JetBlue Pilot Loses Gun At JFK Airport

Passenger Grabs Wrong Backpack, Gets On Flight To Florida

NEW YORK (AP) — A JetBlue pilot lost his government-issued handgun after a passenger mistakenly picked up his carry-on luggage, authorities said Friday.

The pilot was waiting for his New York-to-Pittsburgh flight at Kennedy Airport on Thursday morning when a passenger who was traveling with children mistakenly picked up his backpack along with her family’s bags, an official familiar with the incident told The Associated Press Friday. The official was not authorized to comment publicly about the incident and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The passenger boarded a flight to West Palm Beach, Fla. When she realized one of the bags was not hers, she notified a flight attendant, and the bag was returned, the official said.

The Transportation Security Administration said the gun was locked so that it could not fire. The pilot was certified to carry a weapon as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which is aimed at training pilots to fend off would-be hijackers, the TSA said in a written statement.

The TSA declined to comment on other details of the incident.

The agency said was still investigating, noting that pilots are “required to follow strict protocols for securing their TSA-issued firearm.”

The Pittsburgh flight was delayed about an hour while JetBlue found a replacement pilot.

JetBlue said it was cooperating with the goverment investigation, but would give no details.

“We appreciate the assistance of the TSA and other agencies that managed the situation efficiently without placing undue burden on our customers,” the company said in a written statement.

Neither JetBlue nor the TSA would say whether the pilot would be punished.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • crankypaul

    I would like to know how the woman got on the second plane with the gun? Who was asleep at the wheel for THAT one? TSA. Useless people doing a useless job. The fact that the gun was locked was absolutely NO solace. What fool(s) let her by without even detecting the weapon?? Metal detectors, x-ray machines.

    Another wonderful feeling about money wasted on knee jerk phobias.

  • Joe

    A CSI enthusiast would account for any one of the following:
    !.) If the plot did not have the gun with him that day, he could of claimed that he did, so as to have a handy weapon at his convenient disposal, unaccountable.
    2.) the woman could have taken it.
    3.) one of the handlers(TSA) could have NINGED it also.

  • Uncle Kermit

    I’ll bet the TSA is considering charging this passenger with possession of an illegal firearm on an airplane.

    • a

      Exactly. Never mind what NYC would do since it happened in city limits.

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