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"Pilot's must focus on flying the plane"

Orvilleflyer

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In regards to the government's recent statement about firearms being a distraction in the flightdeck, and that pilot's should "concentrate on flying the plane..." here's what a fellow pilot had to say-

"Who was flying the plane without distraction during the Ethiopia 961 hijacking (B767). For those who forgot, that's the one that was caught on tape while ditching in the ocean off the Comoros. The cockpit door was broken down with the butt of the cabin fire extinguiser, the copilot pulled from his seat and the captain beaten over the head with a whiskey bottle all the way until impact. Yeah, I'm sure they were glad not to have the distraction of a firearm."
 

ShawnC

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avbug said:
Fire extinguishers have butts??

Yeah and they really stink. All that gas coming out.
 

Timebuilder

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I think I'd rather be "distracted" by a firearm than be distracted by some as****e who's trying to open up my neck like a case of canned peaches.

I'm a little haunted by the idea that the hijackings could very well have turned out differently if those pilots had possesed a means of defense, instead of being defenseless.

Our greatest national problem is the lack of a will to do what is necessary. This makes US our own worst enemy.

I'm sorry. This stuff really makes me angry and frustrated.
 

capt_zman

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There has got to be a better term than defenseless. What happened in the last incident when someone forcefully tried to gain access to the cockpit? The assailant was beaten over the head with a crash axe. Job well done.

What about fire extinguishers, pens, flashlights, and the good old fists? Defenseless, I don't think so.

Really, would you want every pilot packing a firearm? The inherent risks of this far outweigh the benefits. I am most certainly not against guns and the right to bear arms, but pilots are not cops and shouldn't even want that responsiblity.

What's next, my kids schoolbus driver packing a glock?
 

Timebuilder

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It would take me a few seconds to extricate myself from a five point harness, but the bullet I can fire from between my arm and chest when I wear a shoulder holster is much more effective than small items or my martial arts training. Compared to an "armed" and determined assailant, a pilot's defense is certainly minimal, if not absent, in the current environment. Overcoming the assailant with a crash axe, while laudable, can only be called "lucky".

To equate an armed, trained pilot with a "cop" is a specious argument, at best. In order to continue to fly the airplane, a pilot's primary job, he needs to be able to neutralize a threat to the safety of the aircraft, insofar as he is capable of doing so. Right now that capability needs to be enlarged.

Back when I was a broadcaster in Philadelphia, I saw news stories about bus drivers being attacked while driving. Some carried weapons that were forbidden, and lived. Others had no defense against the attack.

They are dead.
 

capt_zman

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You assume way to much here. First, you automatically assume that an attacker has entered the cockpit. What if there isn't any entry and it's just an unruly passenger in the back? Do you extricate yourself from your five point harness and go back in the cabin guns-a-blazing?

I like the "fire the bullet between my arm and chest" scenario. You, being an expert marksman, would obviously score a direct hit everytime, but what about the pilot who has never fired a gun before?

What about the dreaded accidental discharging of the weapon in the cockpit? Don't suppose that can happen right?

The answer isn't always as black and white as painted here. Hey, give me a gun and I can protect myself and everyone else. Please spare us the heroics. Looks to me like it opens up alot more doors than it actually closes.
 

Timebuilder

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I'm not sure how I triggered (sorry about the pun) your response, since I never mentioned leaving the flight deck, "guns a-blazing", nor did I say that I was an expert marksman (that would take several weks of daily practice), and no reasonable person would carry a firearm without being proficient in its proper use, which would require that pilots be trained before allowing them to carry.

No heriocs are mentioned. What I'm talking about are options, things you can include in a whole group of choices. Currently, pilots do not have the option under discussion. As far as accidental discharge: I don't know, since I've never had one. If it were a great danger to the aircraft, I think none of the law enforcement types (the ones who do not carry the special ammo, like the Air Marshals) would be allowed to carry.

There is a lot of hysterical hyperbole in your post. Are you sure you don't work for CNN? :D
 
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capt_zman

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No hysterics anywhere, just against the option of guns in the cockpit.
 

Timebuilder

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No problem.

When people talk about guns blazing and heroics in these discussions, I think they are reacting in a hysterical manner. I reminds me of what I used to do when I wrote for a paper in Philly.

I'm certainly willing to take you at your word that you are not hysterical.

Good day! :D
 

RJPilott

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i cant believe how complicated people are making this issue. Cameras in the cabin with cockpit monitors, a firearm inspected, and locked inside a permanant "box" in the cockpit being part of the aircraft "equipment". Checklist to include inspection of firearm and bullets. Perhaps a clear bullet-proof box made of the same material as NYC Cab partitions?

Spread the word everywhere, signs in the airport, newspapers, TV, CNN etc "WARNING, All Flights are monitored by closed circuit TV from the Flight Deck, Any attempt to intrude Flight Deck door during flight will be met with deadly force"

viola! no more hijackings!
 

TurboS7

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I have no problem with guns but what do you do when you are up at 0300 in the morning at your hotel room and trying to pack and you can't find the gun.Shucks, is it under the covers, in the bathroom, under the chair, behind the T.V. Darn only one light works in the whole room, where is my flashlight, darn left it in the airplane. I can't even find the T.V. controller when I need it, how am I going to find a gun?????In the military you loose your gun you go to the brig. where are us civilian pilot's going to go.?
 

Timebuilder

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I guess the simple answer would be that we give that particular tool the importance that it deserves. If that means a checklist to run before leaving the room, that could be one solution.

I simply don't like the idea of the administration preventing pilots from the logical extension of PIC authority that could prevent the use, that's COULD prevent the use, of an aircraft as a flying bomb by those who have the ability to overcome the flight crew by force.

Perhaps we will come up with an easier, better way to be effective in preventing a takeover of the cockpit. That will make this discussion moot, and our aircraft much more safe.
 

RJPilott

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Guns should stay with the airplane locked in the box. 1 or 2 issued per aircraft. Inspected during cockpit preparation checklist.

viola! problem solved

i dont want to be responsible for a firearm on my off time either...
 

TurboS7

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Gun is on the checklist...I just can't find it,,and show time is in 15 minutes....
 

RJPilott

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im sure if the flight deck has closed circuit TV monitoring the cabin combined with AIRPLANE issued firearms, it will turn into a "dusty item" (ie. dusty buttons) It will be more of a deterrent and i do believe will prevent 100% of future cockpit intrusions. Recurrent training could include a few hours firearm training every 6 months. The expense may be met with great resistance from airline management, however airline management must understand if the flight deck is taken over in the future and their airplane is used as a missle, it will cost the industry as a whole a he!! of alot more than the amount invested to secure our flights.
 

TurboS7

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A trip to the firing range every six month for recurrent-I could buy that!!!!
 

Timebuilder

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Perhaps, as pilots discover the fun of target shooting, recurrent training would happen much more frequently on a "personal" basis.
 
3

350DRIVER

A gun is irrelevant IF the problem is solved prior to getting to 30,000FT.- A ground security issue not a pilot's job to play GI Joe at FL300..

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