Little Knife Causes Big Problems for Flight

By Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010  |  Updated 10:59 PM CDT
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Pocketknife Delays American Eagle Flight

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The Transportation Security Administration said a small pocketknife delayed a Houston-bound American Eagle flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

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Pocketknife Delays American Eagle Flight

A small pocketknife delays a Houston-bound American Eagle flight from DFW Airport.
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The Transportation Security Administration said a small pocketknife delayed a Houston-bound American Eagle flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

A passenger found the knife between two seats, prompting TSA officials to remove all the passengers from the plane and send them through security screening again. A security sweep was also conducted on the plane. In all, the flight was delayed almost two hours.

Clive Miskin, managing director of Dallas-based International Security Defense Systems, said TSA agents can't catch everything that goes on planes.

"The idea is to catch as much as possible and to try an prevent any weapons or dangerous materials from getting on an aircraft," he said.

Miskin said the TSA screening process in place has flaws. Bags must be screened several times from several angles for X-ray machines to properly see all items being brought onto a plane, he said. He said TSA screeners seldomly do so at a normal screening point because it takes extra times.

He said security agencies in other countries screen for items and also profile passengers based on a passenger's behavioral pattern.

Miskin, an aviation expert with roughly 20 years experience, said it is quite effective but controversial because some critics think it's profiling.

"If you're screening for terrorists, you're going to catch terrorists," he said. "If you're (screening) for guns and knives, you're going to find guns and knives. But if you screen for guns and knives, you're not necessarily going to catch terrorists."

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