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Second American Airlines Flight Diverted For Loose Seat Issue

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BOSTON (CBS) – A loose seat issue forced two American Airlines flights to make emergency landings.

A Boston-to-Miami flight made an emergency landing in New York  over the weekend after a row of seats became loose. On Monday, another flight from JFK to Miami was forced to return to New York because of a similar issue.

American Airlines Flight 685 was diverted to JFK Saturday afternoon because a row of three seats became loose in the coach cabin of the Boeing 757. On Monday, Flight 443 returned to JFK after the loose seats were discovered.

The airline announced Monday that eight aircraft will be taken out of service as a result.

Listen: Cockpit Audio

Audio courtesy: LiveATC.net

No one was hurt in either incident.

In the cockpit audio from Saturday, the pilot can be heard saying: “Uh, got an unusual one for you. During climb out, passenger seats rows 12 B, E, and F came loose out of the floor. Passengers are unable to sit in that seat.”

Three passengers were moved to other seats, one to a flight attendant jump seat, before the plane landed safely.

Another jet was brought in to continue the flight to Miami.

It’s still not clear what caused the seats to loosen.

Some passengers who fly American Airlines to and from Miami are thinking about switching airlines. “My son’s seat, it was kind of rickety and falling off and we were trying to push it in, hold it in longer,” said Howard Dietrich, as he got off a flight from Miami to Boston Monday night.

Boston mother Kathy Coffey just returned from a visit with her daughter at the University of Miami. “It’s going to make me think twice about sending my daughter on American Airlines in a few weeks for Thanksgiving.”

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and American Airlines are looking into it.

“The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into two separate incidents involving American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliners that were taken out of service after passenger seat rows became loose in flight,” the FAA said in a statement.

“The airline’s initial inspection of each aircraft found other rows of seats that were not properly secured.”

American issued another statement Monday afternoon:

“An initial internal investigation into why a row of seats became loose on an American Airlines Boeing 757 bound from Boston to Miami on Saturday has indicated that there could be a possible issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit into the tracking used to secure the seats. Out of an abundance of caution, American has decided to proactively reinspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue.

“The seats were installed by American maintenance and contract maintenance. The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one work group. This afternoon, the company flew engineers, tech crew chiefs, and inspectors from its Tulsa maintenance base to New York to evaluate the aircraft and determine the next course of action to correct the problem.

“We are in contact with the FAA they are aware of our internal review.”

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields and Christina Hager contributed to this report.

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