American has determined what caused a few seats to come loose on some of their Boeing 757s, and they’ve posted an update on their website:
A group of engineers, tech crew chiefs and inspectors from our Tulsa Maintenance Base have evaluated airplanes at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport while other airplanes were inspected at our other facilities around the country. Out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision 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 and another 11 airplanes will be evaluated to finish the inspection.
Our 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 a possible 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 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. We regret the inconvenience that this maintenance issue may have caused for our customers on affected flights. Safety is — and always will be — American’s top concern.
It’s been a really rough week for American. Hopefully, now that they and their pilots are back at the negotiating table, operations will return to normal.