|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : ord|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||MD-80 Super 80|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
non adherence other
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
In light of what has been happening the last few weeks/months/yrs in regards to terrorist threats, bombs, etc, I am firmly convinced once again that the procedure and emphasis in place are 100 percent inadequate. This morning I was captain on a flight from ord to dca, our nation's capital. Many individuals, both male and female in very professional attire, were on board. More than likely they are high level government staff, senators, cabinet members, etc. Not your typical flight to mco with kids from top to bottom. Right as we depart -- and the agents, etc are in a huge rush as this flight arrived from las late and want us outta here -- the gentleman in seat XXX brings to the attention of my cabin attendants of a package under seat xxy that does not belong to him nor anyone around him. The cabin attendants make a PA to see if anyone claims this green army duffel bag with wires and a radio looking thing kinda hanging outta it. No one claims it. I have the first officer call ramp for security. Since we were -- out -- the lco came up. I had motioned to the agent and the jet bridge came back to the aircraft. A lot of things are now all happening at once. I and my crew immediately begin to wonder with a bit of tension, what is this package. I had the cabin attendants do a quick passenger count. The lco shows 98 souls on board, less crew. The cabin attendants count 97. This passenger count took all of 15-20 seconds. We were off by 1 passenger. Now I/we were even more concerned so I have them recount the passenger just to make sure. Sure enough we got an unclaimed package with wires, etc, hanging out of it and a missing passenger. Once again a lot of things were all happening at once. Ramp control and the agents want me to simply tell them how many passenger I have on board so that they can then send to me a generic lco with X number of passenger on board. I tell them no way, and one of the agents seems real put out that they will get a delay. I've been around long enough to see that look of panic and who will eat the delay. I tell them to give me the delay forcrying out loud. In the meantime, come to find out, the other agent ran to the back and began to rifle through the package. I could not believe it. The first officer by now had the S80 volume 1 out to page 5 that says we are not to move the package. This is all in a warning box. You know, packages that are in fact bombs do not have labeled on the side -- contents: bomb-one each, do not shake/move/tip, etc. How in the world can that message be taken seriously. Get rid of it and save the ink. The agents were all hyper that they'd be tagged with a delay out on the jet bridge. There is a flurry of activity going on. It has now been 15 or so mins and security shows up and they are going through the bag. Eventually, the red coat/supervisor returns and says she figured out where the error was and we really do have only 97 souls on board. One gentleman passenger said he had enough so we left with 96. This problem of inaccurate passenger counts and misloaded cargo has gone on for far too long. The system is broke. It needs to be fixed permanently. Not just another bandaid put on the sore spot. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: this captain said that the second agent's actions were reported to his supervisor and the chief pilot, but he suspects that little was done in the form of corrective action. He said that he had been on the safety committee and he has had no feedback from them or the company. He would like for the agents to receive training in what not to do as well as what to do. The reporter said that the incorrect passenger count was almost as exasperating to him as the problem with the suspicious package. This has been a problem with his company for some time now, he said. He thinks that the on-time emphasis has made the operations personnel and the passenger agents less concerned with accuracy with the count or the weight and balance. He feels that the program should reflect a greater interest in these subjects that affect safety versus some operational bragging rights. The reporter said that he was going to keep the ASRS program informed. He also said that the ASRS program had helped him with database searches in the past and he appreciates the program.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN ACR PAX DISCOVERS A SUSPICIOUS DUFFEL BAG UNDER A SEAT THAT THE FLC FELT SHOULD BE TREATED AS A POTENTIAL BOMB WHEN NO ONE CLAIMS IT. SECURITY IS CALLED, BUT BEFORE THEY ARRIVE A PAX AGENT OPENS AND INSPECTS THE BAG IN VIOLATION OF COMPANY AND SECURITY FAA PROC.
Narrative: IN LIGHT OF WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING THE LAST FEW WKS/MONTHS/YRS IN REGARDS TO TERRORIST THREATS, BOMBS, ETC, I AM FIRMLY CONVINCED ONCE AGAIN THAT THE PROC AND EMPHASIS IN PLACE ARE 100 PERCENT INADEQUATE. THIS MORNING I WAS CAPT ON A FLT FROM ORD TO DCA, OUR NATION'S CAPITAL. MANY INDIVIDUALS, BOTH MALE AND FEMALE IN VERY PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE, WERE ON BOARD. MORE THAN LIKELY THEY ARE HIGH LEVEL GOV STAFF, SENATORS, CABINET MEMBERS, ETC. NOT YOUR TYPICAL FLT TO MCO WITH KIDS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. RIGHT AS WE DEPART -- AND THE AGENTS, ETC ARE IN A HUGE RUSH AS THIS FLT ARRIVED FROM LAS LATE AND WANT US OUTTA HERE -- THE GENTLEMAN IN SEAT XXX BRINGS TO THE ATTN OF MY CABIN ATTENDANTS OF A PACKAGE UNDER SEAT XXY THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO HIM NOR ANYONE AROUND HIM. THE CABIN ATTENDANTS MAKE A PA TO SEE IF ANYONE CLAIMS THIS GREEN ARMY DUFFEL BAG WITH WIRES AND A RADIO LOOKING THING KINDA HANGING OUTTA IT. NO ONE CLAIMS IT. I HAVE THE FO CALL RAMP FOR SECURITY. SINCE WE WERE -- OUT -- THE LCO CAME UP. I HAD MOTIONED TO THE AGENT AND THE JET BRIDGE CAME BACK TO THE ACFT. A LOT OF THINGS ARE NOW ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE. I AND MY CREW IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO WONDER WITH A BIT OF TENSION, WHAT IS THIS PACKAGE. I HAD THE CABIN ATTENDANTS DO A QUICK PAX COUNT. THE LCO SHOWS 98 SOULS ON BOARD, LESS CREW. THE CABIN ATTENDANTS COUNT 97. THIS PAX COUNT TOOK ALL OF 15-20 SECONDS. WE WERE OFF BY 1 PAX. NOW I/WE WERE EVEN MORE CONCERNED SO I HAVE THEM RECOUNT THE PAX JUST TO MAKE SURE. SURE ENOUGH WE GOT AN UNCLAIMED PACKAGE WITH WIRES, ETC, HANGING OUT OF IT AND A MISSING PAX. ONCE AGAIN A LOT OF THINGS WERE ALL HAPPENING AT ONCE. RAMP CTL AND THE AGENTS WANT ME TO SIMPLY TELL THEM HOW MANY PAX I HAVE ON BOARD SO THAT THEY CAN THEN SEND TO ME A GENERIC LCO WITH X NUMBER OF PAX ON BOARD. I TELL THEM NO WAY, AND ONE OF THE AGENTS SEEMS REAL PUT OUT THAT THEY WILL GET A DELAY. I'VE BEEN AROUND LONG ENOUGH TO SEE THAT LOOK OF PANIC AND WHO WILL EAT THE DELAY. I TELL THEM TO GIVE ME THE DELAY FORCRYING OUT LOUD. IN THE MEANTIME, COME TO FIND OUT, THE OTHER AGENT RAN TO THE BACK AND BEGAN TO RIFLE THROUGH THE PACKAGE. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. THE FO BY NOW HAD THE S80 VOLUME 1 OUT TO PAGE 5 THAT SAYS WE ARE NOT TO MOVE THE PACKAGE. THIS IS ALL IN A WARNING BOX. YOU KNOW, PACKAGES THAT ARE IN FACT BOMBS DO NOT HAVE LABELED ON THE SIDE -- CONTENTS: BOMB-ONE EACH, DO NOT SHAKE/MOVE/TIP, ETC. HOW IN THE WORLD CAN THAT MESSAGE BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. GET RID OF IT AND SAVE THE INK. THE AGENTS WERE ALL HYPER THAT THEY'D BE TAGGED WITH A DELAY OUT ON THE JET BRIDGE. THERE IS A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY GOING ON. IT HAS NOW BEEN 15 OR SO MINS AND SECURITY SHOWS UP AND THEY ARE GOING THROUGH THE BAG. EVENTUALLY, THE RED COAT/SUPVR RETURNS AND SAYS SHE FIGURED OUT WHERE THE ERROR WAS AND WE REALLY DO HAVE ONLY 97 SOULS ON BOARD. ONE GENTLEMAN PAX SAID HE HAD ENOUGH SO WE LEFT WITH 96. THIS PROB OF INACCURATE PAX COUNTS AND MISLOADED CARGO HAS GONE ON FOR FAR TOO LONG. THE SYS IS BROKE. IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED PERMANENTLY. NOT JUST ANOTHER BANDAID PUT ON THE SORE SPOT. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THIS CAPT SAID THAT THE SECOND AGENT'S ACTIONS WERE RPTED TO HIS SUPVR AND THE CHIEF PLT, BUT HE SUSPECTS THAT LITTLE WAS DONE IN THE FORM OF CORRECTIVE ACTION. HE SAID THAT HE HAD BEEN ON THE SAFETY COMMITTEE AND HE HAS HAD NO FEEDBACK FROM THEM OR THE COMPANY. HE WOULD LIKE FOR THE AGENTS TO RECEIVE TRAINING IN WHAT NOT TO DO AS WELL AS WHAT TO DO. THE RPTR SAID THAT THE INCORRECT PAX COUNT WAS ALMOST AS EXASPERATING TO HIM AS THE PROB WITH THE SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE. THIS HAS BEEN A PROB WITH HIS COMPANY FOR SOME TIME NOW, HE SAID. HE THINKS THAT THE ON-TIME EMPHASIS HAS MADE THE OPS PERSONNEL AND THE PAX AGENTS LESS CONCERNED WITH ACCURACY WITH THE COUNT OR THE WT AND BAL. HE FEELS THAT THE PROGRAM SHOULD REFLECT A GREATER INTEREST IN THESE SUBJECTS THAT AFFECT SAFETY VERSUS SOME OPERATIONAL BRAGGING RIGHTS. THE RPTR SAID THAT HE WAS GOING TO KEEP THE ASRS PROGRAM INFORMED. HE ALSO SAID THAT THE ASRS PROGRAM HAD HELPED HIM WITH DATABASE SEARCHES IN THE PAST AND HE APPRECIATES THE PROGRAM.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.