View Full Version : Comair Pilot Arrested for Knife In Bag

2nd Jan 2003, 06:47

P Factor
2nd Jan 2003, 17:13
What's he going to do with the knife? Hijack the plane?
He IS ALREADY flying the plane.

Come on TSA use your heads. This is totally stupid arresting the guy for an obvious mistake.

Departures Beckham
2nd Jan 2003, 22:05
Everyone entering a Restricted Area must be subject to the same strict security proceedures. I understand that the pilot is already in control of the aircraft and would therefore probably not need a knife to take full control of the aircraft, but there is the possibility that he could have passed the weapon to another person who would then use it on a different flight.

A report by Rt Hon Sir John Wheeler highlighted that the Control Authorities (Customs, Immigration and Police) could be at risk of intimidation, coercion or bribery as they are not subject to search when they enter the restricted zones at UK airports. The same applies to anyone who receives a lower level of search than anyone else, this is why we need a uniform level of security.

The report can be found in pdf format HERE (http://www.aviation.dft.gov.uk/transec/wheeler-review/pdf/wheeler.pdf) (see sections 9.7 - 9.9 on page 9).

2nd Jan 2003, 22:51

I hear what you say but the 9/11 hijackers didn't mug a passing pilot on the offchance that they would be carrying knives. They went and got their own.

We need to introduce a sense of proportion to all this security madness. Are the powers that be just making us (aircrew) jump through hoops so they can feel better?

2nd Jan 2003, 23:30
Departures Beckham

A pilot can hijack his aircraft in the nude, he doesn't need anything else. As for the rest of your scenario, I don't think so...That's the same mentality that's causing this mess.


Departures Beckham
3rd Jan 2003, 08:44
I'm not suggesting that hijackers would mug a pilot on the offchance that he was carrying a weapon, what I (and the report) are highlighting is the fact that terrorists would use any lapse in security to their advantage.

All a terrorsist organisation would need to do is find a depressed pilot whose down on his luck, and offer him a large cash payment to simply walk through security with a weapon and pass it onto one of their members in the departure lounge.

Have a look at the report (link above), as this specifically states the risks of not screening Customs, Immigration and the Police.

3rd Jan 2003, 11:49
Sorry, but what you and the article are suggesting, is basically shutting down aviation for the possibility that someone can/could get to someone else.

Of course they can but that also means we had better shut down all jury trials because someone maybe be able to influence one of the jurors.

There is no defense against a person willing to give up his own life for his political beliefs. Our present society and we as human beings are not geared for this scenario. This is not to say that we shouldn't do anything to protect ourselves but the pendulum has swung to far in the interests of security.

The terrorists have won beyond their wildest dreams and we did, and are doing, the job for them...

3rd Jan 2003, 13:35
As Tan has pointed out above, the people who are responsible for making the rules have shown that they have no real concept of what really is required when it comes to some aspects of security. They have succumbed to their political masters overwhelming desire to be loved so that they can announce in their next soundbite that they have done everything in their power to make flying more secure. :rolleyes:

Following the argument that a pilot could be influenced to smuggle a weapon to someone airside who would then use that weapon to hijck a different flight is pretty flimsy. If Customs, Immigration and Police officers are not required to be searched the assumption must be that they are not subject to depression and therefore coersion. I don't know what level of checks and medicals members of those agencies are regularly put through but I doubt it is as regular as we pilots have to jump hoops. The logic used is as sensible as banning all flying which will reduce the risk to zero. While they are at it, why not ban all vehicles on the roads because they could be used to transport explosives to a vulnerable area.

It just goes to show how utterly pathetic the people who are responsible for putting all this 'security' into action are when it comes to lateral thinking. They are in fact so predictable that any group of highly organised terrorists would have a field day predicting where the loopholes are. Thankfully, most of us and our customers are in a new mindset when it comes to dealing with anyone standing out as suspicious once on the aircraft. Instead we have imbecilic dictats which impede the ability of many of us in the industry and our customers to operate efficiently and comfortably.

The report mentioned above quotes that the danger from organised crime at airports is of little consequence in the overall security requirements for 'designated' airports and that concentration on anti-terrorist measures is more immediate. How many high profile robberies have we had at major 'designated' airports since 11/9 compared to terrorist or 'security' ones? :rolleyes:

Until the faceless people in grey suits whose jobs involve making security rules that they present to their political masters involve those of us who have to deal with daily farce that we are faced with every time we go to work then we will continue to see stories of incompetence and pig-headed ignorance from those employed to carry out the duties of keeping up the appearance that security is working for cosmetic purposes.

P Factor
3rd Jan 2003, 14:11
Beckham, you do have some points. But, what happens to the us when we become deputized to carry guns? We could pass the guns on to a hijacker too. Infact we could pass the airplane controls on to a hijacker too if we so willed it.

When we're carrying guns will they still be checking us for knives?

3rd Jan 2003, 14:35
"There is no defense against a person willing to give up his own life for his political beliefs. Our present society and we as human beings are not geared for this scenario. This is not to say that we shouldn't do anything to protect ourselves but the pendulum has swung to far in the interests of security. "

Sure there is. Even the most militant terrorist who is willing to sacrifice his life will think about the affects on his/her family. In Israel/Palistine, they know who the families are. When ever a terrorist walks into a mall with a bomb and blows himself up, don't bomb a neighborhood in Palestine, or destroy the families house. Kill them. As soon as you can, find the family of the bomber, and kill them. Many people are willing to give their life for the cause, but not many would be willing to give the life of the family too.

Ranger One
3rd Jan 2003, 15:41
'A Comair pilot was charged with disorderly conduct...'

Sounds like he wasn't charged for the knife; he failed the 'kowtow to security' checkride...

R 1

3rd Jan 2003, 16:08
Thank you Danny, for calmly putting into words that mindless fiasco we have to put up with now. Many days I fly four or five sectors and i have to go through this everytime! I also see many loopholes in the system which remain unadressed, i sometimes feel that we as aircrew are being singled out for this chicanery. i wonder what the longterm health effects might turn out to be resulting from going through the electronic scanners so many times, i fully expect my flight bag to start glowing in the dark from being x-rayed so often.

What is perhaps most aggrevating is the fact that one is supposed to endure this mindless chicanery without comment, because otherwise the intelligence level of some those that administer this "security procedures" would be revealed and it might become obvious that some of these members of "Thousands Standing Around" are not fit for such a position, much less can they be expected to exercise discression.

i really need to look for a new field of endeavour!

jock strap
3rd Jan 2003, 16:16
How about this!!!

I am an Engineer with full airside Pass , each day when I go through security I have a search ( steel toe cap shoes ) on my belt is a Leatherman no problem they just Feel it !!!, the car is just checked for stowaways and valid pass, my toolbox is never checked I could have anything inside to pass on What is the point in being searched?? .

P.S It's a BAA Airport.

Lou Scannon
3rd Jan 2003, 16:29
If,as the pilot alleges, the "weapon" had been in his bag for some considerable time, he could now co-operate with the authorities and give the entire list of airports that he had passed through without detection. The hundreds, if not thousands of security guards and their managers can then be charged with culpable negligence and whatever other breach of the regulations the police can come up with.

Needless to say, all of those people who may be implicated in this dereliction of duty must be immediately suspended until they can prove that they are not part of an international conspiracy to assist captains in hi-jacking their own aircraft and until they can face a federal court to explain their actions.

As to the supervisory and monitoring agencies who have allowed this slap-happy security situation to flourish over the months, they too must now suspend themselves and file charges under the relevant regulations.

...unless of course their original intention was just to impress the public rather than impose an effective security system.

3rd Jan 2003, 16:50
Impersonation of police and FBI by criminals is apparently not uncommon in New York, according to a TV program last week. Occurs something like 1,000 cases a year, if I remember correctly. Police and FBI badges, as well as uniforms, can be bought on the internet. New York police badges are legal to possess so long as you are not in NY.

So what is to prevent a terrorist dressed as a police officer walking through security and passing weapons to others who are going to fly? Said "police officer" can have exited the airport before the attack is executed.

Surely the danger lies in the weapon, not in who currently has possession of the weapon.

Also, it is not uncommon for real police officers to be killed with their own guns. The gun is visible and available, and it's only too easy for a criminal to grab an officer's gun and shoot the owner. This also happens to homeoners trying to defend themseves against intruders into their homes. Could happen to a pilot, too, except the gun would not, in general, be so visible.

Cheers, http://home.infi.net/~blueblue/_uimages/pi.gif

pontius's pa
3rd Jan 2003, 18:37
Does anyone remember the mantra before 9/11 which stated that the only way to ensure security in the air was to introduce security measures that were so stringent as to be beyond our wildest beliefs, providing you were not flying El Al.

Believe me I am not trying to pour scorn on any possible threat but because three hijacked US flights in one concerted attack had a horrible result and one nutter tried to blow up his shoes, airline flight crew, and, sorry guys. them what pay our salary, the travelling public, are daily subject to indiginities that in any circumstances are completely unacceptable, and without precedent even, as far as I am aware, in war time, and of course do not provide any protection from a determined hostile act.

To UK subscribers, do not expect a rationalhearing from Blair's caring sharing government

To US subscribers

Having experienced as pax, (my company does not operate to the US), the inconsistency in the application of airport security is not particularly impressive. I fear that an enlightened sensible approach does not appear to be just around the corner.

This does not contribute much I know.

On another matter, and my main reason for the post.!!

Where can I get a genuine NYPD and FBI agent's badge?

3rd Jan 2003, 19:00
>>Where can I get a genuine NYPD and FBI agent's badge?







4th Jan 2003, 13:46
As TCS pointed out "A pilot cannot have a 3-inch knife but the crash axe that is in every cockpit is OK?" not only is there one in the Cockpit but on most of the A/C I work on there is also one in the Cabin, not to mention a number of Fire Extingishers (BCF in the eyes hurts and can disable), Plastic trim being snapped off is just as sharp as a 3" Knife if not longer.

4th Jan 2003, 16:54
While the determined and "professional" terrorist might already know of these potential resources, perhaps it isn't wise to post them on the internet where the potential, casual nutter may learn of them?

IMHO the potential positive point of posting them here (winning a debate?) is far outweighed by the risk of giving some pissed pax an idea for arming his or herself.

4th Jan 2003, 17:29
Confiscating everyday items classed as 'potential weapons' from a genuine pilot is of course utterly absurd. But I think many here miss the point. The screeners do not know you are a bona-fide pilot (or CC) on your way to operate a flight. Anybody can buy a pilot's uniform (mine still fits), and identity cards can be faked/stolen as others have said. And the screener can't tell if you're driving or deadheading.

It seems to me there are a couple of things which could be done.
1. Set up a separate line for crew, and put it behind screens so the pax can't see the indignities being inflicted. Obviously only appropriate at large airports with multiple screening stations.
2. Better yet, remove crews from the concourse screening entirely. Get screened in dispatch or wherever and then be driven airside to the flight. If you spend the rest of the day in secure areas you don't need to be screened for subsequent rotations. If you do need to switch concourses then again do it airside.

A few minor logistic considerations perhaps, but better than the status quo surely ?

6th Jan 2003, 13:35
What about incidents like Silkair a few years back. Captain incapacitated the F/O and destroyed the aircraft. A big knife would be handy for that !

6th Jan 2003, 16:02

That's why we carry a fire axe on board the flight deck...

So either pilot can incapacitate the other, get it....