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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 10/2/2001 2:48:56 AM EST
If you care to get involved, here are some email addresses, and a copy of the letter I've been sending to editors and rule-makers: To email the president: president@whitehouse.gov To email Senator McCain: John_McCain@McCain.senate.gov Go to this website to email Senator Hollings: http://www.senate.gov/~hollings/webform.html To get your senator's address: http://www.senate.gov/index.cfm Urge your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 2896, which allows pilots to armed. You can read it by going here: http://thomas.loc.gov. To get your representative's address: http://www.house.gov/ Email the Department of Transportation: dot.comments@ost.dot.gov Email the FAA: 9-AWA-TELLFAA@faa.gov Email FAA security: 9-awa-security@faa.gov I'm an American Airlines Captain, appalled that thousands could be murdered by terrorists armed with: Box-cutters. The airport security procedures mandated since September 11th wouldn't have prevented it, and won't deter it from happening again. They don't do much but inconvenience passengers and increase costs. And now every copy-cat crazy in the world knows how much damage can be done with an airplane. Pilots are no longer allowed to carry so much as a Swiss Army knife, but an internet search for ceramic and composite knives will show what terrorists can still easily smuggle aboard an aircraft. What are we supposed to do then, hit them with our purses? I'm told by my airline's flight office that the FAA feels pilots shouldn't have weapons because "they might be taken away and used". Well, what if our airplanes are taken away and used? If we make ourselves helpless, we've already done half of a terrorist's work for him. At Captain John Oganowski's funeral this week, I spoke with other pilots who have sharpened their belt buckles, screwdrivers, pens, etc. so that they might have a prayer of defending the thirty-million-dollar jets they command from guys with box-cutters. I hope the rule makers can see the absurdity in this situation. Many of our pilots used to fly with nuclear weapons, but now they aren't trusted with pocket knives. An emphasis on prevention is of course necessary, but we can never be sure that every airport ramp worker, baggage handler, caterer, mechanic, and refueler is trustworthy. Once the wheels come up, an airline crew is on it's own. We need a last line of defense to keep hijackers out of the cockpit. Relying on the skill and cunning of the minimum-wage metal-detector operators has failed us utterly. Federal agents from even the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, and the Smithsonian Institution are allowed to carry guns on commercial airlines. Why not the pilots who are responsible for the aircraft? Many of us already have better firearms training than that provided to those agencies - and we're willing to get more at our own expense. I believe that hardened cockpit doors and armed pilots could have prevented all four of those hijackings. Make some of us Air Marshals. How much more cost-effective could a security program be? At the very least, let us carry pocket knives again. As Benjamin Franklin said, "If you make yourselves sheep, the wolves will eat you." Brad Rohdenburg Captain, American Airlines 3 Lighthouse Point Meredith, NH 03253
Link Posted: 10/2/2001 4:37:35 AM EST
I'm all for arming the pilots, but that's not the sole solution. Any fixed security can be researched, planned for and circumvented. The only real solution is armed passengers. That puts a random element that the terrorists can't really plan for. They don't know how many passengers are armed.
Link Posted: 10/2/2001 5:10:44 AM EST
I've already sent the following to the FAA and DOT: "Ladies and gentlemen, In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks on America using skyjacked US commercial aircraft as weapons, I would like to know when we will follow the example set by El Al, the Israeli national airline, and armor the cockpit doors on our aircraft. All it would take is adding toilet facilities for the flight crew and a reinforced kevlar door and wall panel between the cabin and the cockpit to ensure that the most important people on the plane in terms of passenger safety, the flight crew, are not taken hostage or interfered with. Cabin personnel such as flight attendants should not have keys to the cockpit doors, which would negate the security gains of armoring it in the first place. In addition, as most commercial pilots are former US military pilots, and have had to qualify with a pistol at some time in their past, putting a pistol in a lockbox in the cockpit could save passengers' lives if skyjackers were somehow able to get through the armored doors I'm suggesting. Regardless of military background, there are a multitude of private and governmental entities that specialize in just this type of training. Please carefully consider these suggestions, and consider how much this would boost Americans' confidence in our air transportation system at a time when that confidence is at an all time low. As far as I have been able to find out, El Al has had no successful skyjackings since armoring their cockpits. Potential skyjackers know this, and look elsewhere for targets. Thank you for your time." I hope that gets someone's attention. [b]American First[/b] Semper Fidelis Jarhead out. [img]http://www.inetnow.net/~kudzukid/enlemblem.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 10/2/2001 3:48:16 PM EST
I'm doing all I can for the cause including, lawmaker pressure and television interviews. APA and ALPA should declare a national day of protest on this issue. The pilots of US Airways offer our condolences for the American crewmembers lost on flights 11 and 77.
Link Posted: 10/2/2001 8:52:55 PM EST
Well said, Cpt. Rohdenberg. I have also been doin what I can to bring this about. I believe that we can make it happen, if we keep at it. Thank you for your efforts.
Link Posted: 10/4/2001 10:16:44 PM EST
btt, dammit.
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