Isn’t it just sooo embarrassing when you lose your gun at the airport? It’s even more cringe-worthy when you’re an airline pilot. JetBlue pilot Michael Connery Jr., who is licensed by the Transportation Security Administration to tote guns on the plane, was in a bit of a jam when someone else picked up his carry-on at JFK.
Connery was waiting to co-pilot an 8:10 a.m. flight out of JFK heading to Pittsburgh, whereas nearby passenger Rachel Hazan was on her way to West Palm Beach, Fla., the New York Daily News reports. Connery set his bag, with the gun packed inside, down to chitchat with another pilot, and Hazan accidentally lifted his backpack when she boarded her flight.
Unbeknownst to Hazan, Connery’s 40-caliber handgun was now in her possession. The piece was issued to him as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which trains pilots to defend the plane against threats.
So what do you do when you realize you’ve grabbed a bag that isn’t yours? Drop it onto an empty seat and let the flight attendants find it! Meanwhile Connery was “so freaked out,” says the NYDN, he waited 40 minutes before reporting the loss. Both flights were delayed as the belongings got sorted out.
Connery’s gun was confiscated as the TSA launched an investigation into whether he should be kicked out of the Flight Deck Officer program. He also didn’t get to co-pilot his flight after all.
While a TSA spokeswoman confirmed the probe, Jet Blue refused to comment other than to indicate they were “cooperating fully” with the investigation.
Embarrassing JetBlue Sanfu! Airline pilot loses gun and flight gets grounded [New York Daily News]