Hijackers ahead of their time

bigr

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From the Wall Street Journal


On Sept. 12, 1994, a man named Frank Eugene Corder crashed a small plane into the South Lawn of the White House. Corder died, but no one else was hurt. In response, the Secret Service conducted a "White House security review" and issued a public report, an appendix to which contains this startling historical note:

Samuel Byck, a failed businessman with a history of mental illness, was investigated by the Secret Service in 1972 on the basis of reports that he had threatened President Nixon. In 1974, he hatched a plan called "Operation Pandora's Box" to hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into the Executive Mansion. On February 22, . . . Byck went to Baltimore/Washington International Airport carrying a pistol and a gasoline bomb. He forced his way onto a Delta flight destined for Atlanta by shooting a guard at the security checkpoint. He entered the cockpit and ordered the crew to take off. After the crew informed him that they could not depart without removing the wheel blocks, Byck shot the pilot twice and the co-pilot three times (the co-pilot died). Police outside the airplane shot into the cockpit and hit Byck twice. Byck fell to the floor, put the revolver to his head, and killed himself.

The Dallas Morning News appears to be the only news organization to have linked the Byck case to Sept. 11 (alas, its Oct. 12 piece on the subject doesn't appear to be on its Web site). Byck was a character in the 1990 Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins," a Broadway revival of which was to have opened in November but was canceled in the wake of Sept. 11.
 

skydiverdriver

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Yeah, and a almost ready to be fired flight engineer for Fedex tried to hijack a MD-11 so he could crash it into their headquarters in Memphis. This is not a new idea, it's just incredible that anyone would actually attempt it.
 

avbug

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No, the only increadible part is that more people havent' tried it, and that it wasn't done much earlier.

What happened on Sept 11 was obvious; it was only a matter of time.
 

Orvilleflyer

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What's also surprising is that it wasn't tried in another country first where the security might not be so great (or maybe it was?) before it was tried here- Where obviously the security wasn't so great after all...
 
T

Traumahawk

The government is coming out with new threat updates everyday, probably part of an attempt to cover their butts against just about ANYthing...and of course to alert the general public which can be a security measure of it's own.

The latest is the warning added to the small airplane warning by informing the general public that they(extremist camel-humping towelheads) may use these 'small aircraft' to hit a larger one during takeoff/landing, presumably an airliner.

Now...the question is, if this is pulled off, whats in it for general aviation? The entire class B area to the surface? Along with expanded C, TRSA's...even class d...maybe the whole country just one big no light a/c fly zone? And what would they tell people they will do to prevent future occurences? Ground all non airline airplanes between the hours of 1000Z and 0700Z?

I know it's a long shot, for something like a twin commander to bring down a fast moving 757...but on takeoff and landing the jets are defintely vulnerable to a well planned attack, and we know they are capable of that, even with us trying to sleep with one eye open.

This is just one scenario. Hopefully nothing like it will happen. But just looking at today's situation, and thinking of a stunt like that happening...reminds you, in time, things are headed to get a little better, but in a heartbeat, they could get far worse. Especially for those with careers in Aviation today and those preparing for the same. Human loss, national confidence in our government, further terrorist expansion, I care equally about these things as well, but this being an aviation board and all, please do not mind that here I'll often set aside those things and speak with my fellow pilots about our future.

And please forgive any spelling errors....it's late ;)

--T-hawk
 
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aggiepilot87

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avbug said:
What happened on Sept 11 was obvious; it was only a matter of time.
It was so simple and effective.

We have so many vulnerabilities. With not too many more people, terrorists could probably shut down the electrical system in this country. Toss some cables or chains over transmission lines at critical points in the grid at high load times and a complete trip of the system wouldn't suprise me.

Hijack a freight train loaded with petrochem products near an urban area. You wouldn't even have to use explosives. A couple of pipe wrenches and some matches would work.

If they wanted to hurt people, there are tons of hazardous products in tanks and railcars in these same areas. All you have to do is open the valves upwind. The liquid spills, vaporizes into a cloud and the problems begin.

Some might think publicizing this is bad. Based on the execution of the attacks last fall, I am convinced these people are smart. They've thought of these things already. But, Joe 6-Pack or Ms. Soccer Mom probably doesn't realize what could happen. Be informed and be aware. Based on the past performances of the federal law enforcement and intelligence orgs, I don't expect them to be able to protect me and my family.

It's only going to get worse until we decide to really fight back.

my 2¢
 
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