Security Snafu: Pilot Loses Gun, Flights Delayed
Michael Connery, Jr. was scheduled to co-pilot a flight to Pittsburgh out of New York's JFK airport when Rachel Hazan accidentally scooped up his backpack, reports NY Daily News. Hazan was on her way to Florida with her family, and had no idea she had just picked up a 40-caliber handgun.
Sources say Connery, who is licensed by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit under the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, was so freaked out about the missing gun he waited 40 minutes before telling his bosses.
Meanwhile, after boarding the Florida-bound plane Hazan realized Connery's backpack was not hers and dropped it onto an empty seat, sources say. A passenger alerted a flight attendant about the unclaimed bag.
The backpack was returned to Connery because his identification was inside, but the TSA confiscated his gun and is now examining whether he should still be licensed under the Flight Deck Office program. A TSA spokeswoman confirmed the investigation, however no criminality is involved.
Both flights ended up being delayed while investigators sorted out the ordeal.
Connery was not allowed to serve as co-pilot for his flight, which ended up touching down in Pittsburgh more than an hour late.
A spokesman from JetBlue said the airline is "cooperating fully" with the TSA investigation.
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