ONTARIO - Investigators are trying to determine how a knife ended up on a Monday- afternoon flight out of LA-Ontario International Airport.
A passenger on Horizon Air's flight 2562 handed the knife over to the flight crew just after the plane touched down at Oregon's Portland International Airport around 4:40 p.m., authorities said Tuesday.
"There was a knife given to a flight attendant," Horizon Air spokeswoman Jen Boyer said. "The passenger claimed that he found it between the seats."
The airline notified the Transportation Security Administration, which rescreened and questioned the plane's passengers and crew.
A sweep of the plane found nothing else unusual on board, TSA spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin said.
"We are working with the airline to determine how the knife got on board the plane," Peppin said, noting that both the airline and TSA are conducting investigations. "There are several different scenarios that could have played out."
It's possible, for example, that the knife somehow slipped past TSA screeners in Ontario or that an employee working on the plane left it behind, she said.
Peppin did not have a description of the knife. A TSA spokeswoman quoted by a Portland-area media outlet said it appeared to be an eight-inch kitchen knife.
The incident illustrates the importance of the security requirements that exist beyond airport screening areas, including reinforced cockpit doors, Peppin said.
"This is a perfect example of why we have multiple layers of security," she said.
Peppin said the man who turned the knife in to the flight attendant was calm and "very straightforward." He told the attendant he discovered the knife while passengers were preparing to get off the plane, Peppin said.
Authorities did not release the man's identity. He was released after brief questioning by investigators.
Knives are among the many items - including golf clubs, lighters and gel shoe inserts - that are not allowed in carry-on luggage. While the TSA does permit passengers to bring scissors with blades shorter than four inches on a plane, most other sharp objects are banned.
"There are absolutely no knives allowed on an airplane, regardless of size," Peppin said.
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