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Maybe I just didn't pick up on this, but he didn't seem to talk about the reasons for going against it-what exactly drew him to the decision. I'd like to hear both sides if nothing more than to be in the know.
I can hear the collective cheer of a million middle-eastern zealots. Despite the FACT that less than 1% of all domestic flights have an air marshal on board, and the FACT that security screening is still being done by the same generally inept individuals, and the FACT that the government cannot keep track of or control the entry into our country of these twisted sand-------, Mineta et al have determined that pilots do not deserve the right to defend their aircraft from another suicide-style hijacking. Oh well, rest assured that the U.S. Air Force will not miss the next time a commercial airliner squawks 7700. - Sure makes me feel safer knowing that no one might be hit by an errant bullet. Whew!
I would like to see what happens the next time someone tries to hijack an airplane. I bet they will kill the sons of b*tches faster than they killed that kid on the SWA flight. It's a fact that a few people without weapons can overpower one person with a gun or other weapon. I bet any would-be hijackers would have to have reconstructive surgery after the passengers get through with said hijackers.
I wouldn't worry so much about hijackers than I would about some dipsh*t blowing himself up in a shopping mall.
Yes, I don't think the 9/11 scenario could happen again, unless the hijackers gas all of the passengers or something. I'm sure they will fight back, as they have on numerous occasions after the attacks. But, where there's a will, there's a way. I also thought recently about the Egypt air thing. What if one of the pilots goes to the lav, and the other guy is suicidal? I know this is rare, but with these new doors, the other guy will have no way back inside the cockpit if the one in there want's to be alone. I don't know what to do about that one..
S.O.L!! You can't be prepared for everything unless you live in a police state. If you don't want any possibility of terrorist attacks, you must be willing to perform one of two options.
1. Lock everything down and live like in the book 1984.
2. Be willing to commit virtual genocide to get rid of the possible hijackers from said population.
I have a better idea, lets just continue to live in our free society and when someone gives us a slap in the face return it with a bullet in the brain. Sooner or later, those who are "would-be" slappers will learn a lesson or "die".
Exactly right TurboS7. Although I'm sure all of us would be well trained and proficient if we were allowed to bring firearms onboard, my biggest problem is that we would have done the hard part for the potential hijacker - gotten the gun onboard in the first place.
Between better cockpit doors, FAM's, and passengers ready to dismember a potential hijacker, we're a lot better off now than last fall. Personally, I think the guns just add another layer of uncertainty and danger to the situation.
Guns. I am all for 'em. Own a Mach 90 (semi auto AK-47), few 9's, Mossburg, 30.06 etc...but I never expected the Gov't to allow pilots to have them in the cockpit. In the great state of Texas you can get a carry permit. SO, when I'm out flying the GA aircraft at small airports I can carry.
uh,,,you might be a dorky pilot if you carry a Glock with you in the Arrow......
Actually, I have never even thought about bringing it along.
Little late for that anyway. The terrorist are busy figuring out new ways to attack that we are not looking at while we are still debating guns in the cockpit.
Goes back to private training rule number one when something goes wrong- FLY THE PLANE.
Ditto the remarks about passengers being the biggest deterant- right next to that F-16.
If a passenger knew that the flight deck was armed they would hesitate waiting for the flight crew to act. Without the arms on the flight deck they know that it is up to them to get control of the cabin and to protect the flight deck.
You anti-gun guys oughta' know better. For Christ's sake, the gun in the cockpit would be the absolute last line of defense. (except for an F-16, if one is nearby). The concept behind arming pilots was that if the bad guys were breaking down the cockpit door, all other security measures, including passenger resistance, had already failed. Presumably the next stop would be the Sears Tower, or whatever. Maybe a gun wouldn't stop the aircraft from being taken over, but at least the crew would have a fighting chance of saving themselves and the surviving passengers. (Not to mention a large building and its inhabitants). The idea that hijackers would somehow be more dangerous after taking a gun away from the flight crew is downright stupid. So is the belief that flying into a building or getting a rocket up a tailpipe is somehow better than risking a stray bullet hitting a passenger.
I am with you on this one. Firearms would be the last line of defense. The last option after the "reinforced" cockpit door has been destroyed and before being shot down. It is lost on me how anyone could be against this. I guess all the govt know nothings won't be happy till this happens again. Do they really think this won't happen again? How can they be sure? Are you really going to bet your life on airport security or the pax guarding the door? Just because it is not logical to try a 9/11 style attack again does not mean they won't. These people are not logical!!! Let me say it again for the cheap seats, THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT LOGICAL! Think of the gain for the O.B.L. crew if they could pull it off! Think of the fallout if they do! Oh ya, and all the dead people too! Politicians are to **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** busy being P.C. fix the problem.
Safety of the passengers and crew is a pilot's job. Not just flying the plane. And how well do you fly when someone is attacking you???
End of rant. Thanks for listening.
There is no one that loves guns more than myself. I grew up in the frontier of Colombia, I always had a gun on me everywhere I went and I know how to use it. I also know what it takes to get an aircraft safely from 370 to the ground in 6 minutes, I have done it in a Lear. You do not have any time to even think about anything else, I am sorry I have to stand with the gov. decision on this one.
Pilots are just that "pilots"- NOT security officers or GI Joe's come on....This is a serious issue that needs to be resolved on the ground NOT in the air. STOP the would-be hijacker on the ground with the proper security and ground support people so this won't even be an enroute "problem" or concern- There is no reason for pilots to have to have firearms on the flight deck.(Last time I checked pilots were paid to get the pax safely from point A to point B unstrached and not harmed)
We passengers will definitely kill or maim any terrorist who dare tries to mess with us. Personally, I have such a strong grip that any terrorist's neck that gets between my two paws will get wringed to death!! My nephew begs me to arm wrestle with him but I flat out refuse since I do not want to injure him. Save the injuries for someone who really DESERVES it!!
I would want the pilots to remain focussed on flying so we pax can get good and nasty with those bad boys!!!!!!!
I'm neither against guns in the cockpit nor for guns in the cockpit which is real unusual for me (not to choose a side).
I read about air marshalls already having a gun in the cabin and how the govt bosses believe that will save the day. Somehow I don't agree with the govt. Where were the air marshalls on the day those 4 airliners were hijacked? Oh, I see, they just happened to be on other flights.
One thing that does bother me I haven't seen anyone write about yet. What about all the other people (besides air marshalls) that are already allowed to carry firearms in the cabin?
I can't count the number of pot bellied sheriffs, anti-drug wiz kids, and countless so-called "law enforcement officials" that I have been required to allow in the cabin with loaded guns. While the government worries about stray bullets from pilots barricaded behind a "reinforced" cockpit door, they already have lots of loose nuts carrying weapons in the cabin who are NOT air marshalls.
I've always felt those people were a danger to my safety, but I had to allow it anyway, thanks to the government.
I agree with tdvalve. Everyone is correct that the crew's primary job is to fly the airplane, but how do you concentrate on that when you're tied up in the back of the plane? You think that stronger door is going to stop someone? Don't people break into bank vaults? So, we screen people out. What if this person (as many of them were) has no criminal record? How do we screen them then?
Also, don't we have two pilots in the cockpit? Don't tell me you captains can't handle getting the aircraft on the ground while the FO guards the door? Do you really need both of them for this? And you think someone is MORE likely to try to get to the cockpit because they have guns? I think it should be optional for the pilot, just like states with ccw permits. Then, the hijackers don't know if there is a gun up there or not. Take a chance, and get shot. And, this stuff about worrying if they hit a passenger or something to disable the plane is stupid. Of course you want to disable it! This is a last line of defense, and I would prefer to hit a fuel tank and blow up over Kansas than let the guy crash us into a building. Why is it wrong to let a pilot have a gun, when that same pilot can possibly shoot down an airliner when on guard duty? Would you rather shoot down the whole airplane rather than give a pilot the chance to hit just the bad guys? What sense does that make?
I suppose this is all worthless anyway. Bush doesn't want it, Tom Ridge doesn't want it, Mineta is an old anti-gun person, and now the head of the TSA doesn't want it. I guess it will never happen.
Since this horse is just about beaten, I'll have one more go and then let it rest. When the subject is guns, the debate is difficult. Add in the specter of guns on aircraft and it gets worse. The anti-gun individuals have legitimate concerns and I value their debate, however:
The issue of "the pilots need to concentrate on flying the airplane" is a no brainer. We're pilots first and foremost. However, anyone who flies modern transport category aircraft knows that after the first ten thousand feet or so, who's flying the plane??? - the autopilot...right up until the last ten thousand or so before landing. Hell, half the time the crew's one wink short of napping - I doubt shooting a terrorist will interfere much with the autopilot .
"We should let the trained professional security screeners and air marshals handle security." - I absolutely, positively agree. However seeing that we live in the REAL world and cannot count on them to protect us ( LESS THAN 1% ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS), I wish to have something to fall back on.
Is any security plan foolproof? Are guns the one and only answer? Of course not. Security, much like the safety of flight, is increased by adding layers of protection. The redundant systems and checklists we use everyday keep us safe in the air. A trained, able pilot with a firearm is another layer of security, to only act when all other layers have failed.
It is a gut-decision, but I refuse to be a victim. What did those brother of ours have to help them when the end was near? Security screeners? Air marshals? Nope. Passengers? Yes, finally, after the pilots were likely dead and word had spread as to their destination. I would hope to never have to use a firearm in the execution of my job, but if my job is to be the PILOT IN COMMAND, responsible for the ultimate safety of my ship, crew, and passengers, as well as those on the ground, I'd like to have a few more chips in my favor, and a few less for the bad guys.
Of, course, this is all mute so...whatever. Fly safe!