Congressman Questions Airport Security After Teen's Bizarre Death

A Massachusetts congressman says he is concerned that Homeland Security officials have not announced corrective actions since a teenager breached security at a North Carolina airport and hid in the wheel well of a Boston-bound plane.

Rep. William Keating pressed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday about the case of 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale, who died in November after climbing into the wheel well at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Tisdale plunged to the ground in Milton, Mass., as the plane descended to Boston.

Napolitano acknowledged during a hearing in Washington that the incident revealed a "breakdown" in security and said the Transportation Security Administration is investigating.

Keating later said in a telephone interview he is disappointed Napolitano did not list any steps that have already been taken to improve security.

Police in North Carolina are going to head an investigation into how a Charlotte teen found dead near Boston's Logan International Airport was able to sneak into the wheel well of the plane from which he plunged.

The aviation director of Charlotte Douglas International Airport asked Charlotte police on Tuesday for help in determining how 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale may have gotten aboard the plane.

Police spokesman Robert Fey says his department has no timeline in determining how Tisdale was able to get onto airport property and on the US Airways plane.

Tisdale's badly damaged body was found last month in Milton, Mass. Investigators believe he fell out when the plane lowered its landing gear on the approach to Boston.

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  • by Fred Location: Earth on Feb 14, 2011 at 10:43 AM
    He was not INSIDE the wheel, he was inside the wheelwell. This is the area where the landing gear is stored when it is raised inside the plane.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2011 at 09:37 AM
    DO airports have security cameras and guards? I have never been to an airport. Did this person go in the wheel or did someone else put him in it. Did his body have any other injury or wounds?
  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    This is what you call a self-correcting problem. This dumb*** tried to hitch a free ride and it didn't work out for him. I'll bet the next guy thinks twice about doing this. ......Probably not.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2010 at 01:47 AM
    instead of searching people's cavities, they should search the plane...
  • by Aunt Bee on Dec 14, 2010 at 05:42 PM
    This is such a horror. I pray that this young man's family can find solace within the family.

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