Last month, Alan Hanson pleaded guilty to a breach of the Air Navigation Order (Dangerous Goods) Regulations in the U.K. He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,000 ($1,600) in court costs for traveling on an airplane with a chainsaw in May 2010.
Airport security staff were alerted to the smell of gasoline coming from Hanson’s bag during the boarding of a British Airways flight to Manchester. The baggage was in transit and had previously flown from Bridgetown, Barbados.
Sure enough a gasoline powered chainsaw was subsequently discovered amongst Hanson’s possessions, with evidence that some of the gasoline had leaked within the suitcase. The baggage was offloaded and seized, whilst the passenger continued on his journey to Manchester, where he was later arrested.
It is forbidden for passengers to have any gasoline in either carry-on or checked baggage. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Dangerous Goods Office carried out further investigations and found that the chainsaw tank did indeed contain gasoline, despite claims by Mr. Hanson that it was empty.
Geoff Leach, Manager of the Dangerous Goods Office, said: “This case graphically highlights the risks some passengers are prepared to take. This chainsaw contained almost half a liter of a highly flammable liquid that had begun to leak. Passengers and crew should not be endangered in this way. Certain items and substances are banned from carriage on an aircraft for very clear reasons – they pose an acute risk to flight safety.”
What gets me about this story is that all of the officials and the statements focus on the gasoline and the acute risk?! Nobody seems all that concerned that this guy had a CHAINSAW on an airplane. Would they have been cool about it, if it had been electric?