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Irish Govt questions UK Govt over bomb threat handling

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Irish Govt questions UK Govt over bomb threat handling

Old 14th May 2006, 01:13
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Loadie, you say
obviously you have never been involved in real security or the real military as you would understand the term lateral thinking.
Do you think you could explain this apparent nonsense to us ordinary folks?

You may not be 10 years old, but you don’t appear in the slightest conscious of how much of a parody your post seems to be of a particular mindset. Either that or you are a superb trickster (though I doubt that).

bjcc, you say
I can't give you a precise moment of passing control, because it depends on the specific circumstances.
I believe that it passes from the moment the aircraft comes to a stop and the doors are opened. I don’t believe that “it depends on the specific circumstances”. The key point is not which of us is right here, but that something so important is not clearly understood by everyone concerned. Such mis-appreciation might also explain the police behaviour to which this thread is directed.

You also say that
terrorism is introduced into this is because it is the relevant subject
This is a self-serving statement and I beg to suggest that if this is the view taken somewhere important - like amongst the police - it is equally wrong that such an important re-definition has not been drawn to the attention of flightcrew.

These are precisely the sort of confused lines of communication that leads to mistakes, including bad mistakes. And to return to the theme of this thread, it also explains why several bodies have sought an explanation as to the decision-making in the events concerned. If the security services have been redefining events and not communicating their thinking, then we have a potential explanation for the bizzare and unprecedent events in Prestwick.
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Old 14th May 2006, 01:41
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Common sense surely?

Well said Snaga.

In the old days (before 9/11), the police reponse to a hijack was to get the aircraft on the ground (preferably in someone elses jurisdiction) and isolate it. There would then be a stand off and negotiation. Bomb threats would never have been dealt with like this, and in most cases would have been categorised as a "crank". If there was real suspicion that there might be a bomb, then of course the focus was on the safety of passengers and crew - which meant getting them away from the threat.

9/11 created an additional threat profile - 'how many people on the ground is the culprit planning to kill'? It has also created a new set of opertational orders for police and airport security which tend towards overreaction and treating everything as worse case scenario. The politicians are really to blame (as ever) because they will want their scapegoats when something goes wrong. 'Why didn't you do this or that'?.

The Irish Government is right to challenge the reaction because we need a bit of sanity to return to this type of contingency planning. We do not need every single incident to be treated as a worse case scenario. There should be corroborating evidence available first - as well as a distinction between the different types of incidents. In the case of 9/11 the corroborating evidence was there, the FBI just didn't see it.

It reminds me of some third world countries where you can get executed for something relatively minor, which makes up for the fact that your chances of getting caught are slim.

Last edited by ekw; 14th May 2006 at 02:04.
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Old 14th May 2006, 01:53
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...something else

There does not seem to have been much debate about the fact that there were a bunch of teenage adolescents onboard (as opposed to the adult variety), and it was their teacher who handed up the note.

I'm sure that on the next occasion, the accompanying teacher will do his own threat assessment.

ps Couldn't resist this remark -

I bet the police raised the threat level because of the large number of potential Irish terrorists onboard :-)

Last edited by ekw; 14th May 2006 at 02:09.
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Old 14th May 2006, 15:54
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Ok Loadie, so you're not a child. And maybe you are not trying to wind us. This is worrying...you actually believe what you are saying. Please try put yourself into our shoes and reread some of the eh...stuff...you've written.

here are some examples:
If Ryanair and the Irish govt don't like the way it was handled then don't operate in the UK. They are an Irish airline and are an overseas carrier when it comes to UK emergency planning.
This can be translated easily as "wah wah wah it's our trainset wah wah wah why don't you go home and play with your toys wah wah wah". Not really a fitting statment to be made to a group of airline pilots.

Thats ten years of keeping myself alive in my previous employment as 'you never know' has kept me on this mortal coil more than once
This can be translated as "I am really a secret agent and you have no idea who you are talking to. So be careful. If you are lucky me and me mate Bond, James Bond, will tell you all about hijacking". No room for cloak and dagger stuff here either loadie (or should i say "mittie"). Now pick up you hand held scanner and back to checking those passengers.

You stick to flying as you know nothing about security operations do you both???
And this is "wah wah wah, stop picking on me, wah wah wah, or i'll tell my daddie, wah wah wah"

All through your statements is a complete misunderstanding of the simple point that most posters are trying to make. Here it is AGAIN. If there is a suspected bomb on board then it has to be taken seriously or else ignored. No halfway measures. No matter how you tart it up, there is no justification for leaving passengers on the same vehicle as a bomb for 2 hours, whether its a plane, train or bus.

Unless of course somebody is sitting on a pressure activated bomb and if they move then everone will die. Now this happens all the time in bruce willis movies. So I'm sure you have seen this many time in your time as a spy loadie.
'you never know' has kept me on this mortal coil more than once
Now please make an argument I can respect you for. No more whining, and for gods sake read your posts as an observer before you post them.
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Old 15th May 2006, 11:00
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Bomber. If YOU had bothered to read the first sentance of my first post you would have read that I agreed that the pax should be disembarked with the minimum of delay.

Terrorist organisations are actively trying to find different ways to get at you or I on whatever means of transportation we may use. By taking a careful and security consious approach we can stop these vile persons from killing you or I. Yes a two hour delay is unacceptable but if a device has been placed on board it will have been intoduced on the ground thus will have been made to withstand all the phases of flight until it is initiated. So in that respect once on the ground the likelyhood of any device going off is small unless set off by a pax that has a trigger or the device itself. Hence caution when disembarking them as until identified or searched everyone is a potential threat.

Yes yet again it was wrong to leave pax there for that long but they were in more danger in the air than on the ground.

No I am not a walter mitty as if you knew me you would know my background as may do on here.

So if you want to go on about something you do know nothing about carry on. Please dont be little me with security as not once have I told you how to fly an aircraft.
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Old 15th May 2006, 11:24
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Nice one loadie! Honestly.

Please dont be little me with security as not once have I told you how to fly an aircraft.
How many times have I or other people heard this comment from a £4.50 an hr BAA official over a pass or something else.

Please if you are not still in school? Go back to school and learn how to construct a sentence. This might help other people including the general public communicate with you.

p.s. grunting doesn't count as communication. Cheers Kevin.
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Old 15th May 2006, 11:46
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Loadie, I have to say that this post is much better and does actually make me want to have a discussion with you (not agree with you, just discuss!). You did have a little tantram at the end of the post but we all do that from time to time.

First of all by saying I know nothing about security because I am pilot implies that my collegues who are pilots know nothing about security(that was the little tantram ). This is categorically wrong. Pilots are aware of the operational security issues that affect aircraft operations e.g. interception procedure, in flight device searches etc etc. We may not know AS MUCH as you about security but we do know something. And that "something" is enough for us to have a discussion. We have a RIGHT (not just a legal right, but an ethical right) to discuss how we think bomb threats on board aircraft should be handled.

Next of all you have finally agreed that
Yes a two hour delay is unacceptable
Well that is what the whole post is about. The Irish government therefore have a right to ask why this unacceptable delay occured.

Your other comment which has a slight whiff of racism
Im sure the Irish authorities would have acted just as fast??????
however I AM giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming it is just good old fashion sarcasim. My response to this comment is that the Irish security services will recieve the same criticism on Pprune if they take similarly irrisponsible actions. The fact that they are or are not more capable than British Security services is completly irrelevant.

I have to question a comment you made
Yes yet again it was wrong to leave pax there for that long but they were in more danger in the air than on the ground
To me if a bomb goes off in an aircraft with 4 tonnes of fuel on it; well it doesn't really matter where I am, unless of course I'm not on it
Is there something I'm missing here?

I must admit loadie, your last post doesn't make sense in a couple of places. i'm not trying to goad you but maybe you could re-read and rephrase a couple of points which I'm sure were well intentioned
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Old 15th May 2006, 12:07
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He is a sentence for you Kevin.

Get back into the condom you have got out of for your own safety.

Bomber. Yes a reasonable dicussion would be the way forward. The airline that you fly for will have security measures and SOP's that are to be followed, agreed?, i'm just pointing out that some countries are not as stringent as the UK. and yes that was sarcasm.

Last edited by Shuperstar Loadie; 15th May 2006 at 13:03.
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Old 15th May 2006, 13:30
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I don't denie your right to discuss, not your obvious vested interest in what went on, as it I guess may happen to you one day.

The picture is incomplete though in the 2 specific cases, and really, this is not the place you will get answers to the questions you want answered.

For instance, you may or may not know that the decision to intercept and divert is taken by the Mil, not the police, not the Goverment.

The result of that decision is an aircraft arriving, probably with the emergency call, Full Emegency, Bomb warning to aircraft.

It is then the Police get invloved. And that is probably the first Police have heard of it.

At that point, it could go all sorts of different ways. The chances are it is a wind up. Every single one of these threats I have ever heard of has been. Someone thinks its funny, and does it. The airline concerned codes it as they feel appropriate. And Police Action will follow from there.

There are other concerns than the pax on that one aircraft, and I wasn't party to what happened in these 2 cases, so I can't tell you if it was coded green, or if the Police felt that the most appropriate action was detain on the aircraft, or there was another factor that delayed the evacuation.

I can tell you, I have dealt with this sort of incident lots of times, in one case only was the aircraft evacuated, and that was before we arrived. Mostly, they are dealt with by a Police officer going on board and investigating, the culpret usualy quickly being identified and arrested. There then remains no need to evacuate.

I stress, I don't know the ins and outs of these 2 cases, but then nor does anyone on here.

The issue is a lack of explanation and communications between a number of different agencies, and I'm afraid it's not new either. In the mid 90's we were asking for better liason and communication between everyone concerned, it seems nothing has changed.
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Old 15th May 2006, 14:35
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Never mind the handbags at 40 paces. The simple fact of these two incidents but especially the Ryanair one is that the cops etc screwed it up royally and the Irish govt is more than correct to question that cockup, as would any other foreign govt whose a/c had been treated in such an appalling and downright dangerous manner.

The real effect of this bungling is that those of us with common sense (a rare commodity it seems) will from now on, declare some other sort of emergency when faced with this issue. We'll land at the nearest suitable airport, get the pax and ourselves off pronto and to hell with the UK govt's arrangements.

Once I have my pax and crew off the a/c, the cops can play with it to their heart's content. I don't give a toss whether they blow it up if that's what they wish. If they want to arrest me, I'll take my chances with the judge in court later. Now where will that leave the precious Mr Blair and his team of comedians. Do I care? I'd prefer to be still alive and so I'm sure would all of the pax and crew. At the end of the day that's what I'm paid to do, and what they, the ANO, the company, and it seems, the Irish govt agree I should do.
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Old 15th May 2006, 23:51
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BJCC, all good info. I have to agree that all the facts are not in yet. And you make the most important point that the least likely place someone will find sensitive security info will be on a public website. In fact I have had to bite my tongue in order not to mention my own internal procedures during this discussion because I felt it would not be true to the 'security cause'.

It looks like we both agree there was a systemic failure here. I was aware of some of the detail you mentioned but not all of it. Either way it leads to the logical conclusion that if all the individual departments followed their brief, then the controlling organisation needs to be taken to task i.e. the government.

So, in my opinion, this letter is a good thing for pilots and others interested in security.

Now, as already stated the Irish government are probably in no place to be smug about this. However, that is not relevent to the argument. Let me explain; if you are the best golfer in the world then by definition your coach cannot be as good as you. The British govenrnent may be good at this, but it seems like they need a little coaching at the moment!!

Sidstar, I think your approach is admirable but I would prefer to whine until the problem is fixed. However, I am hanging up my handbag on this issue, it's all been said!!!!!
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Old 16th May 2006, 03:58
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets
Read my earlier post, and imagine the worst sight facing you---by our 'own' team. If I had been the captain, I would have been breathing fire, but I might still have complied.
There is very little chance that UK Police will shoot to kill again after what happened at Stockwell tube station. Someone with a bulky overcoat running towards a crowded place - well, maybe. Someone getting OUT of an aircraft - no way. The absolute worse they would do to someone emerging from an aircraft is shoot them in the leg or something, if that, although I suppose there is an even more miniscule chance of them being a really bad shot and hitting somewhere more vital. Either way, I think I would rather take my chances and offload myself, because at that point, the chances of my dying or being seriously injured are significantly higher in the "remain on plane" option.
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Old 16th May 2006, 08:48
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Originally Posted by mutt
What a totally stupid answer!
I concurr, what a pointless post.
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Old 16th May 2006, 09:07
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Originally Posted by Shuperstar Loadie
Yes sounds like a delay because pax should be disembarked with the minimum of delay. Green threat? no, aircraft do not need to divert for this. Prestwick was the correct airfield to land at and an F3 escort is the best cause of action as 'you never know!!'
If Ryanair and the Irish govt don't like the way it was handled then don't operate in the UK. They are an Irish airline and are an overseas carrier when it comes to UK emergency planning.
Im sure the Irish authorities would have acted just as fast??????
Maybe you're right, and to be honest, seeing the totally inept fashion in which these bomb threats were handled, I think I would feel safer avoiding British airspace... but that's a bit of an illogical approach, isn't it? The more logical approach: that the British authorities learn from these events and rapidly improve how they act in these situations

Regarding the Irish authorities acting just as fast??? Sarcasm perhaps? I'm sure they would not have acted "just as fast" and hope they would have acted alot faster.
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Old 22nd May 2006, 23:50
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Thumbs down

Up to fairly recently, there was never any doubt about your course of action if you developed a 'security' problem in British airspace. You immediately alerted the authorities through whatever channels you could and then took advice from professionals both in the air and on the ground as to what you should do. Fine.

These last two incidents, described in this thread, have injected a considerable amount of uncertainty into the minds of many pilots as to what their actions would be in a similar scenario. I, for one, will now give serious thought to executing a diversion to an airfield of our (crew) choosing and telling everyone else why after we've landed and got the passengers (and ourselves) off.

I am deeply disturbed by those who claim to work in the 'security industry' defending what any reasonably intelligent observer can see are two monumental communication and leadership cock-ups. I think those who were involved 'in the field' at these incidents must take a share of the blame; "But I was only following orders..." has not been a good excuse since Nuremburg.

Unless rectified quickly, this will cause a serious breach of trust between pilots and officialdom in the UK. After all, we are both on the same side, aren't we?
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Old 23rd May 2006, 11:19
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Sorry, I hope I don't sound too much like an Airport Security Operative, but could someone please explain. What was the point of scrambling(or possibly diverting from a routine patrol) a Tornado to escort the flight to an airport that surely the crew knew (or even if they hadn't actually been there before, knew were it was) how to get to, and even if they weren't sure they could have got radar vectors.

So what was the point of the Tornado?
To give the Tornado crew some practice at interception?
To shoot the aircraft down if it didn't go to PIK?
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Old 23rd May 2006, 12:43
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SIDSTAR, and a few posts ago, FullWings, you hit the nail on the head.I think any of us who take our Command authority/ responsibility seriously, are left with very little choice. Take care of yourself ,and those you are charged with taking care of, and sort the "bullshit" out from a safe distance on the ground.DogsDiner, I think the answer to both your suggestions is Yes,so the question is, do you really want to be the guinea-pig , and do you really want "your life in their hands" ( imagine, mind you ,the same scenario in French airspace over open countryside heading Northbound towards Paris. . . . No thanks)Methinks a Pan/ Mayday with a request to land at the nearest suitable airfield for technical reasons , is the only way to go if you wish to have some influence on the outcome.For those of you who think otherwise Good Luck.
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