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UAL Attempted Hijack

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UAL Attempted Hijack

Old 8th Feb 2002, 02:31
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Pablo Morcira is a 28 year old Uruguayan banker.

On TV, the report said the PAX did nothing to stop this man.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 03:15
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Good work! well done crew.. .Another **** up by airport security though!
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 03:27
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Good to see that the experts aren't rushing to judgement or anything!

I refer, of course, to the labelling of this guy as a terrorist and/or a hijacker. He might be one or indeed both of those, but he also might not.

Malc.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 03:35
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Raises an interesting problem for the FAA. It is now quite obvious to the World in general that removing sharp objects from the possession of pilots is a useless exercise. All travellors are now graphically aware that there is a weapon in the cockpit capable of inflicting violent and bloody injury. The FAA now has three choices.

a. Admit that their "no sharp instrument rule" is a futile exercise in feelgood public relations.. .b. Remove the crash axe from the cockpit on the grounds that it could be used by one pilot to dispatch the other and hence take control of the aircraft for his/her own evil purposes.. .c. Put the Sky Marshal in the cockpit instead of the cabin.

Items b. or c. would be an open public admission that the FAA does not trust its own certified pilots. If the FAA demonstrates in public that it does not trust its pilots why should a passenger trust that pilot with his life? The US government is trying to get passengers back into the air by emphasing how safe the skies are with the new security measures. Interesting that, after all the baggage inspections, all the security checks a nut got onto an aeroplane and the day was saved by these mistrusted crew mwmbers, even though the FAA had pretty effectively disarmed them. Good job folks!
 
Old 8th Feb 2002, 03:48
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"causing Americans to spend BILLIONS of dollars in security"

Well, Roadtrip, I guess you couldn't say the billions are well spent. I have just experienced about the most pathetic display of security I have ever come across. I was stopped, searched throroughly - boots, bags, penknivesthe lot, on my way to a meeting which was beyond the security gates. . .Having said I could not continue, due to the contents of my bag (fair enough, my mistake), that particular member of staff went for a coffee break, leaving me repacking my bag. No one paid me any more attention, so I continued on to the meeting, penknives and all. . .Not very impressive!
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:06
  #26 (permalink)  

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knows

how exactly did security foul up?

were they supposed to perform neurological checks, or provide pax with slippers and tell them to check their shoes into the hold so they couldn't kick the door in?
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:13
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>>As I recall a couple of months ago, there were quite a few English and European gentlemen on this board that were offended at the suggestion that cockpits be defended with a crash axe.<<

Yep, and a lot of the same folks less than a year ago ridiculed the idea of locking the cockpit door even after BA almost lost a jumbo going into Nairobi. Times have unfortunately changed...
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:14
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After smashing him on the head with the blunt end, I would of asked him where he wanted me to shove the handle, down his throat or up his a??e.

<img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:32
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Fernytickles - . .I never said it was WELL spent. Why didn't you approach airport authorities and tell them about the breach in security??? If it was my call, we'd be politely profiling passengers (yes, even and especially Arabs and Muslims). I'd immediately deport illegal aliens, starting with ones from problem countries, and stop immigration from those countries as well, until we got control of the problem. The real problem isn't fingernail cutters, it muslim fanatics and their tacit supporters in the basements of a few western mosques. It's not even the occassional Uruguayan nut-case, like this latest incident probably is. A good cockpit door, lethal cockpit defense, a cabin camara system, and a vigilant and trained cabin crew will take care of people like him. What I really worry about is how many more Richard's there plotting in the basements of London and New Jersey mosques, while the other members are out front telling the news media how they're being victimized by racial profiling.

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: Roadtrip ]</p>
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:49
  #30 (permalink)  

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Roadtrip

I know this is now going completely off the original subject, but if you have ever tried to work your way through the maze that is the INS, you'd understand why there are so many immigration lawyers working all the hours they can, and a lot of illegal immigrants slipping through the net. To get rid of all the illegal immigrants you would first have to define the exact meaning of what an illegal immigrant is. I doubt anyone truly understands all the intricate rules involved in immigration. Its a nightmare, and a large amount of it is illogical and irrational - a true bureaucracy varying from office to office, kind of like the FAA, really.

Thats only the tip of the iceberg, there are so many factors involved in sweeping your country clean of those you consider to be "undesirables", its an impossible task, and berating another country for not doing the same is not really very constructive. One man's terrorist is another man's hero, you only have to look at history to see that. William Wallace was none too popular with the English until Mel gave him Hollywood, blue paint and a new hair style..........

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: fernytickles ]</p>
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 04:53
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Good posting Roadtrip.

Agree with ya on all counts.

Profiling is the way to go even if the liberal bleeding heart crowd don't like it.

Out of the 19 hi-jackers 9/11, 15 were Saudis.. .I would ban all Saudis from flying Western airlines. Their track record ain't too good. <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 07:44
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Fernytickes -. .We can do a pretty good job with getting rid of illegal aliens when we have the WILL to do it, and it's being done right now by an American President who's actually more concerned about national security than what fat interns can do for him.

You use the typical liberal arguement that since it's hard and not absolutely 100% effective, it shouldn't be done. BS. I consider "undesireable" anyone that overstays their visa or is here illegally without the permission. It's not the total solution, but it's a part of it.

I also use the term ILLEGAL ALIEN, since the new euphamism "undocumented immigrant" is trying to be popularized by wet-mouthed liberals and people who stand to profit by having masses of ILLEGAL ALIENS populate the US. They're trying to make gullible people, incapable of critical thought, think that only thing wrong with these ILLEGAL ALIENS is that the dog ate their green card.

I lived for many years in foreign countries. I respected their laws and culture. I expect visitors to my country to do the same.

I personally don't give half a crap about William Wallace and ancient Scottish history. And as far as your terrorist buddies, or freedom fighters, or whatever you chose to call 'em goes, it's too bad I didn't delay leaving the Air Force a few years. I would have had the pleasure of visiting retribution upon them 2000lbs at a time.

Sounds like I take getting my country attacked personally, doesn't it? You're right.

]

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: Roadtrip ]</p>
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 08:07
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Toweletts , always available in First Class are really good for getting blood off the crash axe.

. .Dont ask me why I know.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 08:46
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Question

One of our Captains said that his FO needed more than a few seconds to get the axe out of its holder. I don't want to publicly state how long his fumbling lasted.

How fast can YOU guys/gals get it out?

Can all of the petite gals swing the axe accurately? And if they pretend that an intruder walked in her "house" with mud on his running shoes?

Would it not be best for the largest crewmember to fight an intruder (or any former Marine etc?), no matter which seat? Or just the crewmember who removes the axe from its sheath? Maybe someone with tactical/trainer jet experience should stay at the controls? Should this be discussed among the two, three, or four crewmembers at the start of the trip? At least two of our lady FOs are quite tall, and could be extra s on "Xena, The Warrior Princess"! One played basketball at the AF Academy.

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]</p>
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 09:04
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Congrats to the crew involved regarding proper use of the crash axe.. . . .Only one further comment. If there is a signifigant threat on board the aircraft (ie, someone with explosives in his shoes, or someone who has attempted to break into the flight deck) - that person might continue to be a threat if they "come to" or get lose from their restraints. Personally, I believe the safest course of action would be to drop down to an acceptable altitude, depressurize the plane, open the door and eject the offending individual from the aircraft.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 10:19
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From the Miami Herald:

Posted on Thu, Feb. 07, 2002 . . . .Co-pilot wields ax to stop cockpit invastion on Miami-Buenos Aires flight

BY MARTIN MERZER, INA PAIVA CORDLE AND DAVID KIDWELL

[email protected]

The intruder kicked in the bottom of the jumbo jet's cockpit door and stuck his head through the hole. ''I want to talk to the captain,'' he said.

The co-pilot whacked him in the head with the blunt end of an ax. The passengers tackled him. The pilot reached into his United Airlines cap and pulled out plastic handcuffs. A doctor administered a sedative.

For the second time in seven weeks, passengers and crew members aboard a Miami jetliner leaped into action Thursday, coalesced into a corps of volunteers and subdued a man who produced havoc in the sky.

United Flight 855 from Miami to Buenos Aires landed safely at the Argentine capital's Ezeiza International Airport without further incident after a man attempted to kick in the cockpit door ''kung fu style'' and force his way in.

The suspect -- Pablo Moreira, 28, a Uruguayan bank employee from Montevideo who had been taking a marketing course in the Florida Keys -- was held by Argentine police. Federal agents planned to bring him back to Miami this morning and charge him with interfering with a flight crew.

He did not carry a weapon and had no apparent link to terror groups, authorities said. The motive was not known, but authorities said he consumed an undetermined amount of alcohol before and possibly during the flight.

''It's incredible,'' said Jorge Reta, a spokesman for the Argentine Air Force. "He doesn't remember anything, and I don't believe he really understands the impact of what he has done.

"His brother said he often becomes upset when there is turbulence, and passengers told us he had been drinking a lot on the plane. But when I asked him about it, he told me he had one whiskey prior to getting on the plane.''

One passenger said Moreira lit a cigarette while waiting for the flight at Miami International Airport, a smoke-free facility, and resisted for three minutes when told by airline employees to extinguish it.

Moreira was treated at the Buenos Aires airport for a scalp wound, authorities said. An unidentified flight attendant sustained minor injuries.

The other 141 passengers and 14 members of the Miami-based crew were unharmed, though they had quite a story to tell about an experience aboard a Boeing 777 jumbo jet that evolved from an overnight red-eye flight into what they thought was a struggle for survival.

''I was sleeping in the first class section and I was awakened by some shouting by one of the stewardesses and by some loud pounding noises,'' passenger Jan Boyer told CNN. "So I woke up and . . . I faced an individual who was basically kicking the door of the cockpit in sort of a kung fu style.

'I said, `What are you doing?' And he said, 'I want to talk to the captain.' ''

The intruder gained partial entry by breaking through a bottom ''blowout'' panel of the door, said Chris Brathwaite, a United spokesman.

When the man stuck his head through, the co-pilot clubbed him with an ax used by pilots to exit an aircraft in an emergency.

''It looks like something out of Gladiator,'' said Herb Hunter, a Miami-based captain for United, who lives in Coral Springs and often pilots Flight 855. "It's a very evil looking weapon.''

The ax, kept on the back wall of the cockpit, is 15 to 18 inches long. A six-inch blade is affixed to the top; a spike is attached to the bottom.

''He is lucky,'' Hunter said of Moreira. "If it had been my flight, I would have put the spike in his head. If someone comes in that door, he'd better be ready to die.''

United Airlines executives emphasized that the intruder never made it completely into the cockpit. After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration required airlines to install steel bars on cockpit doors to prevent unauthorized entry.

''The system worked,'' Brathwaite said.

The flight, which originated in San Francisco, took off from Miami shortly after midnight Thursday. Judy Orihuela, an FBI spokeswoman in Miami, said the incident began about four hours later, as the plane was over Brazil.

Boyer, the passenger, said that a flight attendant sounded the alarm through the intercom, ordering all crew members to the front of the plane.

He said he and other passengers also responded and tackled the man. The co-pilot swung the ax. The pilot, taking a rest break in the first class section, tugged on the man's legs and pulled him back into the cabin.

''There was a lot of blood all over the place,'' Boyer told CNN. "That allowed us to drag him out.''

The crew and passengers wrestled the man to the business class section. The pilot took off his cap and produced a set of plastic handcuffs, Boyer said.

Hunter, the Miami-based captain and a spokesman for the United Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, said many pilots and co-pilots now carry handcuffs that wrap around the inside of their caps. Some also carry an extra set in their flight bags, he said.

Boyer said he and others used spare seat belts to tie Moreira into a seat. Federal sources said a doctor on board the plane administered a sedative to calm Moreira.

Boyer said he spoke with the man later, but didn't learn much.

''I mentioned to him that I had spent my life thinking about international economic relations and how Sept. 11 had affected that, and was this due to any of this at all?'' Boyer said. 'The only thing he mentioned to me is, `Things are different now.' ''

Reta, the Argentine official, said Moreira had been attending a marketing course in the Miami area. Another source said the course was held at the Hawk's Cay resort near Marathon in the Florida Keys. Federal sources confirmed that Moreira entered the country Jan. 31 to attend a seminar.

Reta described Moreira as an average-sized man who lives in ''a nice residential neighborhood in Montevideo,'' the capital and largest city of Uruguay. He has no criminal past, works at ABN Amro bank, is married and has two children, friends and authorities said.

''He is really in trouble,'' Reta said. "I don't think he realizes what's happening.''

Federal officials said that, if convicted of interfering with a flight crew, Moreira could be given probation or up to eight years in jail, assuming he has no prior record.

Though apparently unrelated to terrorism, the incident bore striking similarities to a Dec. 22 attempt to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami. In that event, flight attendants and passengers subdued a man who was attempting to detonate bombs hidden in his shoes.

Richard Reid, a 28-year-old British citizen, was charged with attempting to murder the 197 passengers and crew members aboard that plane. Authorities said Reid has links to the al Qaeda terrorist network. He is awaiting trial in Boston.

In another incident, a Uruguayan passenger created a commotion aboard a United flight to Argentina on Christmas day.

Rodrigo Pedro Deambrosio, 34, allegedly forced Flight 979 from New York to Buenos Aires to divert to Miami, where he was arrested. Authorities said he became belligerent, urinated on a row of seats and claimed that everyone would die. He has been indicted in Miami on several charges and is free on bond.

Still, it was the earlier attempt to destroy the American Airlines flight and the people aboard it that dominated the thoughts of those aboard United Flight 855 Thursday. Once again, however, the crew and the passengers of a jetliner rose to the occasion.

Said Boyer: "It was really a magnificent team effort.''
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 11:43
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given that the pilots were clearly under attack (door smashed in) just what would happen if the axe had been used the other way round and the guy killed? ..... I sincerely hope there would be no legal problems for the crew member defending the flight deck but ???? ......
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 13:04
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Raptor---------More than likely they had them confiscated by security whilst this nutter got through!
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 13:19
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We always called it the Hijacker Reset Switch. Good that it gets known about. Not good that the blow out panel gets known about.
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Old 8th Feb 2002, 13:38
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how about a guillotine modification above the blow out panel?
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