Last week, NBC News reporters apparently tried and failed to penetrate
security at a general aviation airport. They were planning on writing a story
about how easy it would be to hijack a helicopter and attack America with it.
Instead, they ended up being hauled away in steel (metal contest) bracelets and
spending at least a short time behind bars (more metal content) where the police
were very interested in the reporter's box cutters (even more metal content) and
other weapons they apparently intended to take aboard a rented chopper.
Naturally, NBC ran the story anyhow http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5626850/ and
did not have the integrity to mention the totally relevant fact that they had
tried to show how "easy" it would be to hijack a helicopter and had
embarrassingly failed. Polite words fail me.
The following is from the AOPA website
The story begins as a man telephones an FBO at St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS),
not far from the Gateway Arch, and asks about chartering a helicopter. About an
hour later, two men of Middle Eastern appearance walk into the FBO, pull out
cash to pay for the flight, and present driver's licenses from two different
states as ID. Office staff notices their car is registered in a third state.
"Things just didn't smell right," said St. Louis Downtown Airport Director Bob
McDaniel, "so the mechanic took them into the hangar to see the aircraft, while
the office person called the FBI and local police." (Airport Watch guidance says
to call local police or the FBI if you suspect an immediate threat to life or
The helicopter was blocked by other aircraft, and the mechanic used that as an
excuse to stall the two suspects, who began unloading backpacks and odd-shaped
luggage from their car.
Local police arrived shortly and hauled the suspects off to jail in handcuffs.
Police discovered box cutters and other potential weapons hidden in the bags.
And now (with apologies to Paul Harvey), the rest of the story.
After a little time behind bars, the two "terrorists" confessed that they were
NBC employees from New York. Their assignment: A story on how "easy" it was to
get information and directions to a helicopter and then hijack it. St. Louis was
their first attempt; the network reportedly planned similar tries to penetrate
security at airports around the country.