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BA Pilots to have stun Guns !!!!!!!!

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BA Pilots to have stun Guns !!!!!!!!

Old 18th Oct 2001, 00:21
  #61 (permalink)  
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Covenant,

I've recieved your private message, and want to apologize for appearing to "rant". I use capital letters because I am too lazy to try to figure out bold or italics in UBB. As for me jumping on anyone that disagrees, I suggest you re read the entire post and see who has been jumped on. Even you have questioned my judgement, based on my posts that disagree with you. My opinion is that you are not that knowledgable re: firearms usage based on your posts, despite your military service.......Prove me wrong!

This is a subject that hits very close to home.

I spend 75-80 hours a month in the cockpit of several types of B-737's. I can see what works and what doesn't as far as security goes, and I can tell you, even with all of the eyewash at the airports, they could repeat their performance of 9/11. BTW, Atta, and a few of the other "suspects" were frequent flyers on my airline prior to 9/11..........

I also spend a lot of time in the leo community. A close friend is a narcotics detective for our local PD. For the last 5 years, I have assisted them in their close quarter firearms training, as well as unarmed training. I (among others) play the bad guy. Suffice it to say that I have a few bruises.........I feel that this experience, coupled with almost 13,000 hours in the air, most of that in scheduled airline service, gives me some big picture perspective on the issue. I harbor no illusion of gunfights at FL 350. I merely see a problem that needs to be solved.

When the subject of arming pilots was brought up in the wake of 9/11, I was originally against the idea, for a lot of the very reasons brought up here. After talking to many of my fellow pilots, and thinking the problems through to the end, the only conclusion I can come to is to arm the flight deck. I am not alone in this thinking. I can name just 2 of my fellow pilots that I have spoken to in the last month who are against arming pilots. I work for a major US carrier. Maybe that is the reason for consensus among my peers. See Boings post.......

I can also say that I am not very comforted by the fact that my future co-pilots in the F-Teens are waiting for me to sqwawk hijack.

There needs to be an effective means to defend the cockpit against suicidal wackos. The last line of defense is currently the aforementioned F-Teen driver. I'd like to see something between that and the ex fast food workers manning the "security" points! The door is a great start. Better pax screening would be nice (especially if they'd start targeting likely terrorists rather than little kids, pilots and octagenarians!)and x-ray of checked bags are all part of defending against the type of terror we saw on 9/11.

The bottom line is that if they make it into the cockpit, all of this is for naught. The only hope we have is that one of us can get out of the seat and meet Mr. Atta head on with the crash axe, and hope that the pilot flying can make it somewhere, or at least cage the engines before the terrs take over.......

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: Tripower455 ]
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 00:58
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Boing

You missed the point of my question. I wasn't debating whether indeed Americans are more culturally able to handle firearms. This sidesteps the issue, because not all airline pilots are Americans. Again, are you suggesting that we only arm American pilots?

Tripower
Likewise, I apologise if any of my comments denigrated you or your opinions.

There is a world of difference between arguing your point and accusing someone of being ignorant or incompentent simply because they disagree with you. I think I hold a valid opinion, and it contributes nothing to the argument to claim that I only hold it because I'm stupid or know nothing.

My first post, 10/16/01 16:49, contained no derogatory remarks, simply an opinion with some questions and some argument. For that, I received from you the following:

You have OBVIOUSLY NOT thought this completely through!

I will put this in VERY SIMPLE TERMS.........
[presumably because I'm too stupid to understand anything else]
From Roadtrip I got the following:

Covenent - You're deeply challenged when it comes to critical thinking skills.

You are one of those people that cower behind other men better than yourself for your defense.

You also obvious that you have no idea about firearms training in the military or police, either.

Covenent, you're critical thinking skills are deeply wanting and are typical of someone who spouts off opinions based on an emotional agenda without subject knowledge or rational thinking.
This isn't argument, it's abuse. Yes, I reacted to it, that is one of my failings. I know it's not a very good defence, but all I can say is that I didn't start it.

What I object to most is that because I express an opinion that is against pilots being armed, I get jumped on as if I were some kind of gun-hating, pinko, liberal European wimp who has never seen or handled a gun in his life.

By the way, I don't think there is a consenus among your colleagues about this, Boing's opinion notwithstanding. This thread proves that.

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: Covenant ]
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 01:06
  #63 (permalink)  
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By the way, I don't think there is a consenus among your colleagues about this, Boing's opinion notwithstanding. This thread proves that.
This thread is hardly indicative of any consensus, either way.

Who on Pprune is a pilot and who isn't? I might not be a pilot!

Consensus among my fellow US airline pilots is for arming pilots. Heck, APA (AAL's pilot's union) is officially behind arming pilots. My union (which represents over 4000 pilots) is also considering going that route. Every poll given to the American public supports arming pilots.

APA Security Proposals


Try not to be so sensitive there Covenant.....

[ 17 October 2001: Message edited by: Tripower455 ]
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 02:38
  #64 (permalink)  
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Gentlemen,

I share the anger and bewilderment felt by most of us in the profession. Allow me, however, to point out something which may seem far-fetched, but nevertheless remains a disturbing possibility.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, does your company know the complete background, list of acquaintances past and present, personal habits, and any other relevant detail of each and every pilot in its employ. Is it possible that a sleeper cell of terrorists already have in place one or more pilots working for a Western carrier, awaiting a signal from Bin Latte. And if not, is each and every pilot in the Western world immune to recruitment by these people via coercion, blackmail, large sums of money, or the well-known methods of persuasion and brainwash in use by various religious cults

For these reasons alone, perhaps sealing off the cockpit completely and avoiding weapons of any kind is the sensible thing to do.

We live in a changed world.
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 02:57
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bugg smasher,

im not a pilot, but surely if terrosists have reached so far as to actually have their men employed by airlines then we are screwed either way.

what difference does having a gun make?

if they are in control of 300tonne a/c loaded with fuel without highjacking the a/c, gun or no gun we are dead.
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 16:42
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Covenant.

Sorry mate - You're analysis is faulty.

I assume an organised group of terrorists attempting a replay of 11/09/01.

If the flight crew are armed (as opposed to Sky Marshalls or anyone else in the Cabin), then the terrorists only gain possession of the weapons after they have secured the flight deck.

My preferred response to their attempt to do this would be to order the cabin crew to defend the flight deck door, (from the outside) to prevent the terrorists from reaching a point where they could batter it down. This means hand to hand fighting, in which the remainder of passengers are available to assist in exactly the manner you describe. Probably, total chaos ensues.

If the terrorists manage to subdue everyone, and break the door down, we then quite likely have a situation where quite possibly they still have strength of numbers. If so, by your own analaysis, I need a 'Force multiplier' to prevail.

Fundamentally, if cabin crew plus passengers have already been defeated in hand to hand, what chance does flight crew have?

CPB
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 19:51
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Capt Pit Bull

If the flight crew are armed (as opposed to Sky Marshalls or anyone else in the Cabin), then the terrorists only gain possession of the weapons after they have secured the flight deck.
I don't agree with this. Take the following two scenarios:

Flight crew are unarmed. Terrorists rush the cockpit and proceed to subdue the flight crew by hand-to-hand. Cabin crew and passengers respond and should be able to subdue the terrorists. As you say, chaos might ensue, and God knows what will happen to the aircraft while this is going on, but nevertheless, it is a feasible scenario.

Second scenario: Flight crew armed. Terrorists storm the cockpit and manage to wrest control of a firearm before it can be used effectively by flight crew. Agreed, there is an undefined chance of success, but once again, this is a feasible scenario. Now, the terrorists can do what they want with impunity, and on top of it all, they have the force multiplier to even the odds against the cabin crew and passengers whose weight of numbres is now nullified.

I don't see how these two perfectly conceivable situations tie in with your assertion that I quoted above.

I don't think my analysis is faulty. On the contrary, I think your premise is faulty!
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 20:20
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Well back to the topic gents.
I've got a $1000 that says you won't be seeing stun-guns or TASERS in a FBW Airbus or BA. Any takers?
And I'll let you guess why (or if lazy, read my earlier post).

DD http://www.iasa-intl.com/RoboLander.htm
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 21:01
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Covenant still intentionally ignores the fact that armed pilots must be behind a hardened, breach-resistant cockpit door that would give the pilots at least 30 seconds of decision time. With that time and two firearms, it is highly unlikely that the cockpit crew would lose command of the aircraft.

No concensus about arming pilots among the profession? Since you know so much about this topic, I am surprised that you don't know that in the US, which by far has the largest aviation industry and is currently the targeted area, both ALPA and the APA endorse arming of pilots for last-ditch cockpit defense. Or maybe, you don't know what those organizations are.

Got any opinions on brain-surgery, Covenant? You probably know about as much about that as aviation security.

[ 18 October 2001: Message edited by: Roadtrip ]
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 22:56
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Covenant,

Looking back I see that I implied, but did not expressly state, that a solid door with a locked during flight regimen would need to be in place. Without that, yes, I agree with you.

Peaople have commented on this thread and others that, for a variety of reasons, a reasonably sturdy locked door will not prevent terrorist entrance to the flight deck. Due to the public nature of this forum I am not going to get into detailed discussion on these point other than to say that every problem I've seen mentioned so far is solveable.

CPB
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Old 18th Oct 2001, 23:06
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And Roadtrip,

Notwithstanding that we agree with one another, your final comment to Covenant is just plain rude.

I've known him for years and rest assured he is no dummy. If he thinks there a problem with something you'd be advised to listen carefully. He might well be wrong but rudeness is not necessary.

CPB
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Old 19th Oct 2001, 00:34
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CPB -
When it comes to issues of life & death and my family's livihood, I don't easily suffer fools or those with blind agendas.

Covenant has about as much business telling pilots how to fly and defend their command of the aircraft as I have telling mechanical engineers how to design gas turbines.
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Old 19th Oct 2001, 01:41
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Roadtrip

I would not dream of telling you how to fly an aeroplane, but that's not what we're talking about. This is about dealing with terrorists, and my qualifications are no better and no worse than yours in this respect. It might have escaped your attention, but holding a pilot's license does not make you an expert on security, terrorism or firearms.

Whether you like it or not, the decision will not be taken by pilots or by engineers, but by politicians and lawmakers who have just as little right in your eyes as I to make a judgement on the issue.

You might do better to refine your arguments so that you convince them, rather than hiding behind the elitism of your profession and asserting that no one else is qualified to hold an opinion.

Capt Pit Bull
I defer to your sensible wish not to discuss the efficacy of locked/reinforced cockpit doors on this forum. A lot depends on this point however, and I hope it is being considered in conjunction with the question we have been discussing.

I was going to phone you and say my last words on this matter, but it's getting a bit late now so I'll write them here. I think there are good arguments on both sides of this debate. A lot depends on the risks of arming pilots compared to the actual benefit to security.

It may be that, in the final analysis, the benfits outweigh the risks, but in my mind, the jury is very much still out on the issue, and I have yet to be completely convinced otherwise.
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Old 19th Oct 2001, 02:40
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Cool

Relaxez-vous....

Surely this is about the pros and cons of arming our chosen profession, not directing abuse at our colleagues!

As one who opposes the introduction of any weapon onto my aircraft -in any form- I would consider that the two main forms of security on board are:

1. Prevent certain individuals from boarding.
2. Prevent any that slip through the net from getting anywhere near the flight deck.

I think we refer to this as a swiss cheese model...?

As to how we go about achieving those two objectives that is of course up for discussion... but I do not believe that arming us at the sharp end is the answer. In fact, it does seem rather foolish and would not make me feel at all safe at work.

I for one, hope we do not see any weapons introduced ever.
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Old 19th Oct 2001, 06:07
  #75 (permalink)  
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A message to my fellow countrymen.

-----------
"Since more American members of our subject pilot group have received official training in firearm use, have experience in hunting, have family exposure to firearms, ...

Boing"

By "family exposure" Boing, I suppose you do not refer to the heavily armed gentlemen that walk into family restaurants and vent their deranged anger in the form of multiple rounds per minute, or perhaps, God forbid, to the high-school children that borrow Mom & Dad's semi-automatic corner-store weapon plus a clip or two to settle teenage scores with the peer group.

------------

"The bottom line is that if they make it into the cockpit, all of this is for naught...

Tripower455"

Surely, Tripower, the solution lies in preventing access to the cockpit in the first place.

---------------

"gun-hating, pinko, liberal European wimp who has never seen or handled a gun in his life...

Covenant"

Pardon me? I am sure you do not wish to be seen as exactly that, Covenant, but somewhat carelessly paraphrased, no doubt, from one of the many educated and illuminatingly profound speeches given by NRA spokesman of note Charleton Heston. That very famous person acquired his initial fame in "Planet of the Apes", and if the rest of us are to be given a reasonable chance at continued survival, that is most squarely where he must remain.

I am appalled by the trigger-happy nature of this exchange, and wonder why our European brothers haven't reacted strongly to this thread. The body-bag count is already horrifically high, and increasing in leaps and bounds by each and every blood-thirsty day. If you truly wish to wield the weapon of your fondest desires, I believe the FAA is in the process of recruiting Air Marshals.

We, as a professional group, have miserably failed the world at large by not performing due diligence in anticipating the unspeakably rapacious obscenities of the 11th. And for that, my friends, we shall not be forgiven any time soon. So, let's get on with it, put the penis multiplier away, let's leave that to those that are trained for it, our business is to get the wives, kids, fathers and mothers safely from A to B. We have a fair bit of work to do.
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Old 19th Oct 2001, 20:01
  #76 (permalink)  
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Tripower455"

Surely, Tripower, the solution lies in preventing access to the cockpit in the first place.
Well, if the terrorists just agree to stay off our aircraft, wouldn't that be an effective solution? Why don't we just ask them not to hijack aircraft!

As I have repeatedly said, we can take all of the preventative measures one can think of, but it is all for naught once Abdul enters the cockpit..........

Frisking pilots (as well as other low threat passengers) at the gate, placing National Guardsmen (with unloaded weapons) at the "security" checkpoints, making people take their laptops out of bags to go throuh an X-RAY machine, checking the Captain's ID ON THROUGH FLIGHTS (!), checking the same fake ID 12 times, giving ramp workers unfettered access to secure areas/aircraft, etc, etc, etc, will DO NOTHING to prevent another tragedy like 9/11.

Stronger cockpit doors will increase the safety factor a lot. They just need to be installed in order to be effective........

Profiling possible terrorist passengers would likely be effective.

The sky marshall program is a zero equation. I'll (generously) give that a 50/50 chance of successfully thwarting a hijacking. A gun in the cabin is much more of a wild card than one in the cockpit. I'd prefer the sky mashalls were unarmed........THAT willl keep guns from the terrorists. While we're at it, why not restrict all of the other Federal LEO's from carrying guns on our airplanes. As I've stated before, how many USDA chicken inspectors, IRS agents or postal workers have had the much talked about (on Pprune, anyway) training to deal with jijackers on board an aircraft. They are not special forces . Anyone that thinks that these fine individuals are OK in the back of a commercial airliner, CAN'T have a valid reason for keeping pilots unarmed........

Stun Guns? Give me a break!
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