Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.
View Poll Results: Should Airline Pilots Be ARMED?
According to news reports the Bush Administration has made a decision not to allow Airline pilots to protect themselves, their crews and their passengers with firearms.
The Administration and the Congress should realize now that WHEN more airliners are hijacked and used as missiles against Americans then we shall be getting only what we did not prevent!
The administration and Congress are loosing their voters' trust by not taking all appropriate steps to see that the tragedy of 9-11 is not repeated. You think there is political unrest now, think about charges after 9-11 happens again! Voters will hold President George W. Bush and his Administration and members of the Congress personally responsible.
If a significant number of AIRLINE PILOTS REFUSED TO FLY UNARMED then this incredibly wrong decision would be reversed overnight! Passengers also should demand to have armed pilots.
The notion that pilots would shoot their own flight instruments is absurd in that a pilot would be shooting always and without exception toward the cockpit door BEHIND his pilot seat. Already Air Marshals are flying armed with pistols that have special ammo that does not penetrate the aircraft fuselage. What's the difference between first class and the cockpit, 10 to 15 feet?
How many more airline pilots must die by having their throats sliced open before the necessity of arming our pilots and making them the last stop in thwarting a devastating hijack is understood?
In the name of the security of our country I urge you to contact your members of Congress and to notify President Bush that you support the reversal of this decision immediately!
T. D. Ponder Airline Transport Pilot Birmingham, AL
Arming pilots is just about the craziest idea I've ever heard. There's more chance of a firearm being misused by a pilot than being attacked by terrorists. There should be no arms whatsoever on board the cabin and cockpit of an airliner, period!
I for one would not want to fly with an airline whose crews are armed.
Arming pilots is a complete waste of time. They belong up front, flying the aeroplane, not exchanging fire at the OK corral. Armed and properly trained Air Marshals, on every flight...the only way, IMHO.
Before you know it the capt and FO having a contest who can clean the gun fastest. You need to do something after six hours flying from LAX to LHR.
"XXX123, Mayday, mayday, my capt just shot himself cleaning his gun!!" ATC: "Say again?? "
Pilots were required to carry guns untill well into the 50s and were actively encouraged to keep carrying them into the 70s during the hijack years. There are no cases of bad things happening as a result of pilots carrying guns.
On the other hand 1 hijacking was foiled when the captain shot the Hijacker dead. It would seam that the impirical evidence of 50 years of guns in aircraft are that they significantly improved safety, not harmed it.
I'm trying hard to understand the objection to arming pilots, but I guess I'm too dense. The way I understand the ALPA proposal, a gun in the cockpit would be employed only after every other method to prevent terrorists from taking control of the aircraft had failed. In other words, the hijackers are aboard the aircraft, they have overpowered or killed the cabin crew, they have not been subdued by the passengers, and they're busily breaking down the reinforced cockpit door. The flight crew is either going to subdue them, hold them at bay, or go for a one-way ride into a building. I suspect even a European cockpit crew might want to unholster a weapon along about then.
I think this vote should be for pilots only & not the people who will be will be watching the tragedy unfold on CNN. Wino has given the answer to the fatuous postings in the negative & Underboost has summed up the situation nicely.
Last edited by Capt. Crosswind; 10th Jun 2002 at 02:12.
Me, I like the CAR-15. Trouble is the God-Dam Hot Brass from the left seater keeps bouncing off the glass and ending up down the back of my flight suit.... If Mohammed wants in the doorway, drop him like a bad habit..... Yes We are ARMED in Nevada......
Europeans have a prediliction against ' typical US cowboy' ideas of individualistic bravado; understood. But!
Given, most flights will not have 'Sky Marshalls' assigned (just not enough to go around).
Given, 'Sky Marshall' duties as defined before 9-11, were not to prevent cockpit entry, but to prevent cabin take-over. The threat has changed; it is now sudden attack against the cockpit. To prevent such attack, 'Sky Marshals' must act as a permanent barricade against such sudden storming of the cockpit. They can't be unknown pax, spread through-out the cabin, because their reaction time would be too slow. To work effectively, there has to be a physical, gun-proof barrier behind which they would stay, guns at the ready; anything else would not signify. I am talking about a WWI gun-nest, with one-way mirrors & bullet-proof walls, between pax & cockpit. Without this, each time a pilot takes a pee, or the F/A takes food/coffee/gossip forward, there is unacceptable threat of takeover; the idiotic 'strengthening' of cockpit doors is laughable. We all know such a 'barrier' strategy will never be put in place.
Given, 1)most flights will not have marshalls, 2)even with marshalls, their deployment will not be effective, and 3)the cockpit door is no barrier at all, an armed cockpit crew is probably the only reasonable answer, inadequate as it may be.
Arming Pilots means additional training, physical AND psychological. As these skills need to be maintained, a great deal of recurrent training is needed.......Professionals such as police-forces are training to use their weapons almost on a weekly basis.......hardly justifiable for a pilot flying the line.
I say, get me a safe double door to the cockpit and let me do my job flying the airplane. The rules of engagement have changed after 9/11 and the chances of hitting a bullet between the Harward MBA educated eyes of an fortune 500 executive, who happens to sit in the first class are probably greater than having a fanatic nightgown gaining access to the cockpit.
Don't care much for the idea of any one (Maximum of two as Flight Engineers disappear) of the flightdeck crew leaving a secure cockpit to tackle any concievable number of highly motivated and trained Terrorists with what, one maybe two guns! No Thanks.
Just imagine - Highly vocal but unarmed hijackers over powering one Heroic pilot - oops, now they're armed.
Increased ground security ensuring no weapons or terrorists board an aircraft. If this fails and there is trouble on board, we can divert and get the Aircraft on the ground ASAP from the safety of a properly secured Flight Deck.
Nice fact, but the truth is that although it was allowed to carry guns from the Cuban Missile Crisis until 2001 I believe, this was to be done on an airline-by-airline basis (not individual choice), and none signed up. As such, pilots have been fully unarmed for far longer than you imply.
To be honest, 2 pilots vs 4 or more hijackers don't stand a hope in hell: pilots get bundled by more people than they can hope to shoot, and hijackers gain 2 perfectly working guns. Great.
Just out of curiosity..how many of you guys do think Bin Laden and his loonies are going to use planes as weapons again??The reason 11/9 worked so well is because they had the best element of attack-suprise.we are expecting planes to be used next time,I personally don`t think they will.Its been done.I think they will strike again in another destructive and spectacular .This is not the place for speculation on that..back to the point though.
Anyone hear about the Air Canada 767 that was escorted back to KLAX after a passenger did something suspicious. I fyou did,you`ll know the passengers piled on top of the b*****d and pretty much stopped anything happening anyway.
You really think passengers will sit back and let it happen again..I don`t think so. From personal experiance..when your afraid,your body pumps out a hell of alot of adrenaline..i don`t know the science of it,but its for a good reason i believe..prepares the body for shock and unusual conditions.If someone hijacks my plane i`d be worried..and ever discovered who the most dangerous people are..they are the ones who are afraid and are being cornered.fact. thats the passengers. Remember the plane that didn`t hit any buildings..think it was a UAL 767??..anyway,they learn`t about the NYC/DC antics and took over the plane so it wasn`t used as a missile.They knew what was going to happen,I don`t believe the passengers in the other planes that hit buildings did..I believe the pilots said they were returning to airport? My point is..anyone who hijacks a plane now,unless he has a heck of alot of nasty friends on board,is going to face alot of very scared passengers,stiff resistance..and they WILL fight him,and i think..as long as the aircraft isn`t empty,will overpower the hijackers.
I`m 20..haven`t lived compared to some of you guys..only got a PPL..not a commercial pilot,(I wannabe)..but i know already,guns are not going to be on a flight deck of my aircraft.EVER. They aren`t the solution to problems,they cause too many to be called that.
Looks like the anti gun wusses have started to hijack this serious thread to tell the guys who are in the front line how it should be done. Like I said before - these people full of hypothetical reasons for not arming the flight deck will be watching the tragedy unfold on CNN. When the suicide hijackers fly into the nuclear plant/battle group carrier/major building or what have you they (the unarmed flight deck push) will disappear into the woodwork from whence they came. And for the airline beancounters - let me clue you in - the pax aren't coming back until they know the flight deck is secure.
I tend to agree with Stop Stop. If you put a gun on board an aircraft, you remove one of the difficulties facing a terrorist ie. how to get a gun on board. He no longer has to - all he has to do now is work out how to get at it. (The film "Airforce One" is an interesting demonstration of this principle, I think!)
Added to that the level of training that would need to be given to pilots, all the things that could go wrong (discussed at length on this and a similar thread), I think it's impractical - better security and screening on the ground is the answer, together with better procedures and defences in the air to make sure that, whatever happens, terrorists don't make it into the cockpit.