American Airlines pilot caught with pistol at DFW Airport

American Airlines

Credit: WFAA

File photo of American Airlines jets at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 14 at 5:00 PM

An American Airlines pilot apparently forgot he left a loaded pistol in his backpack while going through a security checkpoint at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport last month, according to a police report obtained by News 8.

Transportation Security Administration screeners in Terminal D found a stainless steel Smith & Wesson model 669 9 mm caliber semi-automatic handgun in Craig Ronald Calabrese’s bag on March 16.

Calabrese, 49, arrived at the airport to pilot American Flight 1501 to Cancun.

“There were two magazines with the handgun, but no magazine loaded in the handgun,” the police officer explained in the report. “I pulled the slide back to inspect the chamber and discovered one bullet loaded. Twenty three bullets were loaded between the two magazines. I did not notice any obvious, covert attempt to intentionally conceal the weapon from pre-board screeners.”

Still, police charged Calabrese with a violation of the "Places Weapons Prohibited" statute, but unlike other people who make the same mistake, officers did not arrest the airline pilot.

"Calabrese was released on his own recognizance for purposes of minimizing impact to airline operations,” the report stated.

Police said the pilot forgot the handgun was in his bag but added that, “Calabrese was reckless in not thoroughly checking his backpack to ensure there were no prohibited items present prior to the pre-board screening process conducted by TSA.”

“Calabrese stated he doesn't regularly keep the handgun in his backpack, but recently traveled out of town in an RV and took it with him for protection and forgot to remove it prior to leaving his home to catch his flight,” the report’s narrative explained. “Calabrese has owned the gun a while now and frequently handles it.”

American Airlines said it was aware of the situation but had no further comment.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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