As airline pilots around the world threatened strike action unless there's international action to combat hijacking, a negro reporter in Chicago set out to test existing security measures against hijackers at a couple of big American airports.
SV & CU Reporter loading parachute in suitcase (3 shots)
SV Reporter leaves home
SV F.A.A. Official
LV Reporter across tarmac towards aircraft
MCV Ditto receives ticket
BV Reporter along corridor at airport
SV Aircraft in flight
MV Ground controller signalling
SV Reporter leaves aircraft
SVs & MVs Waiting passengers, check in (4 shots)
SV Aircraft taxiing
QUESTION: "What are the chances of a person walking out onto the field and walking right up to one of those big jets out there?
OFFICIAL: "Well, that would be dependent upon the airport. At O'Hare, the chances are fairly remote. The security at O'Hare is good."
COMMENTARY: I went through Chicago's two airports to check security. The bags that I packed contained several metal objects to simulate weapons, and I'd included that latest in air pirate's equipment, a parachute. At O'Hare field, I talked with an F.A.A. official about the problem. But I was not stopped when I left the passenger terminal and went on ??? field. Ground crewmen and the pilot, checking the aircraft before takeoff, didn't bother to ask how I got there. I took a plane to Detroit. No-one asked what was in my bag, and it didn't have to pass through a metal detector as demonstrated frequently to reporters.
My film crew did not accompany me to the motor city, but while I was there, I demonstrated several habits of hijacking types, including asking a reservation clerk what was the next flight out. The clerk told me, but didn't hesitate to sell tickets for that flight and other flights to midwestern cities. It appeared that there is still no sure examination to weed out potential air pirates. Employees trained to detect the so-called hijackers' profile believe that the imagination of criminals is making that check worthless. The 15 pilots I talked to all said they had no choice when an armed hijacker is aboard their plane, and they will agree to fly the hijacker to any airport in the world to save the lives of their passengers.
Initials SGM/1251 SGM/1226
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As airline pilots around the world threatened strike action unless there's international action to combat hijacking, a negro reporter in Chicago set out to test existing security measures against hijackers at a couple of big American airports.
The National Broadcasting Company reports packed a bag full of metal, to simulate weapons, and added the latest refinement in air piracy -- a parachute. At Chicago's ???, the reporter got an official estimate of his chances of pulling off a hijacking. He questioned an airline official:
Nevertheless, armed with his hardware and parachute, the reporter succeeded in slipping through the security network and catching a flight to Detroit. His commentary is transcribed below. An alternative, more general commentary is provided overleaf.
SYNOPSIS: In Chicago, a potential hijacker adds a parachute to a bagful of hardware and sets out for nearby O'Hare airport to pit his wits against the much-publicised airport security system. First, he asks an official about his chances:
So our hijacker -- a reporter with the National Broadcasting Company -- set out to put O'Hare's security to the test. after picking up his ticket, he has able to get past the ground crewmen and the pilot doing a pre-flight check. No-one asked about his bag, he didn't have to pass through a metal detector and he was soon safely on a flight to Detroit.
Disembarking, the potential hijacker continued to move freely through security checks. Yet at the same time, airline pilots around the world were threatening to strike unless their was United Nations actin against air piracy. As a final test of security, the National Broadcasting Company reporter asked a booking clerk what was the next flight out -- a typical stratagem of hijackers. He got his information and another ticket. And, still armed with his hardware and parachute, was able to board another flight. Airport security had been put to the test and had failed badly.