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Pilot Arrested for Bringing Loaded Gun to Airport

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© Flickr PHOTO: No guns allowed on planes sign, TSA checkpoint, Atlanta International Airport. (photo via Flickr/Cory Doctorow)

By Alex Temblador, TravelPulse

A pilot was arrested after bringing a gun to Southwest Florida International Airport on Friday night.

Lee County Port Authority arrest reports show that a TSA agent found a gun in the carry-on suitcase of 54-year-old Sun Country Airlines pilot Brian Andrew Machtemes.

The firearm was a KEL-TEC .380 pistol discovered in the second zipper pouch on the front section of the suitcase. It was loaded with six rounds.

Machtemes told a Lee County Port Authority police officer that he had packed his own bag, though declined to answer further questions.

According to the TSA website, passengers can transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard container as checked baggage, which is why Machtemes’ was flagged. The arrest reports show that his gun permit allows him to carry in Minnesota, but his permit is not valid in Florida.

ABC 5 News reported that Sun Country Airlines said:

“We're aware of the situation involving one of our pilots at the Fort Myers Airport and are in contact with local law enforcement. We are in the process of gathering information on what occurred.”

Kirsten Wenker, a spokeswoman for Sun Country Airlines, told USA Today, "I can confirm he is a pilot for Sun Country.”

"In the interest of respecting the privacy of and preserving the trust of all our employees, we do not comment or confirm details related to individual employee conduct or work performance.”

The flight that Machtemes was scheduled to pilot had to be rescheduled from Friday to Saturday, as there were no other pilots available.

He remains in custody with a $5,000 bail.

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