Entries in Airport (31)


Large Airport Sign Falls, Kills 10-Year-Old Boy

ABC News(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A sign at the Birmingham airport fell on a family on Friday, killing a 10-year-old boy and injuring other family members.

The child, Luke Bresette, was killed Friday afternoon when a large information sign, weighing an estimated 300 to 400 pounds, peeled off of the wall and fell on the child, his mother, and two of his brothers.

According to the Birmingham News, it took six men to lift the sign off the family. Luke's mother was hospitalized with two broken ankles and a fractured pelvis, one of the brothers suffered a broken leg and broken nose, and the other brother was treated for a concussion.

The airport remains open, though the area where the sign fell was cordoned off. Officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Southwest Airlines Plane Veers Off New York Runway

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A plane veering off the runway might frazzle most pilots, but not the one flying Southwest Flight 4695.

On a recording obtained by, the pilot calmly says to the control tower, “Tower, 4695, we just made your day very interesting, at least ours is going to be. We just taxied right off the taxiway and into the grass here. Right off Sierra and before Alpha. And we are gonna have to deplane the people and get something out here to tow the aircraft back on the pavement.”

The control tower is equally calm, telling the pilot he will dispatch fire and rescue.

The Tampa-bound Southwest flight veered off the taxiway and into the grass Long Island’s MacArthur Airport Thursday morning.

Passengers were forced to evacuate onto the runway. No injuries were reported.

It appears the plane took a misturn in the rain, left the taxiway and came to a stop in the mud. The plane appeared to be tilting to the side, ABC affiliate WABC reported. Some 134 passengers were on the 737.

According to the airline’s web site, flight 4695 was scheduled to depart at 6:15 a.m. and arrive in Tampa at 9:15 a.m. The web site has changed the departure time to 11:55 a.m. and has the flight listed as “boarding.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Who Crashed Utah Plane Wanted in Killing

Obtained by ABC News(ST. GEORGE, Utah) -- An airline captain who entered a small Utah airport early this morning and damaged a SkyWest Airlines jetliner, a terminal building and some parked vehicles had been sought by authorities in the death of his girlfriend.

Brian Joseph Hedglin, 40, of Colorado Springs, Colo., fatally shot himself, a source at the airline told ABC News. SkyWest confirmed today that the suspect had been an employee of the company but was on administrative leave.

A Federal Aviation Agency database confirmed that Hedglin was certified to fly commercially as a captain.

Hedglin drove his motorcycle to St. George Municipal Airport, hopped a fence at 12:30 a.m. M.T. and then boarded the SkyWest aircraft, according to authorities.

The source told ABC News that after starting the engines of a 50-seat regional jetliner, Hedglin clipped the wing of another aircraft and crashed through a fence as he taxied the plane. It wasn't clear whether the plane ever got off the ground.

Hedglin had been named a suspect in the slaying of 39-year-old girlfriend Christina Lopez Cornejo, according to ABC News affiliate KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs. The two were members of the Colorado National Guard.

Her body was found Friday at a home in Colorado Springs, Colo. KRDO-TV said that court records showed Hedglin faced charges after being arrested in a domestic disturbance involving Cornejo several months ago.

Federal, local and airport authorities continued to investigate the airport incident today.

"The FBI is on scene at St. George Airport, along with St. George PD and TSA. We are conducting a joint investigation. We are still gathering facts, but it is important to note there is no ongoing public safety issue and the scene is under the control of law enforcement," the FBI in Salt Lake City said in a statement earlier today.

According to SkyWest, its CRJ200 sustained damage.

All commercial flights at the airport were canceled until further notice. Mark Mortensen, a city spokesman, told the Deseret News that the terminal and vehicles in the parking lot had sustained minor damage as well.

Mortensen also said that while the private portion of the airport was open, the rest of the airport remained closed indefinitely.

SkyWest is a regional airline based in St. George that operates flights for United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines with a fleet of 314 aircraft.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman Plants Gun, Ammo in Boy's Toys to Set Up Ex at Airport

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(WARWICK, R.I.) -- Transportation Security Administration officers made a dangerous find Monday afternoon when a man and his child were attempting to fly from Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport.

A disassembled .40 caliber pistol and a magazine with a pair of bullets were found hidden inside stuffed animals in the 4-year-old boy's carry-on bag.  The pistol could have been made operational in moments by anyone familiar with it.

TSA agents confiscated the "artfully concealed" weapon -- but let the flyer and his son board a Pinnacle Airlines flight to Detroit, because they figured out the situation was a set-up, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston. 

Officials say the man's wife apparently stuffed the contraband into the toys to get her former husband busted. The couple has been tangled in a bitter custody dispute.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man with Explosive Powder, Fireworks Apprehended at Philly Airport

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 29-year-old-man was taken into police custody Thursday morning at the Philadelphia airport after attempting to board a flight to San Francisco while carrying items that could have been assembled into an explosive device -- a vial with a fuse, a plastic bottle filled with explosive powder and three M-80 type fireworks.

Joseph Picklo of Dallas, Pennsylvania told authorities he is a self-employed salesman who "likes to conduct experiments with explosives" and that he was trying to start a business using exploding targets. Picklo told authorities he had "fooled around" with the fireworks and other materials and forgot he had them in his backpack when he attempted to board the flight. He was charged with attempting to carry an explosive device on a plane and transferred into federal custody this afternoon. The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years.

FBI officials told ABC News there is no known connection to terrorism, but authorities said some or all of the elements could have been combined to make a bomb. Picklo was detained at 6 a.m. after a suspicious item was seen in a carry-on bag at a security checkpoint as he was headed for a US Airways flight.

Airport operations were only minimally affected. One gate was closed for 20 minutes while police responded. The Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad removed the material to its range for examination.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Surveillance Video Apparently Shows Man Dragged Face-Down by Police

ABC News(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Authorities in Oklahoma City are investigating an incident in which surveillance footage shows police officers apparently dragging a man face-down out of the Will Rogers World Airport.

The incident occurred on Feb. 20, when James Jay Heidebrecht was arrested following a “disturbance at a security check point,” according to the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Heidebrecht was allegedly trying to get past security to speak with Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, according to ABC News’ Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO.

Gingrich was in Oklahoma but was not at the airport at the time, according to police.

“The gentleman had some mental discord. He was claiming to be the head of the CIA. He claimed he was head of the Green Berets. He claimed a lot of things,” Oklahoma City Police spokesman Capt. Dexter Nelson told ABC News. “He was not in a normal state of mind. Communication with him was not going well.”

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Officers used a Taser to subdue him.  And from the surveillance footage, “I can’t tell if his face is in contact with the ground,” Nelson said.

Whenever there is an arrest that involves any force other than routine handcuffing, there is an administrative and criminal investigation of the situation, said Nelson. He conceded that the incident was “more than routine handcuffing.”

One of the officers in the video has been placed on “restricted duty status,” while the others have kept their regular duties. Nelson said no action will be taken until the investigation is complete.

“[Heidebrecht has] made no complaints whatsoever. His criminal charges have been dismissed,” Nelson said. Police say the information about the internal investigation was released “in the interest of disclosure and transparency.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Delta Plane Rolls Off Taxiway at Atlanta Airport

ABC News(ATLANTA) -- A Delta airplane sustained significant damage when it veered off a taxiway early Tuesday morning while undergoing maintenance at the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, local ABC News affiliate WSB-TV reports.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, the Boeing 737-700 rolled off the taxiway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport around 5 a.m.

Eric Torbinson, a spokesman for Delta, said two maintenance workers were on board testing the jet's engines when the braking system failed.  No passengers were on the plane, and the two workers were unharmed.

The FAA said the incident has not led to any traffic delays at the airport.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TSA Confiscates Four Guns per Day

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Transportation Security Administration said it picked up 1,306 guns at airport checkpoints last year.

That’s four guns a day. And that doesn’t include the spear guns and bombs.

Last week alone the TSA confiscated a live mortar bomb, heavy-duty firecrackers, three stun guns, signal flares and a jar of dead snakes. Two weeks ago, TSA agents found, yes, a spear gun and 24 loaded firearms in passenger luggage.

Yes, you can carry registered handguns in checked luggage, but they have to be declared at check-in.

Surprising the TSA’s X-ray machine is not advised. Also this year, two cannonballs were confiscated at Kahului airport in Hawaii, two grenades in Colorado Springs, Colo., and a grenade launcher in checked baggage in Seattle. The TSA said it would have been even more concerned if the grenades and grenade launcher were in the same Samsonite.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philadelphia Airport Driver Was Going 100 MPH

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The man who disrupted Philadelphia's airport by darting onto the runway in his car, reached speeds up to 100 mph as a plane was about to land, according to an affidavit filed by an arresting FBI agent.

The affidavit was filed along with the federal arrest warrant for Kenneth Richard Mazik, 24, of Chadds Ford, Pa.

Mazik has been charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia in a criminal complaint with an act of violence at an international airport for driving onto the airport, then allegedly injuring two officers as they tried to put him into a holding cell.

The affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Megan MacDonald states that Mazik was seen watching the airport runway in a black Jeep Grand Cherokee next to an airport gate.

"As an airplane approached the airport in a final descent for landing, the driver suddenly accelerated, then charged the gate in the perimeter fence in his Jeep Grand Cherokee. The driver crashed his Cherokee through the locked gate as the aircraft approached the runway," MacDonald wrote.

The court document claims he sped down runway 9R “at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour."

"As the driver did so, the approaching airplane was still descending for landing from behind the Cherokee on that same runway," the affidavit said.

The incoming plane was quickly told to abort its landing.

"Airport personnel have estimated that the airplane was approximately 500 feet above the runway when it was diverted and placed in a holding pattern," MacDonald wrote in the affidavit.

After a pursuit of over five minutes, which caused havoc and concern among air traffic controls and pilots, Mazik was stopped by Philadelphia Police Department officers on a taxiway adjacent to runway 27R at the airport.

"Seventy-five aircraft were placed in a holding pattern and 80 aircraft were prevented from departing at their scheduled times. This caused significant disruption to the operation and services of the airport and caused financial expense and losses," the affidavit states.

"I further submit that by driving his Cherokee onto the runway in front of an approaching aircraft, Mazik endangered the safety of the passengers and crew of that aircraft," the federal agent wrote.

Mazik allegedly injured two officers after he was detained and attempted to be placed into a holding cell.

"When police officers later attempted to place the subject in a holding cell at the airport, the subject became combative and resisted the officers, causing injury to two of the officers," the affidavit noted.

If convicted Mazik faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philadelphia Airport Closed After Police Chase on Runway

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia International Airport was closed briefly Thursday after a drunken man drove his SUV through a fence and onto two runways, leading police on a high-speed chase, sparking a terrorism scare and forcing an air traffic controller to order a passenger plane to abort its landing, authorities said.

The suspect, Kenneth Richard Mazik, 24, of Chadds Ford, Pa., has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, simple and aggravated assault, and several counts of reckless endangerment, defiant trespass and criminal mischief.

Witnesses say Mazik drove his Jeep Cherokee through an airport construction gate only a few yards from the runway at about 10 a.m. The man headed directly for the landing area just as U.S. Airways Flight 3137, a commuter jet, was about to land, they added. At the last minute, a controller ordered the pilot to pull up.

“We’ve got a rogue vehicle driving around on the airport,” one controller said, advising other aircraft of the incident and a likely delay. “We got to catch him. We’re not moving anybody until we find this guy.”

All runways were re-opened by 4 p.m.

Witnesses say it seemed as though Mazik attempted to time it so that the Jeep would meet the plane as it landed, according to a report from ABC affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. Police say Mazik never made it to the runway; officers were able to stop him first.

“The ground radar kicked in; the tower was alerted immediately and they made sure to divert flights coming in and then quickly shut the airport down,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan said, according to WPVI.

Mazik appeared to be intoxicated when he was finally apprehended, police said.

The incident has raised questions about security at the airport, but the facility’s deputy director, Keith Prune, said security was good.

“We do have security perimeter checks on a regular basis, multiple times, every shift throughout the entire day, so we’re fairly confident with our security,” Prune said.

Police checked the Jeep for explosives or other suspect material. The reported they did not find anything.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio