This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Oct. 20, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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VAN SUSTEREN: And Wednesday night the FBI is investigating a disturbing discovery on two US Airways (search) commercial jet planes. Both planes passed through Charlotte, North Carolina in the Douglas International Airport. Reporter Stan Choe of the Charlotte Observer joins us with details. Stan, what can you tell me about these two aircrafts and what’s suspicious about them?
STAN CHOE, "CHARLOTTE OBSERVER": Hi, Greta.
There were basically two planes found Monday morning when some US Airways mechanics were doing their routine walk around just checking out the plane and they found holes on the underside of the bellies of the planes. It looked like they were about the size that a screwdriver would make if you punched one up through.
The FBI has not said what specific investigations are going to go on. They’re just looking at people who have had access to that plane and that’s a wide range of people. That’s mechanics, baggage handlers, fuel people, people who bring in the catering trucks. It could be anybody.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. When you say that they looked like screwdrivers would it also be consistent with something else, for instance, and I hypothetically just toss this out as a point of reference, but like a bullet?
CHOE: They specifically said it’s not a bullet hole. It doesn’t look like it was formed by any kind of firearm and the FBI did not give those details. That’s actually coming out of other people who have seen the holes themselves and they say it looks like something that would be flathead Philips head screwdriver.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what kind — are these the same type of aircraft?
CHOE:No. There’s one Boeing (search) and one Airbus (search) and the important thing to note is that aviation security experts are saying that these kinds of holes are not enough to bring an airplane down.
It’s basically enough to make somebody notice them and not fly the planes which leads to the expectations of suspicions that maybe some of the union workers who had their pay cut by 21 percent recently may be disgruntled enough to do something like that but, of course, the unions are saying there’s no way that could be.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Of course, US Airways is in bankruptcy court right now having filed for a reorganization and having cut the pay 21 percent, which is no secret. It’s all over the business pages. Stan, there was another plane that, a U.S. Airways plane that had a similar type damage that was found in Florida a while back, wasn’t there?
CHOE: Yes, it was on Friday just two days before and that had gone through Charlotte as well actually on the way to Orlando. They didn’t find the damage until it landed in Florida, so where it happened in the air, on the ground nobody knows and the FBI is not said the two are connected and as of now they’re not.
VAN SUSTEREN: And for the three planes, the Boeing, the Air Bus and I don’t know what the third one was in Florida, were the puncture holes in the same place on each aircraft?
CHOE: They’re all consistent and they’re in the under bellies of the planes which would be something that would be easily noticeable on those routine walk around checks which leads people to believe that if something — if somebody did it on purpose it’s something somebody wanted to get noticed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any explanation, accidental, reasonable explanation for these holes?
CHOE: The FBI had said it’s definitely not normal wear and tear. I mean you have gravel picking up off of a runway. You have birds. You have any kind of accident happening at the gate when you get up to the terminal and some kind of machinery hitting it but apparently it does not look like that and it’s suspicious enough to open up an investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Stan, thank you very much and we hope if you learn something new about this, you’ll give us a call. Thank you, Stan.
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