TSA Snafu Damages Nine Planes at O'Hare Field

Rizer

Well-Known Member
By JOSEPH RHEE, BRIAN ROSS, and ERIC LONGABARDI
August 19, 2008

Nine American Eagle airplanes were grounded Tuesday after a TSA inspector, conducting an overnight security check, used sensitive instrument probes to climb onto the parked aircraft at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, aviation sources tell ABCNews.com.

A TSA official confirmed the incident.

At least forty regional commuter flights were delayed throughout the day, according to American Airlines. "We think it's an unfortunate situation," American airlines spokesperson Mary Frances told ABCNews.com.

The TSA agent, as part of spot inspection of aircraft security, climbed onto the parked aircraft using control sensors mounted on the fuselage as handholds, according to a TSA official in Chicago, Elio Montenegro.

"Our inspector was following routine procedure for securing the aircraft that were on the tarmac," Montenegro told ABCNews.com.

The TSA agent was attempting to determine if someone could break into a parked aircraft, according to Montenegro.

"The brilliant employees used an instrument located just below the cockpit window that is critical to the operation of the onboard computers," one pilot wrote on an American Eagle internet forum. "They decided this instrument, the TAT probe, would be adequate to use as a ladder," the pilot wrote.


Another pilot wrote the TSA agents, "are now doing things to our aircraft that may put our lives, and the lives of our passengers at risk."

The TSA has been conducting such overnight spot checks at airports around the country.

Another airline, Mesa Air Group, told its employees earlier this month that "48 percent of all TSA investigations involving Mesa Air Group involve a failure to maintain area/aircraft security."

Mesa said it was imposing a "zero-tolerance" policy for such violations, threatening employees with dismissal.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5613502&page=1
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Good... I feel much better now about kicking a TSA Inspector off my airplane the other day after he broke the lav door during his "security" inspection.
 

ILSstud

Well-Known Member
Somehow, I am not surprised... :( That is a pretty blatant example of negligence though...I wonder if they learn what wings and jet engines are in their "training" ...probably not.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
You got to be kidding me.

Not like I respected these idiots before. . .but now. . .jesus. . .stay the hell away from our airplanes dip####s.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
I'm fortunate to not have one of these clowns walk up to me yet during my first flight of the day checks, but they certainly won't be coming anywhere close to me or the airplane. If they want me to do something - they can stand 50 feet back and yell some inaudible phrase directing me to do what they would like - and well - if I don't want to do it. . .I couldn't hear you, and you're not coming closer. You might break it.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
I'm fortunate to not have one of these clowns walk up to me yet during my first flight of the day checks, but they certainly won't be coming anywhere close to me or the airplane. If they want me to do something - they can stand 50 feet back and yell some inaudible phrase directing me to do what they would like - and well - if I don't want to do it. . .I couldn't hear you, and you're not coming closer. You might break it.
Uh huh...sure tough guy. You - an FO at that - kick a TSA agent off the plane for no reason? Right.

On a side note. If the Eagle planes are like the CRJ, all you have to do to "break into" the airplane is open the flippin' door.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Nothing about being a tough guy, it's about protecting company property from idiots, and protecting the flying public from idiots who very well may damage an aircraft without a flight crew member being present.
 

MarkE

Murrrrrph!
So I was thinking he used the pitot tube to hoist himself up but can someone tell me what a TAT probe is?
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
They do not have the authority to climb aircraft and try to see if it can be broken into.

Which is it going to be?

Someone has to be held accountable, and honestly - the whole agency is a joke. A joke, that is costing us as taxpayers much more than they are ever going to provide. A joke, that is costing us as airline employees (more importantly - pilots) with increased liability if one of these jokers ends up deciding to check an airplane and break something without fessing up to it. I wouldn't put it past a couple of the high school kids who lack the maturity to respect people's items going through security to respect a companies property on an isolated airport ramp, clearly they failed to respect American Eagle's property.

Hate to say it, but it's my ass as an FO, along with the PIC's, if something is dinged on the airplane and no one knows why / how it got there.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Of course you have the responsibility as a pilot to inform them what they are doing would hurt the aircraft - but instructing them to stand 50 feet away and ignore them is something that - while you can talk about on a message board - would have a bad ending for you and your company I think.
 

ZapBrannigan

Old School
Uh oh... somebody has Captain-itis.

If the first officer in my crew sees some clown "climbing" the airplane, you better believe he/she has the authority to get them down, and -- if they're on the same page as I am -- having spiderman arrested.

When the PIC is not present, the SIC is in command (by definition).

Don't let your head get so big that you can't put on your Captain hat and fit through the cockpit door.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Of course you have the responsibility as a pilot to inform them what they are doing would hurt the aircraft - but instructing them to stand 50 feet away and ignore them is something that - while you can talk about on a message board - would have a bad ending for you and your company I think.
I only have two eyes. Two eyes that are focused on providing a thorough pre-flight of an aircraft. Leaving no extra eyes to monitor them while they monitor me, who knows what shenanigans they are getting into while I'm busy checking the aft equipment bay for little boxes with TSA written on them.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
If the first officer in my crew sees some clown "climbing" the airplane, you better believe he/she has the authority to get them down, and -- if they're on the same page as I am -- having spiderman arrested.
Agree 100% as I previously posted.

However when you start playing games with a government agency as surreal eluded to you get yourself and the company in the hot seat.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
What did he try to climb up using a pitot tube or an AOA probe?

Good grief, what an idiot.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Agree 100% as I previously posted.

However when you start playing games with a government agency as surreal eluded to you get yourself and the company in the hot seat.
Playing games?

Ever gone a bit over 250kts below 10k? And been asked what your present speed is? 250kts right? (Not guilty of this. . .)

Can't be playing games with government agencies now.

Fine, maybe not 50 feet, how about 25 feet. And certainly not behind the flap area, wouldn't want them to get hurt when the PIC sets the flaps to 20* instead of 8* for takeoff. Also wouldn't want them to get too close to the APU exhaust, oh the nightmare that would cause. :eek:

Might be viewed as playing games - but I don't play games. I cover my ass.
 

Van_Hoolio

Well-Known Member
So I was thinking he used the pitot tube to hoist himself up but can someone tell me what a TAT probe is?
TAT = Total Air Temperature

It's basically one of the probes that sticks out. I'll see if I can find a pic or diagram.

TSA = The Stupid Agency

One of the things I like about Mexico is that there are soldiers with guns out on the ramp. I have a lot more faith in them to keep our aircraft secure overnight then anything the TSA is capable of.

Mike
 
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