Security experts for a major airline’s pilot’s union have warned members that potential terrorists conducted apparent “dry runs” aboard domestic flights in recent weeks, and urged flight crews not to be pressured into taking to the skies if they are fearful.
A memo from the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, which represents more than 5,000 pilots who fly for US Airways, cites “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.”
On a Sept. 2 flight from Reagan National Airport in Washington to Orlando, a “Middle Eastern” man rose from his seat and sprinted toward the cockpit, before veering sharply to go into the forward restroom, according to the memo. While he was in there, sever other men moved about the cabin, changing seats and going into overhead bins, it says.