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Maintenance contractors had issues installing seats for American


Inadequate training and a lack of safety bulletins at contractors hired by American Airlines may have been factors in several incidents of seats coming loose on the airline’s planes last month. The company outsourced the work of adjusting the spacing between rows of seats in many of its aircraft over the summer, as well as the task of shifting overhead lighting controls and emergency oxygen masks. A San Diego contractor working on American’s 767s told the airline in August that its mechanics misinterpreted installation instructions and did the job wrong on at least one plane. Installers at another contractor in South Carolina made a similar error in September, but it wasn’t until October that American issued an alert to all its contractors to be aware of seat brackets that appeared to be installed correctly, but which were not actually secure. The FAA is investigating whether American was supervising its contractors, as it is required to do.