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American Says More Planes Need Repairs To Seats

By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

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FORT WORTH (AP/CBSDFW) -After originally saying it had narrowed down a loose seat problem to just 48 of its planes, American Airlines says it has started work on 49 more.

Airline spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said Friday that crews will add a backup locking device to seats in most of its Boeing 767s. Those are wide-body planes used on international flights.

There have been no in-flight incidents impacting customers with the seat-locking mechanisms on these 767s. The airline says the added layer of safety involves the same aviation-strength locking device that American installed on some of its 757s.

Seats came loose on three flights involving two different Boeing 757s earlier this month. After several days the airline blamed the problem on wear and tear, and spilled drinks that gummed up a locking device. Sources told CBS11 that the same equipment was used on 767 planes. When asked directly if any other planes had the equipment, Vice President of Safety, Security, Environmental David Campbell said they did not.

“No. We have the same manufacturer but not the same design on this particular seat legs.” Campbell said.

CBS 11 asked about the discrepancy Friday. A spokesman said it was not until this week that American cross checked part numbers with the rest of the fleet and discovered the parts on the 767’s.

The airline says the FAA has approved the plan. American says after a complete inspection, none of their other fleet types have the same type of primary locking device.
Huguely says the work started Thursday and will be done by Oct. 21. She says the work will be done overnight and the airline won’t have to cancel any flights.

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