Weekend what we’re reading: Miss America groped by TSA, French find flight 447 black box, canabalizing planes for parts


Miss America gets groped at a TSA checkpoint, makes a video and does the right thing — complains. Air France crash investigators found debris on the Atlantic floor. And, the airlines are turning to disassembly of planes to provide spare parts.

Miss America “molested” by TSA security

A former Miss America from Massachusetts has openly complained about her treatment by TSA officers during an airport search. She felt “molested” and “helpless.” She has posted a video on YouTube about her experience that we have included below. Castillo seems to be channeling our two-part story about TSA security.

The beauty queen turned actress says she decided against doing the body scanner over concerns about exposure to radiation.

Castillo says a female Transportation Security Administration worker who checked her touched her crotch area several times.

“I felt completely helpless and violated during the entire process (in fact, I still do), so I became extremely upset,” she wrote on her website.

Castillo later complained and was given a TSA comment card.

Deep dive team finds part of Air France Flight 447 recorder; data missing

French accident investigators are not giving up the search for remnants of the Air France flight that went down over the Atlantic when flying through storm clouds. Drone submarines have found a field of wreckage and located the flight data recorder — without the data module. The search continues.

In that search, a Remus 6000 drone submarine on April 3 found a field of metal debris scattered across the ocean bottom 600 mi. off the coast of northern Brazil and transmitted pictures of what is believed to be the aircraft’s two engines, bits of landing gear and a section of fuselage.

This latest search focuses on the aft elements of the wreckage, localizing the flight recorders and studying the operational procedures aimed at recovering the airplane’s flight recorders, computers and parts. BEA told Bloomberg, “The search is continuing for the missing data module as well as the separate cockpit voice recorder and other wreckage that may be useful to the investigation.”

Younger Aircraft Being Disassembled For Parts

Planes are being disassembled at an increasing rate for spare parts. A seldom-used practice is becoming increasingly the norm. Taking apart one plane to make another fly is not as rare as it once was.

At the beginning of the decade, about 50 aircraft a year worldwide were disassembled for parts, according to Abdol Moabery, president and CEO of GA Telesis, who spoke at Aviation Week’s recent MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition. This year, GA Telesis alone expects to tear down 65 airframes, and Moabery thinks the global total likely will be 300-400 aircraft. Others in the industry say Moabery’s estimate may be on the high side, but it is clear that parting out is on the rise.

According to consultancy AeroStrategy, 80% of available surplus parts come from parted-out aircraft and the other 20% from excess airline inventory. The ratio just a few a years ago was 60/40, according to Kevin Michels, a founding partner of AeroStrategy. Air transport spending last year on surplus was about $2.3 billion and spending on new parts was $12.3 billion, the company reports.

  • Hapgood

    … Castillo then gave the comment card to the TSA screener, who inserted the comment card into the Fellowes Cross-Cut Shredder as directed by section (“Disposition of Passenger Complaints”) in the TSA Classified Operating Procedure Manual.

  • Lynn N.

    Anyone opposed to TSA’s tyrannical tactics is invited to join us at Boycott Flying on Facebook.