FAA recommends inspections of some airline seats

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators are recommending that airlines inspect certain seats after similar ones came loose on recent American Airlines flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday recommended that operators examine 11 types of seats made by Weber Aircraft LLC because they may be installed incorrectly.

The agency issued a bulletin for airlines but said the situation didn't merit a more serious order called an airworthiness directive.

The seats came loose during flights on at least two American Airlines planes in late September and early October. The airline said dirt and spilled drinks helped create gunk that gummed up hardware designed to lock the seat legs to tracks on the floor of the plane. Crews installed extra hardware on nearly 100 planes.

The problem caused the cancellation of dozens of flights and became an embarrassment for the airline.

The FAA said Friday that when the Weber seats are installed or worked on, a part called the shear plunger might not fully engage with the floor tracks "due to improper care and maintenance."

Officials at Weber Aircraft and American did not immediately respond to requests for comment.