View Full Version : Reinforced cockpit doors

3rd Oct 2001, 16:45
I think that reinforcing the cockpit doors is a great idea however, one little question pops into my mind. What do we do when/if this happens: You are in your seat and you hear one of the cabin attendants call out,"he's got a knife to my throat and he will use it if you don't open the door!!!" You might know this attendant fairly well, she might even be your wife/girlfriend. The scenario is not pleasant, but in light of sep. 11 nothing seems too far fetched.

:confused: :confused:

3rd Oct 2001, 17:40
I'd love to see how they're gonna block the f/deck doors on those a/c whose f/deck doors open aft.......
(pictures I've seen show a steel bar across the door, inside the f/deck).

3rd Oct 2001, 20:08
And those with the toilet outside !

3rd Oct 2001, 22:12
With respect to our colleagues in the back; if it were widely known that henceforth the pilots were isolated from the rest of the aircraft no matter what the circumstances in the cabin, then there would not be anything to be gained or proven by commiting acts of aggression in the cabin in the first place.

As for the issues of access to food/drink and toilet facilities, these are perhaps times for a radical review. :(

3rd Oct 2001, 22:42
I don't exactly see how a stupid bit of red-painted steel bar "isolates" the flightdeck.

The only *real* security is STOP THEM GETTING ON IN THE FIRST PLACE!
Unfortunately, that takes something that governments and aviation authorities (especially the FAA, it would seem) haven't got.....

5th Oct 2001, 05:44
I have been reluctant to mention this information but I think we really must educate the people who think an armoured flight deck door makes an aircraft terrorist proof.

I would not bring up these items but I imagine the terrorists we really need to be concerned with have worked these ideas out for themselves already.

How many pilots fly an aircraft with a trapdoor to the electronics bay and all those lovely computers and fuses that is accessible from the passenger cabin? What do you find in the ceiling of an aircraft when you pull down those flimsy trim panels? Lots of lovely electrical wires and control runs, that's what.

All the searches in the world will not prevent terrorists who gain control of the cabin of an aircraft from causing it to crash, almost at a place of their choosing. What we need is a four-pronged approach. Meaningful airport security (including data base matching). Sky marshals. A tough cockpit door and as a desperate last resort, specially selected and trained armed pilots.

Ignition Override
5th Oct 2001, 09:01
For those potential hijackers in the future who have long range plans in this world, unlike the cowardly murderers on Sept 11th, the International Court in the Hague (Den Haag) could introduce capital punishment, for those criminals who can be extradited.

Once several have been executed (who were able to somehow survive the attacks from enraged passengers), there might be a bit of a deterrent effect, at least for those who are not protected by a foreign government. Can't there also be a coalition to punish governments which choose to protect hijackers?

During the Southern Airways (US) DC-9 hijacking in the 70's, the First Officer, who was in the cabin facing a hijacker, was hit in the arm by a bullet. If he had not flinched while the gun fired, he might have been hit in the stomach. He spent over a day onboard with no access to medical treatment. Our friend Fidel Castro let those bad guys from Detroit, MI go after several years.

It is amazing how many Americans had to die before so much of our Congress became serious about airport security, and faced the graphic, grim results of how past US airline pressures had further limited the FAA's already limited enforcement of security.

The almighty dollar and travel expediency were far too important. All US pilots and flight attendants have noticed for years how many holes were in our airport security system, but the FAA was under severe pressure our companies to keep costs to a minimum. I had no idea how limited our intelligence resources were, and how many of our agencies seemed to lack comprehension of the mentality of dedicated terrorists, and how sophisticated they are. A few years ago, we almost lost twelve jumbo jets in one day over the Pacific Ocean-only a lucky discovery in Manila saved those passengers and crews.

During former President Clinton's eight years in office, did he and/or most of Congress fight against large increases in spending for counter-terrorism intelligence? Now this might be academic, but does anyone know the truth?

[ 05 October 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

[ 05 October 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

5th Oct 2001, 09:53
Ignition Override you said "Once several have been executed (who were able to somehow survive the attacks from enraged passengers), there might be a bit of a deterrent effect". How do you provide a deterrent to individuals who are prepared to die for their radical ideas? We face here fanatics who have been brain washed and who actually think that they will become martyrs. The solution here as Boeing said can only be a conbination of strict security screening through an international dbase, sky marshals, as well as secure cockpit doors. Besides lets sit back and see how many actual cockpit doors will be left to secure, because right now it aint looking too good is it?

6th Oct 2001, 05:19
I agree with Boing,

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Ignition Override
6th Oct 2001, 07:43
Capt A-320: Good points, but the context of my ideas included people who plan to land in a friendly country and go with money or whatever to a safe haven, as has happened many times in the past.

I did not realize that the events of Sept 11 guarantee that the previous types of hijackings, where the criminals have long range plans (after the hijacking: maybe my words were too subtle), will never happen again. There still are psychotic and politically-motivated nuts out there, unless they all just disappeared overnight.

As for any possible suicidal types, should not the airlines always allow several male passengers to sit in first class, in order to be near the front galley and cockpit, having agreed before boarding to assist the crew if any nuts, drunken jerks or hijackers became hostile?

[ 06 October 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

6th Oct 2001, 10:29
Hope these devices are designed to allow emergency access to the flightdeck in the event of an accident..

The Guvnor
6th Oct 2001, 14:47
Nevada - your post is illegal under UK law, and if you don't want Danny and the other moderators to enjoy some free board and lodging at Brenda's expense at HMP Belmarsh, I suggest you delete it forthwith!!

From yesterday's Evening Standard:

A food worker charged under the Terrorism Act with training others to use weapons has been remanded in custody for a week.

Sulayman Balal Zainulabidin, 43, of Greenwich, London, worked as a kitchen assistant at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the capital.

He was accused at Belmarsh Magistrates Court of "providing instruction or training in the making or use of firearms, explosives, or chemical, biological or nuclear weapons", on or before October 1, 2001.

A second charge alleged that he "invited others as yet unknown to receive instruction or training in the making or use of firearms, explosives, or chemical, biological or nuclear weapons" on or before October 1 2001.

Ttree Ttrimmer
6th Oct 2001, 16:22

Making an aircraft "safe" IMHO is a very difficult task nearing the impossible when considering the numbers of people that have access to a long haul aircraft all over the world and the number of everyday objects that one can use as a life threatening device.

Security should start at the booking stage and not just at the end of the aerobridge as it was in the States until recently. In addition to this maybe we should also be looking at changing the way security is run at the airports when people do eventually get there. Just asking a few questions is not enough in my mind. We have all heard reports of recently released felons working airport security around the world and maybe this is one way to start. Unfortunately the saying "pay peanut, get monkeys" jumps to mind.

The comments of Boing are on the spot I feel and while they should be heeded, awareness in the cabin is surely a good way to help when it comes to a potential hijack situation rather than padlocking every door, hatch and access panel in sight.

These were 4 airplanes that were hijacked on the same day as many, many more took off on perfectly routine flights. The percentage loss was minimal and I have always taken it as a risk of the job. Locking doors diverts the focus of the attack somewhere else and puts others at further risk and possibly ourselves at greater peril once access is gained to the flight deck.

In short, vigilence has got to be a much greater step than the brightly coloured steel bars talked about by another contributor.

6th Oct 2001, 17:05
And again Guvnor, the difference is that the training and the offer are in the United States. It is legal here for US citizens and UK citizens alike to take part in this training should they want to be prepared to defend themselves.
I certainly am not promoting anything illegal, and would hope that pilots with an interest will know they can come to the US and take advantage of the free training to defend their cockpit - legally.

6th Oct 2001, 18:07
If you want to become an aerial cowboy go and sign up with the FAA's Sky Marshal program; salary up to $80,000. That way you can concentrate all your energies on just firearms tactical training and you wouldn't have to worry about simultaneously flying the airplane in case of another hijack attempt. Meanwhile, as a pilot I'm busy enough attending annual recurrent ground school, annual line check and biannual simulator training with proficiency checks. I am the least interested in becoming an extension of the law enforcement community. Not interested in attending initial and recurrent firearms training. Not interested in carrying a loaded gun. That's why I didn't become a law enforcement officer.

There is an element of risk in ordinary flying; but there's a greater risk when flying with loaded weapons in the cockpit. We cannot bulletproof aviation from terrorism, just as we cannot get into people's minds and screen for suicidal fanatics. We can take reasonable measures, or we can do security overload, strangle the air transportation system and bankrupt many airlines. :(

The Guvnor
6th Oct 2001, 18:52
Nevada - it may well be legal in the States, in which case please post it on a US domiciled board. This is, however, a UK one and it is most definitely illegal here - as the person I referred to above discovered. He was doing the same as you - placing ads for firearms training in the States.

Now, in order for you not to embarass the moderators or owner any further, I'll as you again to delete your post.

6th Oct 2001, 19:39
After reading readers letters in a recent Flight magazine and posts on here I'm gobsmacked that nobody seems to picked up the bleedin' obvious about NOT reinforcing cockpit doors. THE HIJACKERS WERE TRAINED AS PILOTS!! What price a reinforced door you cannot access when the PA announces that those at the helm are on a suicide mission and there is NO access to the cockpit then!!
Impossible for this to happen....just look at the well advertised First Officer programmes in the US where low hour pilots can buy the right hand seat on major carriers (albeit mainly cargo) Let's hope the US have plugged THAT loophole

6th Oct 2001, 19:52

The last time PPRUNe was upgraded, I seem to remember comments about the hardware and software residing in Florida..I could be wrong.

If I am right however, where does that make the Bulletin Board Domiciled? Is that Florida, Essex, Florida, Yorkshire or Florida in the the USA? Just wondering..


8th Oct 2001, 06:56
An interesting read on cockpit security is the last half of -
www.webpak.net/~skydream/ad911.htm (http://www.webpak.net/~skydream/ad911.htm)

In a recent U.S. industry magazine article, the cost of a new door is estimated at $50,000 per aircraft. I respectfully submit the cost is rubbish - or, should I say I hope it is.

8th Oct 2001, 08:04

Today, the front line moved from Kandahar to Kennedy. Osama is on the TV again threatening retaliation. Be careful out there.

And for all the Brits who are sceptical about firearms. What better way to drive a wedge between Bush And Blaire than to hijack a BA aeroplane then deliberately get it shot down by a US fighter. Happy flying.

8th Oct 2001, 09:09
Might I suggest that you immediately contact the appropriate authorites regarding the activities of an an organisation in Bisley, Surrey. They maintain a site on the Internet and even possess (shock-horror) GUNS in the UK!

They promote gun usage and possession as well as training in their use!

8th Oct 2001, 09:53
Check out this DECEMBER 4, 2000 article on Cockpit Doors.

Unsecured Cockpit Doors May Compromise Safety in the Air (http://www.traveldirt.com/spotlight/airline-cockpit-door-safety.htm)

Taliban Song (http://members.home.net/beverlyhmcmahon/dayo.mp3)

8th Oct 2001, 11:23
Ignition Override, point taken. I fully agree that the psychotic and politically-motivated nuts are still out there however since September 11 we should view all hijackers as potentially suicidal. What is most disturbing is that the alleged hijackers of the four aircraft involved in the Sept.11 trajedy seemed to live normal lives and in no way showed signes of their radical determination. So how can you tell? The answere is simple you cannot, therefore we must see all hijackers as potential suicidal fundamentalists. Most importantly our industry must rethink training techniques for hijackings which take a more offencive role towards the hijackers along with extremely increased security screening procedures.
By taking out Bin Laden and the Taliban we have not resolved the global terrorist problem, this threat will not go away therefore aviation security will have to change for ever.

9th Oct 2001, 00:36
Hi Glueball,
You make excellent points. I realize your job is difficult that is why I thought having a means of self defense available to you would put your mind at ease at this time. One thing however, I want to make clear is that I am not a pilot. I only signed on to this board to inform any one interested in this offer of defense that frontsight is making.

I don't feel pilots (or anyone) should be forced to carry a gun any more than I think any individual should be denied the right to carry one if they choose. I would be happy to come to your defense in an emergency if my right to carry a gun had not been taken away by the FAA or Airlines or whomever changed the laws. Many years ago it was not uncommon for carry on items to be rifles on their way to hunting trips!

I am not familiar with security measures in other countries, but currently in the US the methods being used are in my opinion not going to be of any deterrent to the type of terrorists that are willing to commit suicide in their endeavors.

Well, enough of my thoughts for now. I do appreciate your thoughts as they are thought provoking.

9th Oct 2001, 08:02
A twenty year old deranged individual rushes from coach and at his first impact breaks through the cockpit door.

It is now nearly a month since the WTC tragedy. What has been done to protect the cockpit since then? The square root of F-all.

Despite all the political hot air the FAA and the airlines have followed their normal procedures. Talk a lot, do a little. We have been through a dangerous time. With the attack on Afghanistan we enter an even more dangerous phase.

What do we have for protection? The same undertrained security people and a lot of feel good speeches. I only know one other pilot who has seen a sky marshal in the last month!

9th Oct 2001, 08:53
Hey Superspanner, be very afraid - some of us screwball psychopathic gun freaks down at Brookwood are employed in aviation... :eek:

Through difficulties to the cinema

9th Oct 2001, 09:19
A solution appears to be the one used by El Al, which is the same as is used to control access to many high security buildings and installations within insecure buildings, such as data processing and communications areas.

Double doors. Each is reinforced and the first must be closed and locked before the second can be opened. This creates what is known as a 'man trap' between the two and can be used to isolate low risk individuals, although in a/c that is less likely!

If the attacker breaches the first door, he will certainly have drawn attention to himself.

I understand that El Al also have toilet and food areas on their side of the double doors.

[ 09 October 2001: Message edited by: PAXboy ]