Australian Customs (was Re: Holy cow... )

From: <(>
Date: Sat Aug 7 18:33:03 2004

I have a story.

I used to work in Melbourne as a network engineer under contract to NEC and
Ericsson. This job took me all over fixing PCs and such like. Anyways as a
Certified Ultralight Pilot and avid radio amateur, I had in my tool bag an
Alinco scanner.

It was 4am on a foggy early monday morning in melbourne and there was no-one
around in the airport (obviously except the other passengers on my flight
and staff etc), I checked in as normal and as I only had 2 bags, laptop
case/toolbag and my carry on clothes bag (only a 2 day trip) I never
bothered to check in the tool bag (for obvious reasons ie: laptop) in that
bag was my scanner... anyway, It goes through the scanner etc, and the usual
customs crew which are normally on was there and we laughed and joked as we
normally did (i knew them quite well bcus of usually 2 flights a month).
This was the first time I had taken my radio with me, anyways the radio has
a detactable battery pack which when separated has exposed terminals. It is
a 12 volt battery which packs quite a punch for it's size, The
customs/security bloke asked, "what's this" to which I replied "it's a
scanner". This in itself didnt seem to bother him, what did was that it had
batteries in it.. He asked me to take the pack off which i did and he then
promptly put it back in the case with all my metal screwdrivers, cutters and
the like with no questions asked.

Now for the "not-so-stupid" people out there.... What happens to a
rechargable battery when the contacts get shorted out by something
metal..... that's right it gets hot and could catch fire. Now, question b...
what is the most dangerous thing that can happen in the main cabin of an
aircraft... yes... a fire or explosion.... and question c.... what did the
security guy do when he put the exposed battery pack back in the case with
all that metal???? that's right created technically a bomb...

now I pointed this out to the man and he didnt care I asked to
speak to his supervisor...... he of course realised what the potential could

needless to say the battery pack was confiscated and given to me _at_ the other
end... the security guy??? never saw him again in 4 years :D

IMHO Just goes to show...... they aint got a clue wtf they talking about
some of these security people...

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Received on Sat Aug 07 2004 - 18:33:03 BST

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