TSA considering prosecution of Eagle after TSA Agent breaks airplanes

~~~^~~~

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Point being - TSA will prosecute those who expose government buffonery. American is being warned to STFU. Best advice I could give anyone in an arguement with the TSA, or an airport security guard, is that they have to power of the US Government on their side and an UNLIMITED BUDGET to make your life miserable. American will somehow be punished for their honesty because it lacked deference to the all knowing, all wise, all powerful, government agency. It isn't just the TSA, it is the FAA, the DOJ, the FTC, etc. There is no restraint on them.
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By Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune reporter, 11:04 PM CDT, August 20, 2008


The Transportation Security Administration suffered embarrassment Wednesday over an inspector who climbed carelessly around the outside of nine American Eagle planes parked overnight at O'Hare International Airport. But just hours later, the agency struck back, saying the government employee portrayed as a bumbling Barney Fife was able to expose security lapses by entering seven of the jets.

The investigator gained access to the unattended Embraer regional jets during random inspections that are conducted every day at U.S. airports to verify compliance with security regulations and uncover potential security risks that criminals or terrorists could capitalize on to tamper with aircraft, agency officials said.

But American Airlines, the parent company of American Eagle, said it followed all security procedures.

"Security doesn't necessarily mean that the airplane door is locked," said American spokesman Tim Wagner. "We have security procedures, which I am not going to describe in any detail, that we perform with every aircraft overnight before the plane departs the next day."

In addition, the airline said actions taken by the security officer that the TSA later acknowledged were inappropriate—hanging onto sensitive equipment mounted on the aircraft fuselages to pull himself up to the doors—could have jeopardized the safety of passengers flying the next morning.

Fortunately, the airline said, "vigilant" American Eagle employees observed the investigator's "unorthodox inspection techniques," and maintenance inspections required under Federal Aviation Administration procedures were carried out.

Nonetheless, a TSA investigation is under way and could result in the security agency taking action against the airline, including fines, said agency spokesman Elio Montenegro.

"The aircraft needed to be secure and they weren't," Montenegro said. "It should not have happened."

Montenegro also said the agency has taken steps to "re-enforce education" among inspectors about equipment on plane exteriors.

The agency on Tuesday initially apologized after an American spokeswoman disclosed that the inspector could have damaged the nine airplanes he attempted to access by hoisting himself up from the tarmac using the avionics probes on the fuselages as hand grips or ladder rungs.

The probes, mounted on the side of aircraft, measure outside temperature and are key to maintaining proper temperature for onboard computers and cockpit navigation systems.

American grounded the nine planes until inspections concluded there was no physical damage. But the damage to American Eagle's O'Hare schedule was already done. Forty flights were delayed Tuesday, costing the airline money and inconveniencing hundreds of passengers, American said.

"We don't argue that the inspector used the probes as leverage to get into the aircraft," Montenegro said. "But terrorists would not be concerned if they broke a probe to gain access to a plane."

American said the TSA inspector lifted himself up to several of the airplanes using passenger jet bridges as well as the aircraft avionics equipment protruding from the fuselages.

Federal security regulations stipulate that jet bridges must be pulled back from unattended planes to prevent their use to access aircraft. The jet bridges are operated using keys and codes that only airline and airport employees carrying valid ID badges are authorized to possess.

The regulations also require that doors be closed on unattended airplanes. But once at door level, anyone can enter. Aircraft doors lock only from the inside.

Some airports require airlines to place security seals over aircraft doors when planes are parked overnight, security experts said. A broken seal indicates someone may have entered the plane and a security search is ordered.

But Chicago's Department of Aviation does not require door seals.

A city aviation department spokeswoman said she did not know whether Aviation Department police were present at the American Eagle ramp area when the TSA inspector entered the planes.

Douglas Laird, a security consultant who has had TSA contracts and who was chief of security at Northwest Airlines in the early 1990s, said American Eagle apparently did all it could have done under the circumstances.

"The TSA inspector could not have gotten onto the sterile airfield area unless he used his ID badge," said Laird, who runs an aviation consulting business based in Nevada.

"If he jumped the perimeter fence, that's an airport police lapse, not an airline breach," Laird said, adding, "It seems to me the TSA is making a brouhaha to cover the ineptitude of the particular inspector who has not been trained properly to deal with aircraft."

jhilkevitch@tribune.com
 
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Stifler's Mom

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Oh Great...do you know how many times a week I misplace my car keys????

Now I'll be respoinsible for a set of A/C keys when the "Car Door Lock" mod has been added to all of our aircraft.
 

Superpilot92

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Absolutely embarrassing these people are even entertained. TSA = JOKE, what a waste of money. Especially these morons involved in this issue.
 

Captain Morgan

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I'm sorry everybody. In my previous post, I actually stuck up for some of these people. I'm truly sorry. I was wrong, and these people are complete idiot a$$holes. Is there anything that our unions can do to get TSA back in check? What's this going to take, a plane into the ground and dead people?
 

PreContact

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I'm sorry everybody. In my previous post, I actually stuck up for some of these people. I'm truly sorry. I was wrong, and these people are complete idiot a$$holes. Is there anything that our unions can do to get TSA back in check? What's this going to take, a plane into the ground and dead people?
Probably not. They'll find a way to blame us for that as well...
 

twepilot

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does the TSA even have a SIDA badge that grants them access to the airport AOA??

RV
 

lookin4better

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Apparently they used their SIDA badges to gain entry and then attempt their ' break ins '

....I can just see this moron with a glimer in what normally is an empty lost look in his eyes, thinking he is really going to 'stick it' to these airlines and pilots. Most likely he is the guy who got his buns taped together in gym class.....and is getting his revenge now.

How can you give unlimited power to anyone with little or no checks and balances and NO WAY to stop them??? Let alone to this group of oxygen thieves, most of which are a chromosome away from being mentally disabled----wait I take that back, that is offensive to disabled people everywhere !

Airline security was a joke prior to 9/11.....and needed fixing.....but THIS is the answer?
 

Ralph Cramden

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Oh this is going to get good...

TSA thumps chest and threatens to prosecute 'cause they are embarrassed over one of their Barny Fifes.

AMR calls in it's dozens of Senators and Congressmen to have congressional hearings over the TSA budget and safety infractions, sicks the FAA air safety side on the TSA.

Wonder who has the horsepower to win this round???

Bottom line, the traveling public was put at risk!
 

SkiFishFly

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I'm surprised...

that they were able to find a TSA agent who wasn't so overweight that he didn't break the probes right off. Also surprised they have anyone in good enough shape to climb a flight of stairs let alone pull themselves up on the side of an aircraft.


What a bunch of freakin morons who have no business anywhere near an airplane.
 

ivauir

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uncover potential security risks that criminals or terrorists OR THE FRIKIN TSA could capitalize on to tamper with aircraft,
We don't need terrorists to mess up our planes, we pay "civil servants" to do to it for them!
 

flynryan15

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On a serious note. What are we to do? Isn't it their responsibility to secure the ramp? And our responsibility to challenge but not attempt to detain someone without a badge?

No AMR or Eagle employee around so bozo goes on a rampage! I stand by my quote on another thread" Destruction of an aircraft" is 1 of the 36 disqualifying offenses of a SIDA badge. Call the FBI have him arrested and prosecuted.

Do we have to let them onboard for a random security check?
 

tired_pilot

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call your house and senate reps

This is the kind of ammunition we need to get these buffoons (tsa) removed or reformed. There might be a congressional hearing on this issue according to my house rep I spoke with today.

Call or email your outrage to your senators and house rep. Its not much but at least let our voice be heard, a very well spent 30 second call or email.

To find yours..

www.senate.gov

www.house.gov
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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How can you give unlimited power to anyone with little or no checks and balances and NO WAY to stop them??? ?
That wold require a discussion of teh Bush Admin, privitazation (which the TSA is not) and union busting (which the TSA is not)....

But seriously... if you want to ask how this happened... our fear post 9/11 gave gov't a hall pass... and we let them...

Sure we pride ourselves on being a free country... but when it comes down to it... we assume that someone else will be the custodians of our freedom, liberty and security...

In short... we are pathetic practitioners of democracy....
 

say again

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I really hope the TSA-Holes read this. If they didn't know yet, they sure as hell know now that EVERYONE thinks they are a waste of time and money!!! What a bunch of F@#$ING MORONS!!!!
 

RadioClash

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These are the same retards that won't let crew members carry a cup of coffee through security in MCO unless its in a paper bag. When I asked a supervisor about it he said it was because passengers complained that flight crews were allowed to carry liquids through security. GMAFB
 

flynryan15

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Per the Director Of the TSA as long as they are taking action above the laws he doesn't have a problem with it!
 

~~~^~~~

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That wold require a discussion of teh Bush Admin, privitazation (which the TSA is not) and union busting (which the TSA is not)....

But seriously... if you want to ask how this happened... our fear post 9/11 gave gov't a hall pass... and we let them...

Sure we pride ourselves on being a free country... but when it comes down to it... we assume that someone else will be the custodians of our freedom, liberty and security...

In short... we are pathetic practitioners of democracy....
Absolutely correct!
 

Ifly4money

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"We don't argue that the inspector used the probes as leverage to get into the aircraft," Montenegro said. "But terrorists would not be concerned if they broke a probe to gain access to a plane."



So next time you're doing a walk-around and you see your pitot tube laying on the ground don't cnx or delay the flight everything is just fine. What a joke. If I see a probe bent over or broken off I'm gonna scratch my head and call Mx. Then while the plane is taken off to get repaired I'm gonna wander why that there probe was bent/broken. Then I'm gonna come to the conclusion that some bad guy (TSA agent) was monkeying around with my plane. Don't we have enough other things to be looking for than making sure the toothpaste stealing A$$'s aren't breaking our flying machines?

Why can't they go back to scratching there frontal lobes via there nasal cavities?
 
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