View Full Version : Flight deck door locks, security & what next?

17th Feb 2002, 05:06
From March 1st all aircraft operated by US carriers must have a lock fitted that can only be opened from inside the flight deck. SFAR 93.

How does this make the various airline people who read this forum feel?

I frequently see pilots as well as other staff with IDs, being searched to make the public feel good. Considering that the crews have supposedly had 10-year background checks why has this been necessary?

After March 1st it won’t be necessary.

As long as any pilot has passed security & not carried any weapon, he will now be allowed to lock himself in the flight deck, where there is an axe & he will be free to do whatever he wishes with the aircraft. It happened with Egyptair, the only difference is that no one will be able to stop them because they will have no means of getting into the flight deck due the latest security rules.

So should we not have profiling for all pilots to ensure that the travelling public are protected? Who can say 100% that an Egyptair will not happen again? Or Silkair?

We, the passengers, have all had our Leathermans, Swiss Army knives, scissors, nail files, knitting needles etc taken off us as a threat. Yet no one seems bothered that the airlines serving wine & champagne from glass bottles into glasses, which still poses a threat. or serve food on china plates. Oh sorry we now have plastic knives – that will help - not.

Look at the recent Air Lanka flight on which a passenger tried to kill himself with shards from a broken toilet mirror. Where there is a will there is a way.

Try flying internally the in US without a return ticket & see what happens - a gate search. Did security not get it right at the first check-point? How can someone avoid a gate? Buy a round trip ticket. Having 150K+ miles with several airlines does not help point out that you fly a lot on business.

I frequently travel in the US as do many colleagues & we all see the same.

Travel in Europe stepped up after Pan Am but what is going on in the US is deterring no-one apart from some rednecks & genuine business travellers. . . . .Should we not get some reality?

What is being done to prevent another Egyptair or Silkair?

17th Feb 2002, 06:19
<img src="mad.gif" border="0"> I look on it as a mostly marketing-driven company blowjob designed to show the slf that we are really safe. "See how we are locking the doors?". .(edited for sp)

[ 17 February 2002: Message edited by: cribble ]</p>

17th Feb 2002, 14:47
I lock it like I'm told to

17th Feb 2002, 14:51

Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed today?

They have to be seen to be doing something, whether they are right or not, at least they are trying.

17th Feb 2002, 15:00
It's a new world we are living in! Sometimes it's best just to do as we are told (not always though). But in this case- I can't think of any better answers!

17th Feb 2002, 16:17
Don't forget that this is just Phase 1! By 30th April 2003, Phase 2 will be mandatory, so aircraft must have better "intrusion prevention" doors, with improved ballistic characteristics AND the doors must comply with all airworthiness requirements. Guess what, there are over 6000 aircraft in USA to be modified! <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

17th Feb 2002, 18:00

I agree though that those who operate an aircraft, or flying bomb or whatever you call it, should pass a basic sanity check. And guess what .... we do. Even when the door was wide open we did. Cause you really don't think that if we had bad intentions that you would have been able to do anything about it before either, do you ?

So now that you know that your pilot is fairly sane (it's all relative), how would you go about profiling the pilots ? The ones that work for 'western' companies passed their checks. Would you deny access to American and European airspace by those airlines who haven't shared the medical info of their pilots with let's say the FAA, or FBI, or any other agency you seem fit ? You think I would allow my medical info to travel all over the world like that ?

We agree with you that strip searching a pilot is pointless if he really is a pilot. Cause he don't need no tools to make the plane do what he wants it to. Checking everybody that enters a 'clear area' seems to make sense though.

So help us out here. If you don't trust your pilot to be sane, what kind of proof do you expect ?

18th Feb 2002, 00:05
Quite frankly I think that the whole issue is a load of bollocks. Cockpit doors as currently fitted wouldnt prevent a determined attempt at forced entry, and turning the flight deck into a fortress raises more flight safety issues than it can possibly hope to address.

18th Feb 2002, 03:19
And the “stupidity” rolls on….. Where are the Pilot’s unions?

18th Feb 2002, 14:13
I don’t know how true this is but this little tale is at least amusing.

A southern European carrier took of on medium haul trip and upon reaching cruise altitude, being well en rout, the F/O felt like a stretch and an espresso. With the ok of the skipper he went back to the galley and apparently had a good time with FA sipping away on his espresso.

The Capt., being all lonely and board, figured “…well what the heck, I should join them”. . .As he too left the cockpit the door behind him snapped into the looked position.

About 5 minutes later the crew wanted to return only to find that they had lost access to the cockpit.

After some brief thought on the situation the F/O went to the rear galley to pick up the crash axe, walked calmly to the cockpit door – scaring the slf to kingdom come and beyond – and with a wholehearted swing knocked the lock out of the frame.

Be this story true or not but shouldn’t there be a secure access out AND in to the cockpit?

18th Feb 2002, 19:32
its an urban myth.

. .cockpit doors even now have access both ways though once in the cockpit there is an additional dead bolt.

there is no reason for access from the cabin without the expressed permission of the flight deck (for example releasing the dead bolt)

Cheers. .Wino

18th Feb 2002, 21:25
Secure Door Hijack Scenario

Martial arts trained bad guy in front rows of business class waits for a pilot to exit/enter cockpit via secure door -- entering cockpit is better because bad guy can attack from behind.

Bad guy jumps pilot at door, knocks him aside, enters cockpit, closes secure door, does in remaining pilot.

F-16 only way to counter hijack.

A secure cockpit door is only half a solution -- you must also have a secure door to the front galley and an interlock so that the cockpit door will not open when the front galley door is open in flight. The front galley area must be secured pax whenever the cockpit door is to be opened.

18th Feb 2002, 21:48
Why not just containerize all pax and then we would not have to worry about it.

19th Feb 2002, 00:33
<a href="http://www.avweb.com/articles/flawed/" target="_blank">Fataly Flawed Article</a>

Good reading for all.

19th Feb 2002, 15:51
Very interesting reading.

Has anybody thought of installing a cylinder of non-lethal knockout gas with nozzles in the air con trunking. F/A hits alarm and puts on oxy mask, flight crew hit big red button and puts on oxy masks, passengers and hijackers fall asleep. Alternatively an F/A has to check-in every 15 mins through hidden buttons. No check-in then flight crew make a coded announcement to remind cabin crew. No response, on gas.

I know that the gas ciculation could not be instantaneous but, given the power of an aircraft air con unit running at full chat, it could easily be rapid enough to incapacitate the hijackers in seconds rather than minutes. Ever seen how quickly people are incapacitated by smoke?

Obviously there would have to be safety interlocks and alarms plus possibly a ruling that one of the flight crew had an oxy mask on at all times (or at least take off and landing). None of these things are rocket science compared to the aircrafts existing systems.

It's too simple, it would never work ......

[ 19 February 2002: Message edited by: LowNSlow ]</p>

19th Feb 2002, 16:55
Smart idea but can you imagine the lawsuits against a carrier in particular a US carrier should there ever be an accidental discharge? I can already see the charge – PAX sues XXX airline for 20M$ due to wrongful sudation and intoxication and attempted murder. OR A/C crash because pilots fell asleep due to gas leak.