An American Airlines flight bound for Miami was forced to conduct an emergency landing Saturday after a row of seats succumbed to the salsa rhythms of its heart and started slip-slidin' around the interior of the aircraft to a throbbing Latin beat.
The New York Post reports that the seats in question were sliding around "like a carnival ride." Presumably, they mean a terrifying, malfunctioning carnival ride at one of those fly-by-night fairs that pops up in a mall parking lot for two days and then vanishes without a trace. Because normal carnival rides don't feature seats that suddenly become unfastened from their bearings and careen into things.
Crewmembers became aware of the issue when one of these rows of seats was not like the others (the row that was bouncing around all over the place) shortly after take-off in Boston. An emergency landing was requested over fears the seats would become completely airborne and collide with other passengers during the flight (just like a carnival ride). The plane was rerouted to JFK because it had gone too far beyond Logan Airport to turn around.
Sam Mayer, an American Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, confirmed that that business with the seats was pretty darn crazy, right?
"A row of seats basically became unbolted from the floor. The seats were completely not attached…It's a head-scratcher, the first time I've heard of it in 24 years with American."
Because the plane had just taken off, it was forced to land "heavy," with a nearly-full fuel tank. Heavy landings increase odds that a plane will hit the ground too hard and incur damage upon landing. Fortunately, that didn't happen because the American Airlines crew are consummate professionals who only sometimes forget to do things like make sure the seats are attached to the plane.
According to the Post, "airline insiders" are actually blaming an oversight on subcontractors who have recently begun replacing some American Airlines crewmembers in tasks related to routine maintenance and aircraft inspection.