats with a common locking mechanism. Thirty-six airplanes were evaluated by maintenance personnel overnight and another 11 airplanes will be evaluated to finish the inspection.
“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. 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.
“The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one workgroup.
“The FAA is aware of our internal review and its findings, as well as the steps we are taking to proactively address the issue. We continue to work closely with the FAA.
“American regrets the inconvenience that this maintenance issue may have caused customers on affected flights. Safety is – and always will be – American's top concern.”