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]