View Full Version : UK Sky Marshals to learn to "man cockpit controls"

14th Aug 2006, 16:20
OMG: "Officers will also be taught how to man cockpit controls when the crew have been killed or injured."
His units will guard US-bound jets
By Stephen White
ONE of the officers who shot Tube blunder man Jean Charles de Menezes is to train new British sky marshals.
The armed cop, in his 30s, has been picked because top brass say he has "proven ability to act swiftly and decisively" in emergencies.
Officers from his unit will be secretly placed on some jets feared to be at particular risk on routes from the UK to America.
Ministers first raised the idea of the undercover armed units in 2002 following US pressure. But they refuse to reveal if the teams are already being deployed.
The decision to have the detective involved in last year's tragedy at Stockwell, South London, as their instructor will spark fury in some quarters.
No policemen will face charges over Mr de Menezes's death.
But security services insiders insist the officer - part of Scotland Yard's elite CO19 gun squad - is the best man for the job.
One senior source said: "The shooting was a terrible mistake, but it was made in response to a genuine fear that this man was a terrorist about to blow up innocent people.
"We need the best to counter the very real threat posed by international terrorism.
"Sky marshals have to act quickly and decisively in any situation.
"They have to be ruthless in bringing down potential terrorists before they can bring down an aircraft."
All UK police forces have been told to send firearms officers for the eight-week course because of the heightened terror alert.
The teams will attend the Metropolitan Police's Specialist Training Centre in Gravesend, Kent -one of the best in the world.
They will learn how to tackle hijackers and use firearms in mid-air.
Sky marshals will be issued with Sig Sauer 9mm pistols, with special bullets which do not ricochet and damage the aircraft's fuselage.
Officers will also be taught how to man cockpit controls when the crew have been killed or injured.
Following 9/11, Washington put pressure on European governments to have at least three sky marshals on US-bound flights. Many, notably Sweden, Portugal and Denmark, fiercely opposed the plan, as did the British Airline Pilots' Association.
The UK is thought to have started training undercover air guards in 2002.
In 2004, following speculation that the Government had secretly axed the plan, the Department of Transport said: "We could deploy sky marshals if we wanted to. It's just that we don't talk about it."
They have been in use on US planes for more than 40 years.
The programme was set up in 1961 by US president John F Kennedy amid growing fears over hijacks.
Ronald Reagan boosted their numbers after a Lebanese gun gang seized a TWA jet in Athens in 1985, shot a US passenger and hurled his body on to the tarmac.
American marshals take a seven-week course at a training academy in Artesia, New Mexico. They then have four weeks at a specialist air marshal training centre in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In December last year, sky marshals killed for the first time when a mentally disturbed airline passenger who pretended that he had a bomb in his bag was shot at Miami airport.
Brazilian Mr Menezes, 27, was gunned down on July 22 last year after officers mistook him for a suicide bomber.
The Crown Prosecution Service says there is "insufficient evidence" to prosecute any individual. But the Met Police will be charged under health and safety laws. An Independent Police Complaints Commission report given to the CPS in January, but not yet made public, is said to be highly critical of the police operation.

Buster Cherry
14th Aug 2006, 16:35
"Ok boys, read this (http://www.worstcasescenarios.com/scenario.htm?scenarioid=7)very carefully. Digest all information. eat the evidence when finished (digest again:} ). You have 30 minutes to memorise before the message self destructs.
Oh, & good luck, it`s a jungle out there." :ugh:

14th Aug 2006, 17:05
Brilliant !

I particularly liked "How to wrestle free from an alligator"

and of course "How to Jump from a Building into a Dumpster" - who knows how many times I've been saved by that one !

Statement-of-the-bleeding-obvious prize is a toss-up between:

"3. Aim for the center of the Dumpster."


"3. Do not enter the water if you are bleeding from an open wound" [this one from "How to fend off a shark"]

14th Aug 2006, 17:11
What's the problem? give them a flight sim programme and they will be experts:hmm:

Actually, if they have to get into the flight deck when the crew have been shot, doesn't it mean that the sky cops didn't do a very good job?

Sort of pointless having them on board then.

14th Aug 2006, 17:32
Extreme Survival

How to Make Fire Without Matches

What you will need:

* Knife.............................damn!

14th Aug 2006, 17:34
Actually, if they have to get into the flight deck when the crew have been shot, doesn't it mean that the sky cops didn't do a very good job?
Sort of pointless having them on board then.
Unless they shot them of course :E

14th Aug 2006, 22:23
will they be issued with big watches?

what about if they have a personality? ...

...oh yeah, good point :}

Howard Hughes
14th Aug 2006, 22:42
Of course those instructions missed the most vital part of assuming control of an aircraft....

Donning the Captains epaulettes (rank slides for those so inclined).:ok:

14th Aug 2006, 22:53
Just as a (Norfolk) Broads Cruiser captain HAS to have a peaked cap.

14th Aug 2006, 22:54
And an old dog end hanging from the corner of his mouth. This should NEVER be lit, it's just there for style!

Metro man
14th Aug 2006, 23:29
It's easy really, modern jets have autoland. All they need to do is know how to find the right switch :E

15th Aug 2006, 01:02
Just as a (Norfolk) Broads Cruiser captain HAS to have a peaked cap.
so let me get this straight - they have people to drive you around to pick up East Anglian prostitutes.....?

Buster Hyman
15th Aug 2006, 01:36
Wouldn't it be ironic if they did the same course as the "martyrs".:hmm:

15th Aug 2006, 01:56
Flying aircraft isn't rocket science - after all, pilots manage to do it.

West Coast
15th Aug 2006, 03:26
Given the quality of my last landing, they could'nt be any worse.

Chesty Morgan
15th Aug 2006, 12:01
Why not just give the flight deck guns...or tazers?

It would alleviate the boredom on those long sectors:}

15th Aug 2006, 17:50
Wouldn't the electric discharge from a tazer interfere with the navigational equipment?

(This IS tongue-in-cheek as I can't understand why the tazer isn't the 'obvious' weapon for use in aircraft.)

Why not just give the flight deck guns...or tazers?
Nah! just give them an axe . . .

15th Aug 2006, 19:07
Wouldn't it better to train unemployed fATPL holders to be Sky Marshals :}

Head over to the wannabe's forums - there's a load of em'

15th Aug 2006, 19:09
The SOPs would be too complex.