Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Mon March 30 2015

Passenger Leaps from Parked Plane, Exposing Security Flaw

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | March 30, 2015

Passenger Leaps from Parked Plane, Exposing Security Flaw

In the wake of last week’s Germanwings crash in which a huge aircraft security flaw was exposed – the ability for one pilot to lock another out of the cockpit and commandeer the plane – comes another breach.

Except this one makes you question security on all fronts, including the airport.

It happened in India last week when a passenger on a Jet Airways flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai opened the emergency exit door after the plane landed, jumped 15 feet to the tarmac, and disappeared through the terminal.

Not once was he stopped or questioned.

According to reports in the Indian paper Mid-Day and the British newspaper The Telegraph, 30-year old Akash Jain was in seat 20F when the plane taxied near the gate and came to a stop. It was at that moment that he stood up, unlatched the emergency exit door, jumped onto the apron of the wing and then to the ground.

He calmly walked across the tarmac and even encountered a baggage worker from another flight and asked him where the nearest exit was. The baggage worker at no time asked Jain what he was doing on the tarmac at the airport and, in fact, directed him to the terminal.

Security cameras show Jain entering the terminal, walking through, and then exiting the facility.

A Jet Airways spokesperson told Mid-Day that “A guest traveling on Jet Airways flight 9W 469 from Chandigarh to Mumbai opened the emergency door and disembarked, alighting onto the aircraft’s wings after the aircraft had come to a standstill at the parking bay at Mumbai airport. Security agencies were immediately alerted and are carrying out further investigations.”

But that doesn’t entirely appear to be true. Not only was it a shocking breach of security, but just as surprising was the revelation that crew members, who knew seconds after Jain opened the door that he had jumped onto the tarmac, waited almost 30 minutes to report the incident to security. It took Jain just 15 minutes to jump out the door, navigate his way around the tarmac, and walk through the terminal building to exit.

A spokesman for the Mumbai Airport police told Mid-Day, “We are looking into the matter. We are checking the CCTV footage and are trying to trace this passenger, who landed from the Chandigarh flight. We cannot state the IPC sections under which we can book Jain as the investigations are on.”

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