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VIRGIN Blue pilot tests positive for traces of explosives

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VIRGIN Blue pilot tests positive for traces of explosives

Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:18
  #41 (permalink)  
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I think the big point, lowerlobe, is to ask "what are they trying to achieve?"

To put a pilot through the wringer to "prevent him potentially gaining access to the flight deck" is possibly one of the most stupid and misdirected security excuses I've ever heard. And I've had exactly that statement thrown at me going through Brisbane.

Now if they said said "we're going to run a quick computer check on your ASIC" I would say "Bravo! Focused security aimed where it is needed!"

Alas it will never happen. The problem we have is misdirected, unguided, unfocused security so Joe Public gets the "feelgood" factor. "The two pilots have been checked for weapons. That's good. I'll be safe on this flight."

I have an idea for a Monty Python-like sketch: A guy in white robe, Bin Laden style beard, and islamic cap wearing pilot wings and ASIC goes through security. They pull him up, explosive test him, confiscate a tube of toothpaste, check his carry-on bag, umbrella - nothing else is found. Then the security guy goes: "Right, off you go then! Fly safely sir!"
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 22:38
  #42 (permalink)  
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I think the big point, lowerlobe, is to ask "what are they trying to achieve?"
To put a pilot through the wringer to "prevent him potentially gaining access to the flight deck"
I agree with you 100% and to be honest anyone who made such a ridiculous statement should not be in charge of a coke machine let alone anything else...
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Old 5th Nov 2008, 23:33
  #43 (permalink)  
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So as pilots, who should we lobby to get some pressure on to have other staff screened?

I am now convinced that screening is a joke here in NZ as well. I was paxing in uniform on a domestic sector last week and the guy infront of me at the x-ray machine placed a pocket knife in the tray, I thought "this will be interesting", he passed through and collected his pocket knife without a word from security, I on the other hand had my ID checked and then got the once over with the wand. I asked about the knife and the security chap said it was ok because it was less than 6cm in length. He was technically correct too, I checked. Now where is the logic in that? Ten seperate people (or 20 or 30) can quite legally carry their pocket knives onto any domestic jet service in NZ but heaven forbid I forget to remove my nail scissors from my overnight bag.
I don't have a problem with being screened, but what a massive waste of time and money it is as long as it is just a show, as has been proved time and time again with scenarios like this.

So as pilots, who should we lobby to get some common sense into this security cash-cow?
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 00:12
  #44 (permalink)  
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I can"t get over the amount of whinging. It takes about 20 seconds to get tested, it takes longer to whinge and argue with security about why one should not be tested. Also its a perception thing - if members of the public see pilots and cabin crew being tested, they are more inclined to follow suit without complaining, on the flip side if they see the flight crew complaining the first thing joe blow public will do is complain that its not fair why do I have to do it. (Yes I know we have ASIC's etc)

When I was a police officer we used to get pulled into the booze bus lane and tested just like everyone else. surely on duty police can be trusted not to be drink driving whilst in a marked police vehicle, we didn't complain just got on with it - yet again public perception it works well.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 00:25
  #45 (permalink)  
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The Transport Security Act in Australia was drafted in a hurry by bureaucrats in the Howard Government and with a premise that 'pilots' had committed the September 11 terrorist attacks.

As we all now know the terrorists were not qualified pilots, but terrorists who exploited an unsuspecting flight training industry and had undergone sufficient flight training to 'point and shoot' aircraft on the day that had been placed either in climb or cruise by the respective flight crews.

These truths need to be considered in the light of the worldwide tightening of security assessment now associated with those seeking to undertake flight training and the Act in Australia needs to be revised for all the very sensibly reasoned arguments in the earlier posts on this thread.

Airline Crews are responsible for all the security aspects underscored by the TSA and the aircraft Captain under the Civil Aviation Act and the CARs is totally responsible for aircraft safety and security.

These facts were ignored by the public servants who drafted the TSA and it is past time to conduct a practical retrospective on the TSA with a view to recognising flight crew responsibilities and re-according them the respect that should be associated with their responsibilites under the law.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 01:38
  #46 (permalink)  
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Press release

VIPA has issued a press release regarding the article in the Australian. Hopefully it will serve to clear up a few misconceptions about Aviation security. The press release can be found on the VIPA website:

Welcome to VIPA Independent Pilot's Association

Last edited by contrails03; 6th Nov 2008 at 06:03. Reason: more detail
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 01:52
  #47 (permalink)  
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Four major airports in the USA are trialing a system where aircrew are not screened!!! Bring it on.
So contrary to what some have said, it may go away.

I think itís a complete joke myself. Most if the time itís a simple in and out, but other times itís harder to be nice.

I was swabbed for explosives twice in two days by the same person. The first time I just accepted it and was pleasant, the second time though I was late and already irritated. I asked him what would happen if I was to test positive. He said he would have to ask the Captain if I could still fly, I looked at the 4 bars on my sleves and said, permission granted Im going. There was no objection and off I went. I have no idea if it was a positive test or not.

Its time to lobby for an overhaul of the crew security procedures.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 02:50
  #48 (permalink)  
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I agree that all staff should be screened, regardless of their position. I think you will find the way it turned out in Australia with ground staff and others not being screened is a result of lobbying by powerful airports and airlines. This should be changing soon.

Complain all you want about security systems, they are never perfect and never will be. Yes there are always holes in them (both physically and because of humans) but at least there is a security system in place. The existence of a security system is a deterrent itself.

Remember what happened in the 70's when all the hijackings were taking place? This was when there was no passenger screening. What hapened after they introduced passenegr screening? The number of Hijackings fell dramatically. Screening is not perfect, nor is explosive trace detection but the xistence of it is a deterrent.

At the end of the day if anyone really wanted to bomb a plane or airport then they could do it.
Old 6th Nov 2008, 02:50
  #49 (permalink)  

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permission granted Im going
I like that!
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 03:45
  #50 (permalink)  
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I was in Auckland one day when a aviation security guard bypassed the metal detector and xray machine with his bag. On questioning him, and his superior I found out that the aviation security staff were not required to be screened as they were in a secure area, and pilots and passengers were suppose to be in a sterile area, or some rubbish like that After reports, and kicking up a fuss I got the ruling changed. How long does it take to train as a security person....... ANyway thats where my hate of security personnel comes from. The only time they have a little bit of power is when they are at work.

Ha I even had a captain who had bullets in his flight bag. Should have seen the look on the xray persons face. so he returned to the locker room and placed the bullets in his pigeon hole. GSR also cause the explosive detector to show positive.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 03:46
  #51 (permalink)  
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The ORACLE has hit the nail on the head. The Security Act was drafted by people without a clue. They are the same people who put hardened cockpit doors in SAABs and Dash 8's without any consideration for how the door would be opened inflight or in the event of both pilots being incapacitated.

If I get called over for an explosive check I insist on reading the information card first and I take my time over it. The security bloke then asks if I have done a check before to which I say yes but that I still want to read the information that I have a right to access. It frustrates them as it all takes time but that is the minor point that I am making.

And to all the SLF that get annoyed with crew using the crew lane to get to the x-ray machine first, that is the price you have to pay for crew getting screened.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 09:45
  #52 (permalink)  
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The cockpit door fiasco is nothing short of scandulous. Not only do we have the problems with the Saab and Dash aircraft, but I understand that Airnorth have six Brasilia's, of which only 5 have hardened cockpit doors, the sixth has only 28 seats, and therefore, the cockpit door is not required. How can we take Dotars (or whatever they are now called) seriously.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 10:02
  #53 (permalink)  
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Whats the problem?
If the pilot had got through and then destroyed the aircraft(with some form of explosive device) then all and sundry would be quite right in calling for someones head.
As it stands all this fiasco does, is prove how utterly ridiculous it is to screen Pilots(the most dangerous thing is between the pilots ears...........and that can't be screened for).

It's logic Jim..............but not as we know it!
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 10:30
  #54 (permalink)  
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Excuse me for being old and dumb, and I cannot even begin to imagine the crews of my era allowing themselves to bend over in the crash position in front of pax for some dumb ox to check me out, but if you want to kill everybody its so simple. Simply pull the nose up and the throttles back, who needs explosives! Makes no sense. Less messy too. You might have a bit of trouble explaining it to the rest of the crew, but hey the crash axe would help. Madness.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 11:00
  #55 (permalink)  
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and whats the point of a bullet proof door if you don't have bullet proof walls where we actually sit in front of.

100% screening of all people that go airside is fine by me.
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Old 6th Nov 2008, 11:28
  #56 (permalink)  
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Last week at Perth domestic airport a guy was let into a security restricted area with a "gun" and an expired ASIC...

Lucky it was just a test to see if the security guard was awake...obviously not!

Did the person lose their job, no!! The security company just got a nice little talking to from WAC....

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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 04:43
  #57 (permalink)  
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honestly, if i was a terorist who happened to invest many years of my life building 1000's of hrs in aircraft to eventually get the right hand seat of a commercial airliner then WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER TAKING THE RISK OF SNEAKING EXPLOSIVES ON BOARD?

you are one of only 2 people in command of an aeroplane. you could incapacitate the other (if he/she wasnt a terrorist too), turn off A/P and drive the thing right into the ground....
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 05:40
  #58 (permalink)  
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I thought it was a bit interesting that when I went through security the other day at least 2 of the security guys only had Visitor ASICs. Not much point of having a security check point if you man them with unscreened personnel who can just let their buddies through.
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Old 22nd Nov 2008, 23:00
  #59 (permalink)  
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I agree with the viewpoint that it is wrong for the pilots to be checked for explosives when the ground grew servicing the same aircraft do not.

As a member of the ground crew I find it totally obsurd that I can work airside without having to be checked for explosives, and yet when its lunch time and I want to go upstairs to McDonald's, I have to be put through a metal detector and more often than not the explosives test.

Surely one of the following would be more reasonable:

1) Randomly screen everybody that goes airside WITHOUT exception,
2) Not screen anybody who posseses a Red ASIC or
3) Ditch the explosives test all together

The current system has so many holes that you may as well implement point 3.
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Old 23rd Nov 2008, 11:59
  #60 (permalink)  
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Can I be arrested for testing positive to explosives before I board my aircraft? What legislation is in place? So is it illegal to fertilize my lawn before I fly my big shiny Dick, sorry, plane?
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