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Posted: 9/17/2001 5:39:55 PM EDT
First they take disarm the passengers then....... [url]http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAHIRFXQRC.html[/url] Passengers May Be Key to Stopping Future Hijackings, Union Says By Jonathan D. Salant Associated Press Writer Published: Sep 17, 2001 WASHINGTON (AP) - Airline pilots want passengers to become a line of defense against future hijackings, ready to spring into action to attack anyone trying to take over an airplane. The call to arms represents a complete turnaround from the policy that pilots, crews and passengers have been following for years: Cooperate with hijackers and take them where they want to go, thus ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew. That policy is changing in the wake of the four terrorist hijackings last Tuesday, when the planes themselves became suicide weapons of destruction. Those on board ill-fated United Airlines Flight 93 apparently fought the terrorists who had commandeered the plane, resulting in the plane crashing near Pittsburgh rather than in Washington, D.C. The Air Line Pilots Association wants to tell all airline passengers that they can prevent hijackings. "With no 911, no capacity to pull over, we have to utilize all the resources," said Capt. Steve Luckey, a retired pilot who chairs ALPA's national security committee. "Every passenger group has a tremendous capability." Indeed, Luckey said the union was discussing a series of advertisements to let passengers know that they are needed to stop hijackings, similar to Smokey Bear's admonition that only you can prevent forest fires. "Passengers are going to have to assume a lot more responsibility," Luckey said. "We're the people who need the help." Others also are revisiting established procedures. For example, if an airplane's transponder goes out, the air traffic controller should see if the plane has changed direction or even made a U-turn, rather than simply search for the aircraft along its expected flight path. All four transponders - the devices that relay information back to controllers - on the hijacked airplanes were shut off. The Air Line Pilots Association last week told its members to act aggressively, including considering depressurizing the plane or taking drastic maneuvers. "You take the steps to minimize the danger to the passenger and fellow crew members," said Capt. John Cox, ALPA's executive air safety chairman. "In the past, they (hijackers) wanted to make a political statement and they wanted transportation. This is an entirely different threat. The methods by which we will deal with it will also be different." ---- On the Net: Air Line Pilots Association: http://www.alpa.org
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