Airline pilot attempts to board plane with with loaded handgun in suitcase: TSA

Authorities in Florida have arrested a Minnesota pilot on suspicion of attempting to board a plane with a loaded handgun in his suitcase.

According to KNXV, the Lee County Port Authority handled the arrest of 54-year-old Brian Andrew Machtemes at the Southwest Florida International Airport on Friday.

As police reports indicate, the suspect, who lives in Minnetonka, is licensed to carry a pistol in his home state. That permit, however, is not valid in Florida.

Machtemes was identified as a pilot with Sun Country Airlines, but a spokesperson for that company did not initially provide any additional details.

Kirsten Wenker cited privacy concerns in confirming only that the suspect is a pilot.

As of the latest reports available, Machtemes was free after posting $5,000 bond. It was unclear whether he had already secured legal representation.

An agent with the Transportation Security Administration reportedly first noticed the contraband carry-on.

The administration’s regulations allow only unloaded firearms aboard passenger jets, and then only as part of a traveler’s checked baggage.

As KSTP reported, a TSA supervisor said an X-ray operator initially spotted the apparent weapon, removed it from the bag and asked whose it was. Machtemes reportedly spoke up and claimed it.

[Featured image: Brian Andrew Machtemes Lee County Sheriff’s Office]