A jetliner carrying passengers evacuated from an American Airlines DC-10 at Dulles International Airport Friday evening was the target of a bomb extortion attempt later at Los Angeles International Airport, the FBI reported.
A 48-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested yesterday morning and charged with planting a bomb at the Los Angeles airport among suitcases to be loaded aboard the plane when it stopped over from Dulles enroute to San Diego.
The plane, another American Airlines DC-10, was carrying some of the more than 200 passengers who had been evacuated from their plane at Dulles after a hydraulic leak sent fumes billowing into the plane's cabin.
There was no evidence of a connection between the two incidents.
An FBI spokesman in Los Angeles said that a man telephoned American Friday morning informing them of the bomb and offering to reveal its location in exchange for $400,000. However, authorities located the bomb, a time bomb, in an airport baggage area and safely dismantled it before the plane arrived, the spokesman said.
A man identified as Wallace Conklin was arrested later near a freeway intersection where the money was supposed to have been picked up.
Meanwhile, federal officials said the defective hydraulic pump that caused the incident at Dulles had been sent to Long Beach, Calif., for examination by McDonnell Douglas, the plane's manufacturer.
The pump was part of a hydraulic system controlling the jet's rudder, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Dennis Feldman. The extent of damage to the control system was not known, but Feldman said that back-up systems would have allowed the pilot to control the plane had it taken off, regardless of the hydraulic leak.