"Damaged TAT Probes On Nine Jets While Conducting 'Security Checks'
They're the government... and remember, they're here to help. A bumbling inspector with the Transportation Safety Administration apparently has some explaining to do, after nine American Eagle regional jets were grounded at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday.
Citing sources within the aviation industry, ABC News reports an overzealous TSA employee attempted to gain access to the parked aircraft by climbing up the fuselage... reportedly using the Total Air Temperature (TAT) probes mounted to the planes' noses as handholds.
"The brilliant employees used an instrument located just below the cockpit window that is critical to the operation of the onboard computers," one pilot wrote on an American Eagle internet forum. "They decided this instrument, the TAT probe, would be adequate to use as a ladder."
Officials with American Eagle confirmed to ANN the problem was discovered by maintenance personnel, who inspected the planes Tuesday morning... and questioned why the TAT probes all gave similar error indications.
One Eagle pilot says had the pilots not been so attentive, the damaged probes could have caused problems inflight. TSA agents "are now doing things to our aircraft that may put our lives, and the lives of our passengers at risk," the pilot wrote on the forum."
Thanks again to Bruce Schneier for the link. A classic example of how the rush to be seen to be doing something on security can be so dangerous.