Glenn Deir said his wife, Debbie Youden, discovered the knife when she sat on it.
“She was obviously sitting on something because it was very uncomfortable,” said Deir. “Anyway, she stood up and looked down at her seat and picked up a knife. Now the blade was folded into the handle so she wasn’t hurt. But our looks were somewhere between astonishment and jaw dropping.”
Deir, a former CBC reporter and Youden, a consultant for the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, were headed to Ontario for a sailing holiday.
Both are experienced travellers, but neither was prepared for the unexpected sight.
“We opened up the knife and it was about a four-inch blade. There was a serrated edge to it, and we said ‘What in the name of God is this?'”
Deir said he showed the knife to the window seat passenger, folded the potential weapon back up and put it in his pocket until everyone had boarded the 6:30 a.m. flight. Then he “discreetly” approached the flight director.
“His jaw dropped and he turned around and showed it to the pilots and their jaws dropped and then they showed the ground crew and their jaws dropped.”
Deir said the flight director took the knife and came back later with an update.
“He said phone calls were made, incident reports were filed and it appeared at that point anyway that a mechanic who had been working on the plane dropped it.”
Deir said like all reporters, he appreciates a good story, but thought it was essential to bring the security breach to the airline’s attention.
“This is the sort of thing that’s never supposed to happen, right. I mean we go through this intense screening. They pat you down. You have to walk through sensors. You have to take off your belt and lo and behold you get on a plane, and there’s a knife!”
Better screening needed for airport workers
And yes, he did worry that airport authorities would think the knife belonged to him.
“A couple of times choppers have flown overhead, and my shipmates have said ‘look, there’s CSIS. They’re looking for you, Glenn,'” he laughed.
“My wife is absolutely convinced I’m going to be on a No Fly List and the next time I try to get on Air Canada, I’ll be drawn aside … It may be a long walk back to Newfoundland.”
‘Everybody can screw up … But this is just not the sort of thing that should ever be on a plane.”
– Glenn Deir
Deir said if it was a mechanic who dropped the knife, he hopes the employee isn’t fired, but said what happened is serious.
“Everybody can screw up. Everybody can drop something. But this is just not the sort of thing that should ever be on a plane.”
He said the incident speaks to the need for better screening of airport workers.
“Imagine … if you were up to no good and somebody was on the inside of an airport and could leave you a gun, a knife, in the seat. I mean, the mind reels with possibilities.”
CBC emailed Air Canada with a request for information about the discovery of the knife, but had no reply as of late Monday afternoon.
Source: CBC News