OPINION: Inspection mistake delays 40 American Eagle flights; or are you feeling safer yet?
Inspection mistake delays 40 American Eagle flights Transportation Security Administration official touched sensitive equipment, officials say
By Jon Hilkevitch | Chicago Tribune reporter
- August 20, 2008
A blunder by a federal security officer who was inspecting aircraft forced American Eagle to delay 40 flights Tuesday at O'Hare International Airport while the planes were examined for possible damage, airline officials said.
The Transportation Security Administration officer was conducting routine checks to make sure that planes parked at the airport overnight were secure from tampering, according to the federal security agency and American Airlines, which owns and operates American Eagle.
But while ensuring that aircraft doors were locked properly, the inspector either stepped onto or grabbed sensitive avionics probes mounted on the fuselage of nine American Eagle planes, officials said.
"There is a sign that clearly says, 'Don't step,' " said Americ
Not only that. TSA did not own up to this. It only came to light after AA Eagle employees spotted what was going on.
American Eagle Airlines Statement About TSA Actions in Chicago
Last update: 6:12 p.m. EDT Aug. 20, 2008 FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug 20, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- American Eagle Airlines agrees with the TSA that the inspection process is an important layer of security detail. American Eagle is confident that it followed all proper security procedures for securing aircraft overnight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Discussing specific security procedures in detail in a public forum could compromise the security process. On the morning of Aug. 19, a TSA transportation security inspector used a sensitive piece of equipment on nine American Eagle aircraft to hoist himself up from the ground onto several jet bridges at O'Hare. Such unorthodox inspection techniques required additional maintenance inspections per FAA procedures, causing delays to approximately 40 flights and inconveniencing hundreds of customers. If not observed by vigilant Eagle employees in Chicago, the actions of this inspector would have been unknown and could have jeopardized the safety of our customers and crew because of potential damage to the sensitive equipment mounted on the aircraft fuselage. American Eagle is also concerned that the TSA inspector's method of physically hoisting himself up to the jet bridge using a part of the aircraft could have placed him in physical danger.
I, for one, am frankly tired of bullying, stupidity, inefficiency and arrogance masquerading as improving my security. Unlike many, and to the distress of Boy George and his thugs, I am not afraid of terrorists. Concerned? Yes. Don't plan to be stupid? Yes.
However, the terrorists need do no more. They have won has the current regume has surrendered us to a bloated, callous, stupid, inefficient, arrogant and useless bureacracy called the Transporation Safety Administration. By the time the "War on Terror" is over, people with guts and common sense may be begging the terrorists to kill us to put us out of our misery.
Congratulations Ussama bin Laden. Not onlly did Boy George let you get away, he's surrendered our country and freedoms to you. The good news is that Canada and France may soon follow the U.S. and U.K. into this hand-wrining consciousness.