|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : llc|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 31000|
msl bound upper : 31000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zlc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 201|
flight time total : 8478
flight time type : 352
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight attendant : on duty|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||non adherence other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
|Airport||procedure or policy : unspecified|
Shortly after level off (departed sfo) the F/a's came to the cockpit with reports that a passenger in the coach cabin was making statements to those around him that indicated to us he might possibly have been a threat to the safety of the flight. I decided to land short of destination (ord) at slc to have him removed. I did not know if this man was serious or not, nor whether he was armed or not. The company dispatcher notified slc station personnel and the authorities. My desire was to have this man removed as he was at the very least making my passenger and cabin crew apprehensive. I thought that he may have been intending to harm a passenger in first class whom he was attempting to contact. I told my company dispatcher and the ATC controller enough of what he said to, hopefully, enable the authorities to decide how to handle removing him from the aircraft. Upon handoff to approach control we were informed that 'they were treating this as a positive threat.' I did not know who 'they' were. The problem is that once we landed, no one seemed to be in charge of what, we came to realize, was determined by someone to be a positive sabotage 'threat' investigation. We encountered FAA security, airport security and the fbi. Even though we had no reason to suspect a bomb on board nor had the man directly threatened any crew member, these agencies were excitedly searching for explosives. Yet, no one told us who was in charge nor what the plan of action was. Someone should have been in control of the activity and informed all of what was happening and why. It seems to me that there were 2 strategies available to the authorities in this instance. The first, which I assumed would happen, would have been to interview the man, passenger who heard his remarks and the crew and decide what action was to be taken, perhaps including a search for possible explosives. The second would have been to search for explosives immediately after deplaning all aboard. Once a strategy had been decided on, the actions to follow should have been made clear to all and then carried out west/O hesitation and with some speed so that the airline could get on with its business of moving the passenger to their destination. If the authorities in a case like this decide that a possibility of explosives on board exists or if they want to search just to eliminate the possibility, the search of the aircraft should proceed swiftly and west/O interruption until the absence of explosives is confirmed. To do otherwise demonstrates a lack of control and organization of the authorities in charge and a lack of concern for safety.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: THREATS BY PASSENGER DURING CRUISE. PIC ELECTED TO DIRECT TO ALTERNATE AND HAVE PASSENGER REMOVED.
Narrative: SHORTLY AFTER LEVEL OFF (DEPARTED SFO) THE F/A'S CAME TO THE COCKPIT WITH RPTS THAT A PAX IN THE COACH CABIN WAS MAKING STATEMENTS TO THOSE AROUND HIM THAT INDICATED TO US HE MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN A THREAT TO THE SAFETY OF THE FLT. I DECIDED TO LAND SHORT OF DEST (ORD) AT SLC TO HAVE HIM REMOVED. I DID NOT KNOW IF THIS MAN WAS SERIOUS OR NOT, NOR WHETHER HE WAS ARMED OR NOT. THE COMPANY DISPATCHER NOTIFIED SLC STATION PERSONNEL AND THE AUTHORITIES. MY DESIRE WAS TO HAVE THIS MAN REMOVED AS HE WAS AT THE VERY LEAST MAKING MY PAX AND CABIN CREW APPREHENSIVE. I THOUGHT THAT HE MAY HAVE BEEN INTENDING TO HARM A PAX IN FIRST CLASS WHOM HE WAS ATTEMPTING TO CONTACT. I TOLD MY COMPANY DISPATCHER AND THE ATC CTLR ENOUGH OF WHAT HE SAID TO, HOPEFULLY, ENABLE THE AUTHORITIES TO DECIDE HOW TO HANDLE REMOVING HIM FROM THE ACFT. UPON HDOF TO APCH CTL WE WERE INFORMED THAT 'THEY WERE TREATING THIS AS A POSITIVE THREAT.' I DID NOT KNOW WHO 'THEY' WERE. THE PROB IS THAT ONCE WE LANDED, NO ONE SEEMED TO BE IN CHARGE OF WHAT, WE CAME TO REALIZE, WAS DETERMINED BY SOMEONE TO BE A POSITIVE SABOTAGE 'THREAT' INVESTIGATION. WE ENCOUNTERED FAA SECURITY, ARPT SECURITY AND THE FBI. EVEN THOUGH WE HAD NO REASON TO SUSPECT A BOMB ON BOARD NOR HAD THE MAN DIRECTLY THREATENED ANY CREW MEMBER, THESE AGENCIES WERE EXCITEDLY SEARCHING FOR EXPLOSIVES. YET, NO ONE TOLD US WHO WAS IN CHARGE NOR WHAT THE PLAN OF ACTION WAS. SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN CONTROL OF THE ACTIVITY AND INFORMED ALL OF WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND WHY. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE WERE 2 STRATEGIES AVAILABLE TO THE AUTHORITIES IN THIS INSTANCE. THE FIRST, WHICH I ASSUMED WOULD HAPPEN, WOULD HAVE BEEN TO INTERVIEW THE MAN, PAX WHO HEARD HIS REMARKS AND THE CREW AND DECIDE WHAT ACTION WAS TO BE TAKEN, PERHAPS INCLUDING A SEARCH FOR POSSIBLE EXPLOSIVES. THE SECOND WOULD HAVE BEEN TO SEARCH FOR EXPLOSIVES IMMEDIATELY AFTER DEPLANING ALL ABOARD. ONCE A STRATEGY HAD BEEN DECIDED ON, THE ACTIONS TO FOLLOW SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE CLEAR TO ALL AND THEN CARRIED OUT W/O HESITATION AND WITH SOME SPEED SO THAT THE AIRLINE COULD GET ON WITH ITS BUSINESS OF MOVING THE PAX TO THEIR DEST. IF THE AUTHORITIES IN A CASE LIKE THIS DECIDE THAT A POSSIBILITY OF EXPLOSIVES ON BOARD EXISTS OR IF THEY WANT TO SEARCH JUST TO ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY, THE SEARCH OF THE ACFT SHOULD PROCEED SWIFTLY AND W/O INTERRUPTION UNTIL THE ABSENCE OF EXPLOSIVES IS CONFIRMED. TO DO OTHERWISE DEMONSTRATES A LACK OF CONTROL AND ORGANIZATION OF THE AUTHORITIES IN CHARGE AND A LACK OF CONCERN FOR SAFETY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.