TSA To Review Stack Crash
The TSA says it will review Joseph Stack's Feb. 18 crash of his Piper Dakota into an Austin IRS office building and apply its findings to its future anti-terrorism decision-making, USA Today reported Friday. "It may simply be a confirmation that, for very small planes, you're not going to see a lot of casualties. Or there may be something else we're unaware of," John Sammon, TSA assistant administrator, said. A law enforcement official familiar with the Stack investigation told CNN last week that investigators were trying to determine if Stack had removed seats from the plane and replaced them with one or more full fuel containers. In Stack's case, the building suffered impact and significant fire damage while he and one person on the ground were killed, and more than ten others were injured. The TSA says it will collect information from the FBI, and other agencies' investigations into the Austin crash, to develop an understanding of the damage to property and people that could potentially be caused by similar intentional acts. The review may be the first of its kind involving a private aircraft to be performed by the TSA.
The TSA has not yet imposed (and had reportedly been backing away from) new regulations on small private aircraft. But the agency has put a focus on larger, faster aircraft that it feels could be used effectively to commit a terrorist act. However, the crash in Austin raised concerns in Washington that could challenge the TSA's position, pending the outcome of the TSA's review of that event. As AVweb reported Thursday, due to change within the TSA, some insiders believe the TSA may be ready to stand up to congressional "fear mongering."