View Full Version : Box cutter found on UA 179 @ BOS [sic]

29th Jan 2003, 00:23
from Reuters this evening:

BOSTON (Reuters) - A flight waiting to depart Boston for San Francisco was evacuated on Tuesday when a passenger found a box cutter on board -- the same sharp object allegedly used by the Sept. 11 hijackers, officials said.

The incident occurred as passengers were boarding United Airlines Flight 179, which was scheduled to leave Boston's Logan International Airport at 3:30
p.m. EST (2030 GMT), the Transportation Security Administration said.

A passenger in the first class cabin found the box cutter in the magazine pouch in front of his seat, officials said.


Passengers and crew were ordered to evacuate the aircraft and undergo another security screening. TSA officers also inspected the aircraft but foundd nothing else, Naccara said.

Officials said that as of 6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT), the flight was still being held at the airport. It was not clear when it would be allowed to take off and an airport spokesman said passengers were being booked on other flights.

Naccara said it was too early to speculate on how the security breach occurred, but authorities were looking at everyone who had access to the aircraft.


"Finding a box cutter on board an aircraft is a relatively rare thing but we still find them at security checkpoints in airports," said Brian Turmail, a TSA spokesman in Washington.

He noted that last month alone, TSA agents discovered 67 box cutters at security checkpoints at Los Angeles airport.


29th Jan 2003, 05:19
The chances are it was simply left there by a careless engineer, carpet trimmer or what have you. We go on board armed to the teeth with these kind of things (Swiss Army knives, Leatherman multi-purpose tools, razor blades, hacksaws, podgers, electric drills,...). How else would the flight attendants able to cut the plastic ties on those newspaper bundles? :D

They drive those hand-held metal detectors nuts.


29th Jan 2003, 12:45
Being an oldish British person, I had never heard the term 'box cutter' before 9/11 and without the word 'knife' associated with it, I though they might be a large pair of scissors . Can we assume it to mean 'Stanley knife' or similar 'disposable craft knife?'

29th Jan 2003, 13:27
Yeah maybe I'll report it!

My initial reaction also, until I consider that once its reported by somebody else, I'm probably going to have a problem on the next flight I try to board..

I don't like the other the mechanic could have left it on board explanation either, since it's far easier to place your tools on an adjacent seat or even the floor as you work compared to the inconvenience of a deep seat pocket.

29th Jan 2003, 20:21

"Stanley knife" is close.

In the US a box cutter is used by grocery store stock clerks to cut open corrugated carboard boxes quickly. It is a single-edge razor blade in a rectangular framework such that only one corner (about 1/2" triangle) of the blade is exposed. Then a sliding steel cover is fitted over the framework so the cutting edge can be protected. The whole works is about 4 x 1 x 1/8", and fits easily in the back pocket of a pair of jeans.