The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66039   Message #1093028
Posted By: Bob Bolton
14-Jan-04 - 10:18 PM
Thread Name: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
Subject: RE: Suspect Item Shuts Down Jetport!
G'day Charley & all,

Musical instruments have been able to upset airport security for some time. When I flew from Sydney to Adelaide for the Australian National Folk Festival, Easter 1991, I carried my Hohner D/G Erica in a soft case, as hand luggage. The flight stopped at Canberra - Australia's national capital ... and all passengers who had been checked through at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport were told to disembark with their hand luggage and be re-checked by Canberra security. Apparently the Canberra mob felt they were the only ones who could safeguard any poltician skiving off for an Easter break.

My Erica rang the alarm bells at X-ray and the screen operator called in the senior checker - a middle-aged woman, who looked at it and said: "Oh! That's a button accordion - I play one of those." (Well, apart from the Parliament, Canberra is a rambling country town (or, as someone once said: "A good sheep station spoilt".)

Smaller instruments seem to be more threatening. A friend repairs and deals in concertinas ... and returned from England with two or three in his suitcase. Security called him in and asked what was concealed in the case. He explained - and they asked him to unlock and open the case. As he inserted the key, he noticed the security people had vanished ... behind a concrete blast-screen! He took out the concertinas and demonstrated that they played music - even if they did look just like nail-bombs on the scanner screen.

However, they had identified another suspicious object in the case. This turned out to be several sticks of Brighton Rock, brought back for his homesick Pommy acquaintances. I think he had to eat a small sample before they believed that anyone ate anything as weird as that!

Regards,

Bob Bolton