Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pilots Group Says Feds Were Slow To Notify Of Christmas Day Terrorist Incident

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says that after the thwarted Christmas Day incident where a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight approaching Detroit Metro Airport the system worked.

Other flights were notified of the incident so that the crews could be more vigilant.

But an airline pilots' group says, not so fast. In actual fact, they say, only inbound international flights were quickly informed of the attempt to light an incendiary device and blow a hole in the side of the plane. Crews of hundreds of other flights in the air - and others preparing for take off - never got the official word of the threat.

Remember, four planes were hijacked on September 11, 2001. And there was no way to know in the early moments of the Christmas Day incident whether other planes might be targeted as well.

The Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airlines pilots, says in a letter to its members that "some pilots were left out of the loop" after the incident occurred.

Yet another factor that needs to be addressed by the government and the airlines alike.



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