news analysis and commentary


Airline Stowaway – First in 39 years

In a recent story reported by WBTV in Charlotte, NC we read of an airline stowaway and a pending lawsuit. The parents of the stowaway have consulted with a lawyer to consider a lawsuit against the airport.

In November, 2010 Delvonte Tisdale, a Charlotte teen, breached security at Charlotte airport and allegedly climbed into the wheel well of a commercial airliner and became a stowaway. He was the first airline stowaway since 1972. His mangled body was later found near Boston, Massachussetts.

Speculations have been made as to the reason for his security breach in order to board the plane. Regardless of the reason, a security violation occurred.

This blogger is perplexed by the family considering a lawsuit. One cannot imagine being the owner of a car, having it stolen, the perpetrator dies in an auto accident in the stolen car, and the perpetrator’s family sues the owner of the car for wrongful death. If this case ever sees the light of a courtroom, this blogger prays that the laws of North Carolina are set up correctly and that it would be a trial-by-judge, not jury. Emotions will definitely run wild in a trial-by-jury case.

On another note, this blogger would like to speak to the national security implications of this story. Why was this story not nationally noted and publicized? In my opinion, the TSA was trying to avoid scrutiny and widespread panic during the holiday travel season. The airline was trying to maximize its profits for it shareholders. Finally, the national news media were probably more concerned with other stories, such as full body scanners.

The security of our nation’s airways was breached by a trespasser. Plain and simple. TSA, airlines, national media do your job; close the gap. Reward his family we should not.