Tarmac Breach


Published 12/27 2013 10:48AM

Updated 12/27 2013 10:53AM

(KPNX) Airport officials on Thursday said employees followed the correct protocol when a man ran onto the tarmac Wednesday night at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Employees in the tower saw Robert Bump, 49, climb over a barbed-wire fence at about 5:30 p.m. and run onto the tarmac and taxi-way, said Officer James Holmes, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Police were notified and the pilot of the Southwest Airlines plane waiting to approach a terminal in the taxi-way turned off the plane's engine after officials told him about the man, Holmes said.

Bump hit the plane's engine with his hands while walking toward the terminal, he said.

Having the pilot turn off the engine was key to the incident not ending in tragedy, officials said.

"He's lucky to be alive," Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher said.

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