Radium Dial Check At Border

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A Canadian Cessna 170 owner says he was delayed almost three hours on the flight to AirVenture while U.S. authorities checked his aircraft and his flying partner's Globe Swift, for radioactive material in the instruments. Joe Scoles says his vintage 170 most likely has radium dials but he was shocked when the TSA official sweeping his and his partner's Swift with a detector at Port Huron, Mich., told him his aircraft was just below the limit of detectable radiation allowed in the U.S. He also said that it could have been impounded if it was above that limit. "That was a real surprise to me," he said.

The Department of Homeland Security announced last year that it would be screening aircraft coming into the country for radioactive material, but the announcement suggested they would be looking for nuclear material; Scoles said that's not the impression he got. "They knew exactly what they were looking for," he said. "They went straight to the panel.