- A US Airways pilot was charged with making terroristic
threats and disorderly conduct after making an inappropriate comment at
a security checkpoint at Philadelphia International Airport early yesterday,
- Elwood Menear, 46, of Annville, Pa., suggested that he
did not require an illegal item to bring a plane down, airport officials
confirmed. Police said Menear was detained at Security Checkpoint B and
charged with the two misdemeanors, said Philadelphia Police Cpl. Jim Pauley,
a police spokesman. Pauley said Menear might remain in custody overnight.
- Linda Vizi, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said the bureau
also was involved in the investigation.
- "We will present the facts to the U.S. Attorney's
Office and make a determination tomorrow or the next day as to whether
he'll be charged federally," Vizi said last night.
- The incident, which occurred about 7 a.m. yesterday,
was the second time since November that a US Airways pilot had made an
inappropriate remark. Airport spokesman Mark Pesce said that unlike in
the previous incident, the pilot was detained immediately and security
measures were not breached.
- On Nov. 3, an unidentified pilot made a remark about
a gun to a security worker, who allowed the pilot to continue through the
checkpoint. By the time the security worker had second thoughts and contacted
his supervisor, the pilot could not be located. As a result, the terminal
was evacuated, delaying thousands of passengers for hours.
- US Airways spokesman David Castelveter said the flight
to Milwaukee that Menear was supposed to fly was delayed slightly so that
another pilot could be found.
- "We do take these matters very seriously,"
- "We find this type of behavior inappropriate, and
we're working with the police.
- "In this case, the process worked," he said.
- "There was no safety risk to passengers."
- Asked what effect the arrest would have on Menear's employment
with US Airways, Castelveter said the company could not comment until today,
after it had reviewed the situation.
- Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman from the Federal Aviation
Administration, said the FAA had the authority to suspend or revoke Menear's
license; however, under the Sensitive Security Act, that information could
not be made public for at least a year.