An internal memo from the union that represents pilots for US Airways claims there have been “several cases recently” throughout the airline industry of what the union believes are “dry-runs” for potential attacks with or on an aircraft.
The memo - released sometime just before September 11, 2013 - from the US Airline Pilots Association states "there have been several cases recently throughout the (airline) industry of what appear to be probes, or dry-runs, to test our procedures and reaction to an in-flight threat."
The union memo, titled “9/11 Security Update,” went on to detail one “typical example” that happened on a US Airways flight to Orlando International Airport (MCO) originating at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC. (All italics and capitalization reflect the original memo.)
“A group of Middle-Eastern males boarded in DCA. Shortly after takeoff, one got up and ran from his seat in coach towards the flight deck door. He made a hard left and entered the forward lav, where he stayed for a considerable length of time! While he was in there, the others got up and proceeded to move about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins, and generally making a scene. They appeared to be trying to occupy and distract the flight attendants.
Both US Airways and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) verified the incident.
The TSA responded to the original story with a statement, saying it "takes all reports of suspicious activity on board aircraft seriously,” and that "the matter required no further investigation at this time."
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