TSA Employee Grounds 9 American Airlines Planes By Attempting To Break Into Them

A TSA employee used sensitive avionics equipment as a ladder while attempting to break into 9 American Airlines planes to test how well they were secured. The TSA agent was able to break into 7 of the planes, raising questions about the security of the aircraft, but also managed to ground the aircraft — causing at least 40 flights to be delayed at O’Hare.

“There is a sign that clearly says, ‘Don’t step,’” American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told the Chicago Tribune.

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.

The TSA defended the officer’s actions.

“Our inspector was following routine procedure for securing the aircraft that were on the tarmac,” a Chicago based TSA official told ABCNews.com.

TSA Snafu Grounds Nine Planes at O’Hare Field
[ABCNews] (Thanks, Shawn!)
Aviation inspector’s action raises more questions at O’Hare [Chicago Tribune]

Comments

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  1. Grabraham says:

    “Our inspector was following routine procedure for securing the aircraft that were on the tarmac,” a Chicago based TSA official told ABCNews.com.

    Perhaps it is time to update the routine procedures to include avoiding breaking the plane to test it.

  2. azntg says:

    The Chicago based TSA official might as well have said:

    “Our inspector was also following routine procedure for creating unnecessary problems, as consistent with the TSA’s mission.”

  3. dopplerd says:

    Because the terrorist intent on blowing up a plane will be turned away by “No Step” stenciled on the plane. Lock the damn doors American.

  4. chiieddy says:

    Maybe American should ‘fine’ the TSA now.

  5. DrGirlfriend says:

    First rule of inspecting: understand what you are inspecting, so that you don’t break it. I mean, I know that’s a really advanced concept to expect these TSA simpletons to understand, but still.

  6. Botticelli711 says:

    now the TSA is blaming the airline for the security lapse:

    [abcnews.go.com]

  7. IphtashuFitz says:

    Next time the TSA officer will be using a sledge hammer to test whether he can break into airplanes.

  8. Bahnburner says:

    Yeah, grabbing on to an antenna or pitot tubes protruding from an aircraft would be bad. However, I’m sure this TSA employee simply forgot his professional protocols, which I’m sure were delivered to him expertly, over numerous months of study and training…or, more likely, the girl who normally does this task broke a nail.

  9. asujosh1 says:

    Wow, the TSA procedure is to break planes! Looks like they are batting 1000 here!

  10. TornadoRex says:

    Wow, American has an amazing security measure here that no one has though of! A sign! Maybe that’s why we have so many people illegally crossing the border from Mexico, we need more “Do not cross into the United States here.” signs down there!

  11. Grabraham says:

    What the article doesn’t say is that the ‘Super secret rules’ allow them to snap any extra pieces off in the course of making sure the door is locked.

  12. nataku8_e30 says:

    Well, you could certainly argue that by making air travel so miserable that it eventually goes away, the TSA is succeeding in its mission to eliminate airplane related terrorist attacks.

  13. ThinkerTDM says:

    The issue here is NOT the fact that American has a sign and piss poor security, it’s that the people in charge of security had to endanger thousands of lives (by breaking planes) just to test it.
    I predict the next test by TSA is to see if the pilots are vulnerable to bullets. Or to see if the plane is vulnerable to a rocket.

    Of course, criticisms of TSA just mean we are supporting terrorists.

  14. katylostherart says:

    what a fucking moron. i understand that a “terrorist” would ignore the sign, but breaking expensive equipment meant to keep passengers safe from oh, i dunno, FALLING OUT OF THE SKY, was just idiotic.

    not only are the airplanes not secure, they’re now not flyable.

    @dopplerd: no, but the terrorist will probably want to fly that plane away and therefore still won’t step on and break the freaking equipment needed to do so.

  15. Nogard13 says:

    I don’t expect someone not familiar with airplane maintenance to understand what a pitot tube is. However, if you see some stuff sticking out of each plane, it doesn’t mean that it was put there to help some idiot trying to look inside the airplane’s windows.

    These tubes are towards the airplane’s nose. That tells me that he was trying to lift himself to look through the cockpit’s windshield for whatever reason.

    Here’s a clue, Magoo, if the door is locked (which is all you’re required to check per TSA regulations), go to the next plane, Gomer!

  16. TideGuy says:

    @dopplerd:

    I think the real problem is that “No Step” in only written in English. If the terrorist doesn’t read English then the warning is useless.

  17. DrGirlfriend says:

    Jebus. It’s not that the “Do not step” sign is meant by AA to deter terrorists. But it should have been a warning to the inspector to use other means of getting up there do his inspecting.

  18. SkokieGuy says:

    I’m glad that the TSA is insuring the doors are locked overnight, so that the next day, when the plane is loaded with thousands of pounds of uninspected commerical cargo, the plane will be totally safe.

    /sarcasm off

  19. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    The TSA really needs some accountability. It seems as though they answer to no one but themselvesm which is always a recipe for disaster.

  20. Farquar says:

    Two seperate issues because it is very clear that many of our esteemed commentors can’t overcome their natural psychological inclinations. (IE, you’re stupid)

    AA screwed up because they didn’t properly secure their planes.

    No one, including AA, is claiming that the signs that said not to screw with the avionics equipment was a security device. The signs are there for airline personell, so they don’t accidentally screw everything up. This would include TSA.

    TSA, in the course of their security checks should take care not to screw up the plane. Sure, a terrorists might not heed a warning not to mess with sensitive equipment… That doesn’t excuse a TSA agent who did, and screwed up nine flights.

    So, in sum:

    @TornadoRex: No one said the signs were a security measure. They are their so people working on/inspecting the plane don’t screw it up and kill people.

    @Botticelli711: The security lapse (not locking the plane properly) is AA’s fault. Screwing up the planes is not.

    @dopplerd: See above for TornadoRex. You two should hang out.

  21. angryhippo says:

    This is akin to some parking lot security guard (about the same skill set) trying to break into cars parked in the lot to ensure the vehicles are secured and then saying “not our fault” when they break some windows doing so.

    Why isn’t this simple vandalism? Oh wait, it happened in an airport? That’s a tazerin’ and a felony.

  22. BK88 says:

    @chiieddy: AMEN!!!!!

  23. APFPilot says:

    @dopplerd: The doors on most commericial airplanes don’t have locks. There are methods of securing the airplanes while they are parked overnight however that I’m sure American Followed.

  24. Johnyq1982 says:

    @Farquar: You hurt my head

  25. Farquar says:

    @Johnyq1982: I’m sorry. I was swinging pretty wide there, and might have accidentally got you.

    Tylenol.. It’ll help.

  26. SpdRacer says:

    Read this the other day, thought it was f’ing hilarious. You can get into just about any plane, you just have to know where the location of the access hatches.

  27. RStewie says:

    @dopplerd: The equipment was mounted outside the aircraft, and had nothing to do with testing the doors. The TSA used it as a ladder as opposed to getting an actual ladder, because he was lazy or stupid, or both, in accordance with TSA’s policy.

    This is hilarious to me, though. Grounding planes because of broken equipment? I wonder if TSA’s “get out of jail free card” covers that? Will AA be reimbursed, and is TSA going to cover the costs for rerouting and compensating all those passengers?

    Way to screw up and already completely screwed up system, TSA! …Is there any kind of Golden Turd we can award to Gov’t agencies??

  28. RStewie says:

    I have to add here, too, that the terrorists would probably NOT use the equipment as a ladder, SHOULD they decide to steal a plane, simply because then it WOULDN’T WORK.

    Wow. This situation is an epic fail of monumental proportions, and I almost. Can’t. Look. Away.

  29. picardia says:

    Next year, if my travel plans work out the way I think they’re going to, I will only fly once, round-trip. I suspect my stress levels will lower accordingly.

    Jesus, what is this, “Laurel and Hardy Join the TSA”?

  30. Sockatume says:

    Breaking the planes is a “routine procedure” for checking the doors? No wonder there’s so many delays. Does their “routine procedure” for fuelling involve roman candles and sparklers?

  31. ywgflyer says:

    Heard about this from the usual chatter over air-to-air frequencies this morning. Quite a few people laughing about it. Apparently, the TSA guy used the pitot tubes as a ladder to get up to either the door or cockpit windows, or something of the sort, and bent them pretty badly.

    You’d think that something that’s covered with a big red leather strap, specifically to protect it, would be obvious enough that it’s not a step, but then again, this IS the TSA.

    If someone did that to my bird, they’d be paying to fix it.

    And I’d love to see the looks on passengers’ faces when they’re told “oh, yeah, flight’s XXed, because the security staff decided to wreck the airplane’s pitot tubes in the name of security”. Ugh.

  32. cosby says:

    The big issue here is that the TSA broke something then starts saying how it isn’t their fault because AA was wrong too. Mind you they are using the same excuse on the 2 planes that they said had nothing wrong with them.

    It just goes to show the power we have given these people. The TSA really needs to be fixed.

  33. Gokuhouse says:

    He managed to damage 9 planes? How is that possible. What an idiot. Fire him and while they are at it they should all fire themselves. TSA a.k.a. The Suckiest Agency

  34. Quilt says:

    I don’t see any problem with this. He broke some avionics equipment? It sucks, but would a thief give a shit about avionics equipment?

  35. Farquar says:

    @Quilt:

    I will refer you to: this starred commentor or no..

  36. describe_one says:

    TSA is just another glowing example of government incompetence.

    Why should we pay for them to keep screwing up?

  37. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Bottom line is that TSA agents should be trained to test security near and on the airplanes without damaging anything. I can’t speak for passanger airlines, but when the TSA and our security guards test our airplanes, they just walk up to the door of the plane, you don’t need to do anything other than that. Actually we are just supposed to have the stairs pulled away from the airplane, the doors can be open but the only way to get into the airplanes are with the stairs, which weigh several tons.

    The TSA agent was a f***ing idiot if he tried to pull himself up with a pilot tube. The only reason I can see him trying to do that is if the door was open, because you can’t open the doors from the outside.

  38. Nogard13 says:

    Anyone who wants to break into a plane needs only a screwdriver. Yup, you take a few screws out and remove any number of fairings (panels) and you’re in the plane. Then you’re free to do your terroristic activities and re-install the fairing and nobody is the wiser.

    BTW, many fairings have what are called Zeus fasteners which means you can remove the whole panel in about a minute (if you’ve done it a few times) and install it in about two.

  39. bonzombiekitty says:

    @TornadoRex: The sign is not a security measure, it’s a “Don’t break this” measure and intended to be for people who work around the plane so they don’t step on something fragile and break it. There’s a lot of various parts on the outside of the plane that a person may be tempted to use as a handle or ladder rung, but they’re not designed to support your weight.

    There’s nothing wrong with checking for locked doors and latches on a plane by the TSA, and yes, american should have the doors and such properly locked. However, that is no excuse for the TSA people to be stepping on the plane in such a way that it damages it. You can check the doors by using something like, oh, I don’t know… a ladder? There’s NO reason the TSA person should be stepping on something on a plane that says “DO NOT STEP”

  40. nycaviation says:

    Army, 1968: “We had to destroy the village to save it.”
    TSA, 2008: “We had to damage the airplane to protect it from Al Qaeda.”

    There are rumors floating about on the interwebs that American Eagle launched this accusation vs. TSA after they got caught with some potentially very expensive violations.

  41. triggerh says:

    I smell… lawsuit!

  42. sleze69 says:

    If someone outside of the TSA damaged 9 airplanes, wouldn’t they be liable for both criminal and civil lawsuits?

    This guy (and perhaps members of his chain of command) need to be prosecuted.

  43. lowcajones says:

    we can only hope this is an agency that gets put over someone’s knee during the next administration. an overhaul might be scary, though. and there’d be all of those inept employees running around looking for other jobs…

    i almost wonder if it’s better to keep them where they are @_@…

  44. Pizza_Guy says:

    @WiglyWorm: Isn’t that how everything connected to the Bush administration functions? They are all above the law and only answer to themselves.

  45. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    I just noticed in the picture that they are the smaller airplanes, I can’t compare those to MD11′s. But this guy needs to be shitcanned. Ignorance isn’t an excuse.

  46. MrMold says:

    TSA is non-union and at-will. This means little, if any, training in airframes or safety.

    But, hey they work cheaper than union and dare not complain. Entitleds wet dream.

  47. Tmoney02 says:

    @lowcajones: an overhaul might be scary, though. and there’d be all of those inept employees running around looking for other jobs…

    Silly rabbit, don’t you know that once your hired by the government your in till you want to go? Now you may get reassigned to Alaska but “fired” and “layoffs” isn’t in any government bureaucracy vocabulary.

  48. GearheadGeek says:

    The “No Step” signs are mandated by FAA regs. The FAA has been around longer than the TSA, and actually knows a thing or two about aircraft (unlike the TSA, which knows nothing about real security and even less about aircraft.)

    The TSA should be held liable for the damage done to these aircraft and the cost of getting them inspected after the damage is repaired as well. They SHOULD take it out of the moron’s hide who actually climbed up the aircraft, but we read all the time how TSA employees aren’t actually responsible for knowing how to do their job, so that’s not likely to happen.

  49. Amy Alkon says:

    Photo of pitot tubes here:

    [farm3.static.flickr.com]

  50. christoj879 says:

    Wait, wouldn’t this mean the planes are safe? If by breaking into the planes the person broke and grounded them, then they couldn’t stow away to fly it into a building :)

  51. PDX909 says:

    You guys are all on form today, funniest damn thread I’ve read in weeks.

  52. quirkyrachel says:

    You know, I’m always interested in the media spin on a story. The Chicago Tribune attempted to convey concern over planes not being locked (front page article). Consumerist thinks it’s an issue that TSA was there in the first place, using the phrase ‘breaking in’ as opposed to ‘security checks’. Hmmmm…

  53. JollyJumjuck says:

    I’m surprised the TSA didn’t think of knocking out the landing gear just to bring the plane down to ground level to “inspect” it better.

  54. legwork says:

    Simple solution: Expand their charter to include scrutiny of aviation security agencies.

    If they don’t self-destruct from that Star Trekkish ploy, put them in a giant squirrel cage and we get a durable alternative energy source.

  55. uncle_fluffy says:

    @Quilt: So by the same token, you should have no problem with the fire marshal torching your house in order to test its fire safety.

    Right

  56. TideGuy says:

    I think hidden in the sarcasm of the “No Step” sign comments is the insinuation that once someone is able to get that close to a plane it really doesn’t matter if it is locked or not.

  57. LogicalOne says:

    You don’t have to worry about terrorists entering planes if the airport perimeter is secure. It’s TSA’s responsibility to ensure that it is. Why wasn’t the inspector checking the perimeter instead?

    Hey TSA: Secure the perimeter!

  58. zentex says:

    @WiglyWorm: indeed. I’m getting tired of the TSA having a “blank check” and a “get out of jail free card” for everything they do. They act like, and are, completely unaccountable for their actions.

    When the hammer falls on the TSA, it wont be pretty. I only hope it drops soon.

  59. FLConsumer says:

    Reason #352095 why Kip Hawley is an idiot!

  60. You gotta hand it to the TSA, they are clever. If the plane is broken, it can’t fly, and if it can’t fly, it can’t be hijacked. Man, I had them pegged as being idiots too!

  61. Sudonum says:

    @LogicalOne:
    That’s the one thing I kept thinking of during this whole discussion. “How can the terrorists even get that close to a plane if the TSA has secured the airport?”

  62. moeman1024 says:

    @Tmoney02:
    Senator: Alaska, General.
    General: It is a very prestigious assignment.

  63. DallasPath says:

    @zentex:

    Doesn’t that describe just about every government agency though?

    Complete incompetence, ridiculous excuses, mind-numbing bureaucracy, and fiscal incomptence coupled with a lack of an accountability and oversight, that’s our entire government to a T. And it’s nothing new, so stop blaming Bush or Clinton or Bush Sr. It goes MUCH further back than that.

    Seriously though, TSA’s security ‘protocols’ seem like they are designed by someone who has never even been near an airport, much less ever seen or flown on a plane.

  64. @DallasPath: Doesn’t that describe just about every government agency though?

    At least for the past several years, yes.

  65. FLConsumer says:

    @DallasPath: Kip Hawley, the TSA director, is a lawyer with no law enforcement experience. I don’t believe he has any flight experience either.

  66. @SkokieGuy: Thank you for bringing that up. Most people don’t realize that part of the reason thoroughly-inspected personal baggage is being assessed with fees is to make room for more lucrative cargo like US Mail.

    None of this cargo is inspected at even a cursory level. Oh, sure, you can’t drop parcel of a certain size into a mailbox, but once that mailbox is sorted according to level 2 ZIP code, it just gets thrown in a sack and tossed on the airplane you’re riding in.

    Sure is safe, hunh? Heckuva job, TSA.

  67. kepler11 says:

    First, a comment on the person in question. This “inspector’s” actions show that he is unfit to hold any position of responsibility. Aircraft external temperature/airspeed probes/antennas are clearly labeled if they have any chance of being misused like this. They do not look like weigh-holding-capable ladder steps and someone would have to be quite oblivious to think they were appropriate to use for any such purpose. This guy clearly disregarded the written warnings and inconvenienced hundreds of people. And to accomplish WHAT exactly? How can a person like this continue to be employed?

    Second, a comment on the TSA. This reflects the level of incompetence that is pervasive throughout the TSA, and the worthless level of people they have staffed this organization with. No person with any training around aircraft would do such a stupid, ridiculous thing. They hired someone who was absolutely incompetent and had no training. That seems to be the standard bottom-of-the-barrel that this agency is comfortable with.

    Finally, we as taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the repair and cleanup of this fucking ridiculousness.

  68. BrianDaBrain says:

    Ah yes, one more shining example of why the pubes they hire to work at the TSA are completely unfit for the responsibilities of keeping the people in this country safe. Not that I think this officer, or any of the others, really care too much about our safety – they are, after all, far too busy power-tripping to give a rat’s behind. But at least the illusion of giving a damn would be helpful.

  69. kepler11 says:

    And the TSA has the press release here:
    [www.tsa.gov]

    that almost attempts to justify his actions by saying that he was successful in breaking into some of the planes.

    Never mind that damaging avionics would make the planes useless to someone who broke in.

    Next, maybe they should have this inspector set fire to a few aircraft, to show that they were a fire danger.

  70. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    I think this is good. If it was that easy for him to get on, it will be just as easy for someone to sneak onto the tarmac and plant a bomb. Go TSA!!!!!!

  71. FLConsumer says:

    So…the obvious question becomes… when will they create a another NEW gov’t agency to keep the TSA away from planes?

  72. kepler11 says:

    @ScramDiggyBooBoo: I think this is good. If it was that easy for him to get on, it will be just as easy for someone to sneak onto the tarmac and plant a bomb.

    Why would someone need to go to the effort of breaking into an aircraft to plant a bomb? You are already on the ground next to the plane, with access to all sorts of aircraft parts and places.

  73. valthun says:

    @moeman1024: Ah Pentagon Wars, what a great movie.

  74. Froggmann says:

    TSA: See your planes are badly secured, I got right in with this blowtorch.

    Airline: How the heck did you get a blowtorch to the plane?

    TSA: We snuck it by Frank when he was body cavity searching some poor schlub after we hid nail clippers and a bottle of Prell in his bag.

    Both HAHAHAHAH!!!

  75. Farquar says:

    @kepler11:

    That’s quite a bold statement you make.

  76. PDX909 says:

    @Tmoney02:

    and if all else fails for these incompetent TSA folks there’s always going to be a home for them at the Department of Motor Vehicles… where officiousness and a total lack of regard for your fellow man are a prerequisite on the application.

  77. DallasPath says:

    @kepler11:

    How can a person like this continue to be employed? Um, have you had no contact with actual humans for an extended period of time? People like this vastly outnumber logical sane people with common sense.

    Everyone has a co-worker who continually screws up but never gets fired. Thank the lawyers for this one…companies are terrified of getting hit with a wrongful termination suit. If you want to fire someone, you have to have an insane amount of documentation and even then you still might lose in court. Many people are not afraid to play the race card or the gender card or the age card if they think they will lose their job. Worse yet is the employee who decides to seek revenge.

    During college, I did research in a biochemistry lab on campus. Several of their projects involved live animals and they had to follow very stringent government regulations regarding the welfare and treatment of the animals. There was a lab employee who was ridiculously incompetent (wouldn’t show up on time, called in sick continually, would fiddle with equipment she shouldn’t have been touching and subsequently would contaminate experiments). She did not work with the animals directly, but on occasion, she did have to go out to where they were housed. They finally got enough on her to fire her and she brought the FDA down on them with allegations of animal mistreatment. It was eventually proven false, but they had to stop the research during the investigation. Grants were lost and PhD candidates had to put their careers on hold. Her excuse was that she was fired because she complained about the treatment of the animals.

  78. hwestiii says:

    The fact that some of the planes were not secure doesn’t excuse the inspector’s stupidity for stepping on the pitot tubes. They’d have been just as damaged if they were all buttoned up tight.

  79. badgeman46 says:

    I saw the “No Step” sign, so I jumped on it.

  80. ywgflyer says:

    For all the guys mentioning the “no step” signs, there aren’t any on a pitot tube. It’s one of those parts that doesn’t need the signage, because you’d have to be REALLY stupid to try to climb up on it, and think that the little silver tube held on by four screws is designed to take your weight.

  81. rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

    @ScramDiggyBooBoo: Like it was said somewhere before on the thread.
    Almost anybody with a basic knowledge of aircraft can get in, almost all of them have no locks as the general public might understand. There are ways of securing the aircraft against tampering, but most of them rely in tamper-proof evidence placed when leaving.
    Any way, thats beside the point, the real issue is that an unqualified worker (a.k.a. simple drone), damaged an integral and indispensable instrument on the airframe. No pilot will fly with damaged pitot tubes. Also the No Step warnings are there not to deter, but as simple warning for mechanics or other workers of sensitive avionics/equipment in that area.

  82. SinisterMatt says:

    Suddenly a line that Ed Harris made in Apollo 13 comes to mind:

    “Please don’t tell me that this is a government operation.”

    Cheers!

  83. Norislolz says:

    Does AA own O’Hare airport? Who is in charge of security there?

    Planes don’t have locks.

    Idiot TSA person broke planes because he or she is exactly what a government employee is- rude, incompetent, unfit for any other job, and futureless without the position.

    Also, TSA is the worst.

  84. Snowlovers says:

    From the article:
    “…the agency defended the qualifications of its inspectors, noting that they “undergo a 4-week basic training course…”

    Oh, well excuse me! Four WHOLE weeks of training. Well then obviously it’s the plane’s fault for not being strong enough to avoid being broken by the extensively trained TSA agent.

  85. Wubbytoes says:

    What a surprise, TSA agents are always so well trained.

  86. yikz says:

    Isn’t TSA tasked with keeping people away from the airplanes? When did they become concerned with breaking into airplanes?
    Aren’t most TSA employees paid $50K a year to shuffle those grey plastic bins? How did they let one of those clowns out on the tarmac?

    If I were American, I would just send TSA a bill. Find out who the idiot TSA employee is, get his/her manager’s name, and send them a bill. Send a copy to the newspaper with the title, “Your tax dollars at work.”
    I figure it’s at least $2,000,000+ in lost airfare, plus the repairs to the airplanes. 40 flights, let’s say 100 passengers, assuming a mix of smaller regional jets and some medium-sized jets. At $500 a ticket, that’s $2,000,000. Send them a bill. TSA needs to learn that they can’t send Laverne & Shirley out on the tarmac with their trusty screwdriver, pliers, and hammer.

  87. ageshin says:

    It strikes me that we have at last discovered just who the terrorists are. They are called TSA and have since their creation been busy distroying the airline industry. What we need to do is get rid of TSA. We would all be freer and safer with out it.

  88. Phanatic says:

    It wasn’t the pitot tube the guy was climbing on. Even if it were, they’re not marked with NO STEP signs, because those signs are only placed in locations people working on the aircraft might reasonably be expected to step. Nobody with the slightest glimmer of a clue is going to step on a probe, and people without that tiny piece of clue shouldn’t be permitted to crawl around the aircraft. This guy was an untrained nimrod, and should have no more been permitted to walk up to it and start poking around than any random guy who decides to walk onto a tarmac. That’s part of why airport security *exists* in the first place: to keep untrained morons away from the shiny go-fast birds.

    What this guy was walking on were the Total Air Temperature probes. The plane needs this so the Air Data Computer can compute minor things like true airspeed. Inaccurate airspeed values can cause a crash; bad sensor data caused by moisture contamination recently led to the crash and total destruction of a $1.4 billion B-2 bomber.

    This idiot was directly endangering the lives of hundreds of people. He shouldn’t just be fired, he should be criminally prosecuted, as should his superiors. The TSA has no mandate or authority to climb around on airplanes looking for unlocked doors.

  89. darkryd says:

    Dick move from a dick agency.

  90. hustler says:

    in for push-starting and clutch poppage.

  91. vladthepaler says:

    If it’s possible for someone to wander around on the tarmac damaging planes, i’d say the TSA has more problems than planes being broken into…

  92. mrearly2 says:

    Thanks for making me late, TSA-Gestapo!