Air Travel

Exactly seventy years ago the first U.S. jet flight took place. Designed and built by the Bell Aircraft Corporation, the XP-59A was first flown at Muroc Dry Lake, California, on October 1,…

Reports Ian MacLeod in the Ottawa Citizen:

Airports and border crossings across Canada are being wired with high-definition cameras and microphones that can eavesdrop on travellers’ conversations, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.

A CBSA statement said that audio-video monitoring and recording is already in place at unidentified CBSA sites at airports and border points of entry as part of an effort to enhance “border integrity, infrastructure and asset security and health and safety.”

As part of the work, the agency is introducing audio-monitoring equipment as well.

“It is important to note that even though audio technology is installed, no audio is recorded at this time. It will become functional at a later date,” CBSA spokesman Chris Kealey said in a written statement. But whenever that occurs, the technology, “will record conversations,” the agency said in a separate statement in response to questions from the Ottawa Citizen

The TSA is denying this, here is what Tim Mak reported on the Politico below. This kind of reminds me of when the late Senator Kennedy was placed on the “no-fly” list,…

P14-45 HandgunReports Mike M. Ahlers on CNN:

Federal airport screeners still find four to five guns at checkpoints on a typical day, the Transportation Security Administration’s chief told a Senate hearing Wednesday.

“Yesterday we found six, including one at … Bradley (airport in Connecticut) — a loaded gun with seven rounds in it, in a checked bag that (a passenger) was trying to get through,” Administrator John Pistole said.

Passengers typically say they forgot the weapon was in their bag, TSA officials said. But in one recent case, a passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport tried to board a plane with two pistols, three ammunition magazines, eight knives and a hand saw in a carry-on bag, the TSA said. That passenger was arrested by local law enforcement.

Who Am I?Saggy pants are a no-no. Rocky Picture Horror Show, clear to go. Not sure what the deal is here. Reports the AP via Yahoo News:

SAN FRANCISCO — Days before a college football player was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following a dispute over his saggy pants, the airline allowed another man wearing skimpy women’s panties and mid-thigh stockings to fly, according to a passenger and airline spokeswoman.

Jill Tarlow, a passenger on a June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Phoenix, took a photo of the scantily clad man, which she provided to the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper published the photo in its Wednesday edition.

The man flew six days before University of New Mexico football player DeShon Marman was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following allegations he refused to pull up his pants.

Tarlow told the Chronicle she and other passengers complained before boarding the plane, but US Airways employees did not prevent the unidentified man from flying.

Plane Hit By LightningNatalie Wolchover writes on Life’s Little Mysteries via MSNBC:

When an Airbus 380 from Dubai came in for landing at Heathrow Airport on a recent stormy night in London, it was struck by a giant bolt of lightning. The event was caught on camera, giving the world a rare glimpse of what’s actually a common occurrence.

“In the video, this is without a doubt a triggered flash,” Mazur told Life’s Little Mysteries. “You can see it’s a dark sky, so you have rain and other evidence of a recent thunderstorm. Natural lightning had most likely ended already, but in decaying storms you have a very high electric field. It’s enough to support the development of lightning, but there is no natural mechanism for initiating lightning discharge. When an airplane comes in, it acts as an artificial trigger.”

Baby with the TSACynthia Newsome reports on NBC KSHB-TV

KANSAS CITY, Missouri— A photo of two Transportation Security Administration agents doing a full pat down on a baby, approximately 8 months old, has gone viral.

It happened at the Kansas City International Airport.

A passenger, Jacob Jester, captured the image on his cell phone. Since he tweeted the picture on Saturday, it has had more than 200,000 hits.

The photo shows the helpless baby being held up in the air by his mother while the TSA workers do their job. Jester has an 8-month-old son and would not want his son to be subjected to a hand search by TSA agents.

ImansVia CNN:

An airline is investigating the removal of two imams from a flight headed to North Carolina, ostensibly because passengers felt uncomfortable with their presence of the pair — both clad in Islamic attire.

The incident occurred Friday on an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight from Tennessee to North Carolina and it involved Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul were wearing traditional Muslim dress, CNN affiliate WCNC reported.

The two — who hold high religious positions in the Muslim community — were headed to North Carolina for a conference on prejudice against Muslims, or Islamaphobia. The meeting is sponsored by the North American Imams Federation.

Rahman, who is a professor at the University of Memphis, told the affiliate that the incident reminded him of the prejudice Rosa Parks faced during the civil rights movement.

BagelGot to watch those bagels … Todd Wright reports for NBC Miami:

A Florida professor was arrested and removed from a plane Monday after his fellow passengers alerted crew members they thought he had a suspicious package in the overhead compartment.

That “suspicious package” turned out to be keys, a bagel with cream cheese and a hat.

Ognjen Milatovic, 35, was flying from Boston to Washington D.C. on US Airways when he was escorted off the plane for disorderly conduct following the incident.

Monday’s incident is another example of other passengers essentially becoming the authority on terrorist activity on planes.

Recently, passenger complaints have resulted authorities taking action against innocent passengers who went to the bathroom too often on a flight and who were just being annoying.

PrecrimeVia BBC News:

Comedian Stephen Fry has said he is “prepared to go to prison” over the “Twitter joke” trial.

Fry was at a benefit gig for a man who is appealing against his conviction for sending a menacing communication. Paul Chambers had tweeted: “Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!”

Twitter Joke Trial Tweet

Fry argued that Chambers’ tweet was an example of Britain’s tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter.

Chambers’ case has become a cause celebre on Twitter, with hundreds of people reposting his original comments in protest at the conviction.

“This [verdict] must not be allowed to stand in law,” Fry said, adding that he would continue to repeat Chambers’ message and face prison “if that’s what it takes”.