Student’s Science Project Shuts Down Dallas AirportBy: Chris Gabbard - April 2, 2012
Dallas Love Field was shut down after a Southwest Airlines plane to Amarillo was found to have a suspicious device on board. The device turned out to be a science project robot that was accidentally left on the plane. That didn’t stop air marshals and Love Field security from detaining the students and their professor. An amateur video posted on YouTube shows several people being led away from the scene in handcuffs.
The device was discovered by authorities near the cockpit of Southwest Airlines Flight 157 after arriving from Kansas City shortly before 4PM on Sunday.
The device looked like a cell phone attached to a remote control car with some exposed wires protruding.
The TSA evacuated gates 3 through 15 as a precautionary measurement against the “deadly” science project. In all, 11 people were detained in connection with the device. The incident caused ongoing flight delays at the Dallas airport, including three that had to be diverted.
Flight 157 departed for Amarillo at 6:39PM, three hours behind schedule.
A spokesman for Dallas City Hall released this statement explaining the incident:
A commercial flight which originated in Kansas City arrived at Love Field this afternoon and unloaded passengers. The next flight crew boarded to prep the aircraft for the next flight when a robotic device was discovered on the plane and the crew notified authorities. Air Marshals along with Dallas Love Field officers detained 11 passengers related to the device. It was determined that the device was not dangerous and was a student’s science project. The student was traveling with fellow students and a professor. That student told authorities the robot was accidentally left on the plane. The airport was temporarily shut down until the device could be determined it was not a threat. Gate #12 has reopened and airport operations are returning to normal. The TSA and Air Marshals are the lead in this case and questions will need to be directed to those agencies.