By Jim Campbell
August 20, 2008
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
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
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.
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