Authorities recently arrested two regional airline pilots for trying to carry weapons through security and onto their respective flights. The first incident occurred in Harrisburg, Pa., on December 29, when security screeners detected a lock-blade knife in the carry-on bag of a CRJ captain during an X-ray inspection. Local police charged the pilot with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, because they could find no other statutes to cite under the circumstances. However, the FBI had since started its own investigation to determine whether or not to file federal charges. The Comair captain first denied having the knife, then later said he had forgotten about it because it had been in the bag since September. The incident delayed the 6:50 a.m. flight to Atlanta for 1 hr 45 min.
Just a week later, on January 5, federal screeners allegedly found a loaded handgun in the carry-on bag of an American Eagle pilot as he tried to board a flight at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The pilot reportedly told airport security officials that his wife packed his bag and that he didn’t know he was carrying the gun. At press time, an airline spokesperson said that American Eagle still employed the suspect, but that the company had not concluded its own investigation into the matter.