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Posted: 5/3/2002 6:20:44 PM EDT
Watched CNN Crossfire today, they had Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC Delegate At-Large) on to debate the arm-the-pilots issue. She's against it, the 2 Crossfire guys were for it. When asked why she thought arming pilots was a bad idea, she replied "At best it's premature, at worst it's over the top." I'll have to remember that one, it can be used as an answer to any question. She also stated she though it was a bad idea because the Sec of Transportation and Tom Ridge thought it was a bad idea, and by golly, they are the experts. Yes, but what about the pilots? Aren't they the real experts? Most have had military experience and that included firearms training. Then later, "I don't want that pilot being distracted by a gunfight in the cockpit, I want him flying that plane. It's dangerous otherwise." Of course, the Crossfire guys pointed out the obvious: if there's a terrorist in the cockpit then the pilot is already distracted, and if the terrorist gets control of the aircraft, the people are doomed, either from being shot down by an F-16 or by the terrorist carring out his mission. An armed pilot improve the odds that this doesn't happen. Those are some real intellectual heavyweights we've got in Congress. Who are the idiots that put them there? When I hire someone to work on my house and they screw it up, I fire them and hire someone else. Frankly, I think it's about time to fire the whole damn government.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 6:36:16 PM EDT
Yep, I also saw the "premature" argument being used during a debate this evening on PBS's Nightly News (is it still McNeil or Lehr? — never could keep those two straight). That's about the only argument the anti's seem to be able to cough up at this point — and it's a lame one. The PBS debate also had a spokesperson from a flight attendants’ union, who was upset that the current debate doesn't also include a dialog about arming flight attendants with non-lethal weapons. They're supportive of arming pilots, but only under the condition that some protection must also provided on the passenger side of the cockpit door — something I'd probably support, too, as long as it doesn't result in a watered-down version in which pilots also only receive non-lethal weapons.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 7:21:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By marvl: Frankly, I think it's about time to fire the whole damn government.
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Halleluja! Now all we have to do is convince 49,999,998 more people.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 7:55:31 PM EDT
2 glocks in the cockpit for pilot/co-pilot/nav,etc. 2 air tazers in the cabin/one forward-one aft. EXTENSIVE training for all on all weapon systems as well as hand to hand self defense and improvised weapons.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:07:28 PM EDT
I work for a major airline and i say no guns in the cockpit.... I know I will get flamed but please hear me out. The pilot in an emergency is kind of busy and should not be called on to be a gunfighter. He should be flying the aircraft to the best of his abillities and not trying to fight his way into the galley. The bad guy has to be stopped before the cockpit! I think the air marshal and even arming the "A" flight attendant is a better idea. Stop the shit before it gets to the front. Some will say the a flt att is not the best personality to choose for this job but they are wrong. They deal with people all day, pilots dont. They know how to handle many unruley people, pilots usually inflame the situation. They are mostly fem or gay or meek some will say, but you are wrong, ever see a woman fight for her life?? The cockpit is the wrong place to have a gun fight,,, the galley on the other hand I could live with!
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:27:59 PM EDT
Paterpk I heard you out. I still disagree with you. By the time the problem enters the cockpit it is no longer about negotiation or "dealing with people". What it is, is time for the attacker to be dead! I am not interested in the pilot going to the galley to settle a dispute; leave that to the flight attendants. Arm them with TAZERS and martial arts training. Arm the pilots with lethal firearms and the deadliest ammo made, supported by "shoot to kill" orders. Theirs is a last line of defense to attempt salvage of the AC and the passengers. If it gets to that point things are already screwed up and a last opportunity is worth ANY risk to prevent tragedy! I will agree we should keep the whacos off the airplane in the first place but so far we have done a poor job of that. Secondly, I agree keeping them out of the cockpit is critical. That too will fail. Now what? Negotiate with a nut case? Hardly. Kill the F***er! Every gate needs a simple sign in multiple languages with a .44 Mag pointed at the reader: "All pilots are armed. They are under orders to shoot and kill all who threaten this flight." Beats hell out of 3000 dead don't it?
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:34:15 PM EDT
kill him before he is in the cockpit!
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:44:24 PM EDT
[B]paterpk[/B], several comments: 1. The idea that the pilot “has better things to do than fight terrorists” is just plain ridiculous. There is NO more important job than keeping a terrorist from entering the cockpit. Everything else (including flying the plane) can wait! 9-11 demonstrated that it isn't just the lives of the passengers and flight crew that are hanging in the balance. There is an even higher responsibility involved. 2. The pilot wouldn't necessarily be the only armed member of the flight crew in the cockpit. How many people does it take to take to fly a plane for the few seconds it takes to shoot an intruder? Also, we now have this neat new gizmo called an "autopilot"... 3. In any situation where cockpit gunplay becomes an option, you've already reached the point where death at the hands of an Air Force missile is probably just minutes away. Under those conditions, I'll gladly take my chances with an armed pilot, thank you.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:44:43 PM EDT
Paterpk, no argument about that. Just make sure the captain of the ship has the last, final opportunity to protect his crew, ship and passengers. What comes before that does not matter. Arm the pilot as a minimum. I do not intend to fly on any commercial aircraft that fails to arm the pilot.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 9:04:47 PM EDT
Had this discusion at work today with several other mechs while reading the news about the congresional actions... who would carry the guns?? locked in the cockpit?? or would a pilot be allowed to carry all the time? If so how would he get through security? What about fake identity... don't even tell me about fake proff cards.. If locked in the cockpit and left there who would maintain it?? Other than a pilot who would have the key / combo?? If the mechs had accsess to it what is to stop theft?? If locked up in the cockpit who holds the line while the nonflying crewmember tries to ulock the trigger lock/lockbox?? When the pilot goes back to take a leak and the FO is alone in the cockpit where is the gun??? It is not as simple as it may sound....pat
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 9:24:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2002 9:28:56 PM EDT by Skibane]
[b]paterpk[/b], it's not as difficult as you make it sound, either. Hell, military pilots have been armed since shortly after the Wright Brothers, and [i]they[/i] haven't had too many problems with hijackings lately (even though a military transport makes just as good a flying bomb as a civilian one). Personally, I'd like to see handguns issued to pilots on a permanent basis — the fellow is authorized to carry not only aboard the plane, but in the airport, driving to and from work, etc. Essentially, he would be charged with the responsibility of accounting for the weapon's whereabouts at all times. It works for law enforcement officers, why can't it work for pilots?
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 9:31:44 PM EDT
do you realize that usairways has 8,000 pilots, united has over 10k American has.... you get the idea.. with all of these pilot id's and uniforms available, and the professional screening available how would one stop a fake from coming through security? You are throwing gasoline on the fire in an attempt to put it out. don't enact legislation with out first considering all of the possible. I think allowing ccw to carry while flying would be a much better idea.. At least the good guys would outnumber the bad guys. The cockpit is a bad place to have a gun fight...pat
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 5:41:18 AM EDT
The fact that we're putting air marshalls on domestic flights means that we're already dealing with most of those same issues. There's nothing new here. Furthermore, the risk of a fake pilot sneaking through the security screen is no more significant in the presence of guns — He still has to overpower the rest of the cockpit crew (which is now armed, too). As previous incidents have shown, you don't need a gun to fly a plane into the ocean or some other target. Rogue pilots are perfectly capable of carrying out terrorism in the absence of guns. Passenger CCW ain't gonna happen anytime in the forseeable future. That's a non-starter. Arming pilots has a real chance of happening — perhaps soon enough to actually do some good. That's where the debate should rightfully focus.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 6:01:20 AM EDT
"Would you care for a beverage? Or a glock?" I'd feel more vulnerable if Barbie or Pierre were packing heat while serving me a bloody mary. That's more potentially more dangerous than any terrorist. They could be easily disarmed or when actually firing, could miss and shoot a passenger by mistake. Arm the pilots, train them, lock the doors. The whole concept here is to keep the plane in the air and out of the buildings. That right there oughta do it. As far as passenger safety, SKY MARSHALLS! Two per plane, one specially trained officer, and one mall ninja.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 10:06:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By paterpk: do you realize that usairways has 8,000 pilots, united has over 10k American has.... you get the idea.. with all of these pilot id's and uniforms available, and the professional screening available how would one stop a fake from coming through security?
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Yes, I agree. We've had so many planes hijacked by fake airline pilots. Indeed, I think the time has come to ban ALL airline pilots. [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 12:23:53 PM EDT
Arm the pilots, train them, lock the doors. The whole concept here is to keep the plane in the air and out of the buildings. That right there oughta do it.
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That seems pretty sensible to me. Flight attendants are constantly in close contact with passengers, greatly increasing the chances of someone grabbing a weapon. For that reason, I'd prefer to see them carrying something that's non-lethal — and that's exactly what they're requesting.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 12:48:56 PM EDT
I don't even think that arming pilots is even necessary anymore. We (passengers) are so freeked out and are so on edge that is someone even remotely resembles a terrorist passengers will jump the guy and pummel the living crap out of him. The pilots will need the gun to keep us from killing the terrorist. The long and the short of it is, we screwed up once. We won't be passive again. my $.02
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 12:53:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2002 12:55:17 PM EDT by cluster]
Arm the pilots... simple aint it? train them ... again simple.... training even a gay flt attendent to kill someone is not that hard. assuming you can get he/she/it to believe its life is in danger... ******************************************** whats [b]not[/b] so simple is training the pilots(that are now armed) that [b]NO[/B] matter what they hear/see in the back of the plane they are [b]NOT[/b] to open the cockpit doors.. If every passenger has to die at the hands of a hijacker, The pilots most understand that the lives of these people must be sacraficed so that the hijackers dont get flight control of the aircraft... That is not going to be easy.. even if these pilots are ex military,,, who wants to sit there while pointing a weapon at the door, hearing your coworkers throat get slit cause you refuse to open it.? All the while thinking/hopeing that a brave passanger will take these assholes on..(by this time its safe to assume the AIR MARHSELLS are dead) the answer [b]is[/b] arm the pilots.. but just be prepared for what will one day happen... [b]CNN reoprts a hijacking attempt aboard flight XYZ.. current status------ aircraft is still in friendly hands, but the 97 passangers aboard are dead.. On the lighter side all the tall building in the city are still standing.. more after these messages..[/b] OK try this .... no I have no solution.. no matter what security measure you put in place. Any half ass hijacker can/will get past the highschool drop out federal employee posing as airport security... cluster ... hard to get complete thaughts out when work constantly interups....
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 1:11:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 1:24:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Sewer_Urchin: I don't even think that arming pilots is even necessary anymore. We (passengers) are so freeked out and are so on edge that is someone even remotely resembles a terrorist passengers will jump the guy and pummel the living crap out of him. The pilots will need the gun to keep us from killing the terrorist. The long and the short of it is, we screwed up once. We won't be passive again. my $.02
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Well said. Nobody is going to wait to see what happens again. Passivity is a non issue... look at that Richard Reed asshole; He's lucky the passengers allowed him to live!
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 3:03:55 PM EDT
We (passengers) are so freeked out and are so on edge that is someone even remotely resembles a terrorist passengers will jump the guy and pummel the living crap out of him.
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Already aware of the fates of other flights that day, the passengers on Flight 93 apparently rushed the hijackers, with less-than-spectacular success. For all we know, passengers on some of the other 9-11flights may have also fought back against their attackers. In each case, it didn't save their lives. Believing that passengers (1.) will always engage terrorists and (2) successfully defeat them every time strikes me as both glib and naive. It's certainly not an assumption I'd want to rely on during a hijacking.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 4:19:18 PM EDT
Originally posted by skibane: "Already aware of the fates of other flights that day, the passengers on Flight 93 apparently rushed the hijackers, with less-than-spectacular success. For all we know, passengers on some of the other 9-11flights may have also fought back against their attackers. In each case, it didn't save their lives. Believing that passengers (1.) will always engage terrorists and (2) successfully defeat them every time strikes me as both glib and naive. It's certainly not an assumption I'd want to rely on during a hijacking. " You bring up a good point but there are to many unknowns in this scenario. Terrorists very well could have had controll over flight 93 when the plane crashed. While I can't guarantee that passengers will engage terrorsists in every case of hijackings from today forward, I will say that unless the plane is full of a bunch of panty waste queers, decrepid school girls or school girls, passengers will engage the terrorists. What self-respecting man will sit by as terrorists try to take down the cockpit door? Arming pilots with firearms also add another factor to the equation in that in transit to the cockpit there are many things that can happen. It is true that many pilots are proficient with firearms, but there are also many who are not. I've seen quite a few police officers who can't shoot worth a crap, which begs the question on how proficient are pilots? Officially, I haven't come to a conclusion on whether or not pilots should have guns in the cockpit. I mean a bullet penetrating the cabin at 30,000 feet while going 500mph doesn't seem all that much more inviting than a terrorist crashing a plane. I'm not sure on how to address this issue, maybe Boeing should install canisters with chlorophorm gas in cabins that can put the entire cabin under temporarily? Who knows, but I don't think that there will be another airplane hijacking in a long time because we will not be passive anymore and terrorists know that.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 5:17:35 PM EDT
I want the pilots to remain locked in the cockpit even if terrorists begin to kill "Barbie and Pierre" and even if they begin to kill passengers. I also would like to see the pilots armed in case terrorists attempt to enter the cockpit.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 6:15:01 PM EDT
I mean a bullet penetrating the cabin at 30,000 feet while going 500mph doesn't seem all that much more inviting than a terrorist crashing a plane.
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Another urban myth. From [u]The Proficient Pilot II[/u], by Barry Schiff: [i][b]Pressurization[/b] There probably are more absurd misconceptions about aircraft pressurization than about any other aircraft system. Consider, for example, the popular belief that a bullet shot through a pressurized fuselage will cause explosive decompression and loss of aircraft control. This is, after all, what happened to Pussy Galore and James Bond in Goldfinger when a stray bullet went through the cabin wall of their Lockheed Jetstar. Not only did they experience explosive decompression, but the aircraft went into a spin, forcing Pussy and James to parachute to safety. Totally ridiculous, but it made for good drama. ... Pressurizing an aircraft cabin (the pressure vessel) is similar to pumping air into a tire that has a controllable leak. In the case of piston-powered aircraft, pressurizing air is provided by the engine turbochargers. The "leak" consists of one or more outflow valves at the rear of the cabin. These valves allow air to escape continuously. This prevents excessive pressure from causing structural damage and provides an exit for venting stale air overboard. Pressurization is maintained by pumping in as much air as is allowed to escape. Many believe that cabin pressure is determined by varying the amount of air pumped into the aircraft. Not so. The flow of incoming air is approximately constant. Cabin pressure is determined by the outflow valves, which modulate automatically to vary the amount of air flowing overboard and maintain the selected degree of pressurization. In effect, the cabin always has at least one open "hole." The addition of a bullet hole, therefore, would have no effect on cabin pressure. The outflow valve(s) would compensate by closing slightly and automatically to maintain a constant flow of air through the cabin. Larger holes in the structure, however, may result in depressurization. In the case of jetliners, the ouflow valves are so large that the loss of an entire cabin window may not affect cabin pressure significantly. (It would not be pleasant, however, to be seated next to such a window.) (With 20,000 hours in more than 225 types of aircraft, Barry Schiff has achieved worldwide recognition for his aviation accomplishments. A verteran captain with Trans World Airlines, currently flying the Lockheed 1011, he is a contributing editor of AOPA Pilot and an award-winning author of eight books and more than 500 articles.)[/i]
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 7:12:46 PM EDT
I understand what PATERPK is saying, and some of the issues he brings up are valid, and not being a pilot, I'll defer to his expertise. That said, I think that the Flight Deck crew should be armed, for use as a last line of defense in someone taking over the plane. As for what happens on the passenger deck, I don't have an answer. I would like to see those with CCW's be able to carry on board. They would be the passenger's defense, but that has a whole other series of issues, and it just ain't gonna happen. Can you imagine some of the armed "Mall Ninjas" that have been discussed on other threads being on the plane with you? I'm responsible and in control of most of my facilities, but that doesn't mean everyone is. We all know people who barely deserve to exist, never mind allowing them to carry on a plane!
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:56:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By paterpk: I work for a major airline and i say no guns in the cockpit.... I know I will get flamed but please hear me out. The pilot in an emergency is kind of busy and should not be called on to be a gunfighter. He should be flying the aircraft to the best of his abilities and not trying to fight his way into the galley. The bad guy has to be stopped before the cockpit! I think the air marshal and even arming the "A" flight attendant is a better idea. Stop the shit before it gets to the front. Some will say the a flt att is not the best personality to choose for this job but they are wrong. They deal with people all day, pilots dont. They know how to handle many unruley people, pilots usually inflame the situation. They are mostly fem or gay or meek some will say, but you are wrong, ever see a woman fight for her life?? The cockpit is the wrong place to have a gun fight,,, the galley on the other hand I could live with!
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Not a flame, but I have to respond. I think it's fair to ask what your job is? I can assure you that a pilot can fly an aircraft, while engaging multiple attackers. It's called multitasking, and pilots are particularly good at it. They also delegate and share tasks, this is called CRM. EX: "Hey Joe, would you mind taking care of the terrorists, while I execute this single engine approach to minimums?" "Sure Bob, no problem, by the way, did you want the chicken or the beef?" Both pilots can fly the aircraft at any time in any situation, plus the autopilot can be used, in most cases, even to an autoland. The concept of armed pilots is to stop attackers who get through the door, not to conduct search and destroy missions though out the cabin. Let me guess, next you are going to argue that a bullet hole would cause explosive decompression. IMHO, being a Mechanic, Ramper, Ticket agent, Flight attendant, etc., does not qualify you to pontificate on what a pilot can or cannot do. I do realize that some pilots, do not want the extra responsibility or hassle of being armed. To them I say: Don't volunteer then. Pilots have a sacred duty to protect the lives of their passengers. They didn't ask to be on the front lines of this war, but they are. And you would ask them to be unarmed? Shameful! (Sorry, I Guess it did end up as a flame, but somehow, I expect the members of this forum to be better informed before they spout off.) BTW, I'll bet I can shoot an approach to 200 and 1/2, while shooting 3 "badguys" behind me. All while singing "God Bless America" Think maybe I'll try it in a simulator, with a BB gun. If I can't do it, I will apologize to you.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 9:31:43 PM EDT
OK, Paterpk, I read the rest of the thread, so you are a mechanic. Well, I own my own tools and know lefty loosy, righty tighty. Does that qualify me pretend that I know everything about your job? Wouldn't I sound silly if I suggested that you could not defend yourself while perfoming an "A" check? To address some of your specific concerns. Armed pilots would have a duty weapon, just like any of the thousands of state and federal LEO's that are authorised to carry aboard aircraft. Did you know that ANY employee of state or federal government is allowed to bring there gun onboard if their normal duties include being armed, and they are on official buisiness? It is VERY common. HUD, Postal Svc., INS, Dept Natural Recources, You would simply not believe it. Let me tell you, it is not comforting to have someone say "Hi, I'm from the Postal Svc, and I am your armed individual." All pilots will have a universal access card. It will have a magnetic strip like a credit card, and cannot be forged. Fingerprint and retina scans are already common, and will be used. Disneyland already has fingerprint scans for the employees. Nothing is more insulting, and pointless than security screening flight crew several times per day. Did you hear about the US Air pilot who got arrested for telling screeners he could crash the plane in his underware? He was pointing out the stupidity of the system, and that, as we know, is illegal.
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