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[ISN] Commuter Flights Grounded Thanks To Bumbling TSA Inspector


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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