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Republic 3531 Declares Emergency into MSP after FAM Displays Weapon

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Republic 3531 Declares Emergency into MSP after FAM Displays Weapon

Old 21st Aug 2018, 17:47
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Perhaps you should check the dates on your sources. Fifteen year old article and still no air marshals on UK flights.
Er, are you sure about that?

The article referenced is clearly dated Friday, 14 February, 2003, 15:38 GMT
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 18:21
  #22 (permalink)  
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From a local MSP newspaper, sounds like the FAM's got to ride across the ramp in the back of a patrol car:

Police mistakenly remove armed federal marshals from plane at MSP, cuff them

A flight attendant thought there was a civilian aboard with a gun, according to the TSA.
By Paul Walsh Star Tribune AUGUST 21, 2018 — 12:50PM

A federal air marshal was mistaken by a flight attendant on a United Airlines flight for a gun-toting civilian passenger and apprehended on a Twin Cities airport tarmac along with fellow marshal, officials and a woman on board said Tuesday.

The off-the-mark apprehensions occurred Monday night after the nonstop Flight 3531 landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to a statement from the federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

The marshal was “on official business onboard a flight [and] was mistaken for a passenger by a flight attendant,” the agency’s statement read. “Protocols for notification of law enforcement presence aboard an aircraft are in place to avoid incidents like this. TSA is working with the airline to determine the specific circumstances in this case.”

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said the two were taken to the airport’s police station and questioned by the FBI.

FBI spokeswoman Cindy Burnham said the marshal was assigned to be on that particular flight. She declined to say anything about the second person who was removed from the plane.

A TSA spokesperson told the Star Tribune that the second person also was a federal air marshal.

The flight was operated by Indianapolis-based Republic Airline, which partners with United and other major carriers in commercial air service. Republic said in a statement late Tuesday morning, “We are aware of this incident and are working with investigators."


Passenger Jennifer Berman told the Star Tribune that she and the others onboard were informed that the landing was being delayed briefly because “our gate was occupied, which was a total lie.”

Minutes later and while the aircraft was on the tarmac but not yet at the gate, Berman said, “police cars surround the plane and the pilot signaled the two flight attendants to prepare the doors for arrival — in the middle of runway.”

Berman said at least four police officers boarded and “quietly asked the two gentlemen” sitting across the aisle from each other in first class “to come with them. They went up and went down the stairs.”

She said the two, dressed in slacks and button-down shirts, were then handcuffed while on the tarmac.

A few more officers came aboard and questioned passengers who had been sitting near the two men, Berman said.

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Old 21st Aug 2018, 20:17
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This is really a strange one. I guess we'll never know what really happened but one cas still hope.

BTW is it true that there have been more air marshals arrested than arrest by air marshals since they've been generalised?
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 20:20
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TSA run operation. Who could have predicted this would go pear shaped? I have to say, on all the comm planes I've been on since 9/11, the last piece of security on the plane is the FAM. Pretty sure every passenger on board, would step in to dismember any would-be terrorist in short work.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 20:57
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Only in the gun-crazy USA would anyone be so stupid as to allow a person to carry weapons on an aircraft.
Nope - I flew into YWG last year sitting next to an RCMP Officer carrying his regular side-arm...

Now if that had gone off inside a pressurized cabin at FL350, things may have got interesting.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 22:51
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Pressurized cabin has little to do with it...
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 22:53
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Originally Posted by The Ancient Geek

The article referenced is clearly dated Friday, 14 February, 2003, 15:38 GMT


I was querying the comment that there are no armed air marshalls on UK flights.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 01:52
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Originally Posted by atakacs
BTW is it true that there have been more air marshals arrested than arrest by air marshals since they've been generalised?
I do not know if this is true, but it wouldn't be a fair statistic anyway. You're ignoring the deterrence factor. If Mr. Abdul Badguy knows there might be an armed lunatic on the aircraft, they are less likely to act up.

And deterrence doesn't work if nobody ever hears about the program. If you have to show your junk to a FA to get in the news, then so be it. Or so the logic might go.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 03:30
  #29 (permalink)  
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An update to the earlier newspaper article with details from the liveatc.net feed as reported above on this thread.

Federal marshals removed from plane at MSP, cuffed; 1 of them 'flashed a gun'

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan defended the airport officers' actions and spelled out in detail why they had no choice but to detain the men.
By Paul Walsh Star Tribune August 21, 2018 — 10:01pm

A federal air marshal “flashed a gun in flight,” prompting police to remove him from the plane upon arrival at the Twin Cities airport and handcuff him on the tarmac along with a fellow marshal, authorities said Tuesday.

The apprehensions occurred Monday night after the nonstop United Airlines Flight 3531 from Newark, N.J., landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to the federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

The marshal was “on official business onboard a flight [and] was mistaken for a passenger by a flight attendant,” a TSA statement read. “Protocols for notification of law enforcement presence aboard an aircraft are in place to avoid incidents like this. TSA is working with the airline to determine the specific circumstances in this case.”

However, communication between the cockpit and the MSP control tower that was captured by the authoritative website Liveatc.net revealed that it was confirmed onboard fairly quickly that both men were federal air marshals, and one of them “actually showed our flight attendant his gun,” one of the pilots reported soon after landing.

“That is completely against SOP [standard operating procedure] for them to show their firearm,” the pilot added. “So that’s the reason we declared an emergency.”

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan defended the airport officers’ actions and spelled out in detail why they had no choice but to detain the men and take them to the airport’s police station for questioning by the FBI.

“We know we have a call from the flight crew indicating a passenger flashed a gun in flight,” he said. “We contact the FBI (in-flight incidents are their jurisdiction) and make preparations to board the flight in a remote area when it lands. ... We then take the individuals to the police operations center for questioning by the investigating agency, the FBI, whose job it is to get to the bottom of who the individuals are and discern the facts behind the situation that led to the call for police help.


Federal marshals cuffed, removed from MSP plane after flash of gun - StarTribune.com
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 03:37
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Originally Posted by core_dump
I do not know if this is true, but it wouldn't be a fair statistic anyway. You're ignoring the deterrence factor. If Mr. Abdul Badguy knows there might be an armed lunatic on the aircraft, they are less likely to act up.

And deterrence doesn't work if nobody ever hears about the program. If you have to show your junk to a FA to get in the news, then so be it. Or so the logic might go.
Same with the locked cockpit door policy I guess.
We know it was one of the main factor of this Germanwings crash but there is no way to determine its deterrence factor.

To be back on topic, call me old too but I'm with Ancient Geek on this one.
Past 911, there is noooo way in Hell that pax will stay sitting on their hands if a highjacking happen. That's why I think air marshals as being unnecessary or as adding one more cog that can go wrong in flight.

Unnecessary except for targeted airlines in the like of El Al.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 04:48
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What do you all think of the concept of the FFDO?

They don't have an illustrious record either and personally I am very dubious, I think it smacks of the insanity of arming teachers and arises from a deeply confused view of reality. If Abdul-JimmyBob Badguy should decide to start something, the last thing I want is the flight crew getting mixed-up in a firefight. And how are the legal/safety aspects managed outside the USA? Is the weapon left on the aircraft?! Or..?
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 08:42
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the two, dressed in slacks and button-down shirts,
Ahhh.... They were in disguise! Where is Clouseau when we need him?

Last edited by twochai; 22nd Aug 2018 at 10:19. Reason: Spelling of inspector's name
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 09:32
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Originally Posted by core_dump
I do not know if this is true, but it wouldn't be a fair statistic anyway. You're ignoring the deterrence factor. If Mr. Abdul Badguy knows there might be an armed lunatic on the aircraft, they are less likely to act up.

And deterrence doesn't work if nobody ever hears about the program. If you have to show your junk to a FA to get in the news, then so be it. Or so the logic might go.
Surely you mean “another “ armed lunatic
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 09:53
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Originally Posted by Pizzacake
Surely you mean “another “ armed lunatic
I don't personally consider a box cutter nor F class butterknife as being "armed", but yes. That's what I meant. And don't call me Shirley.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 12:06
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Originally Posted by er340790
Nope - I flew into YWG last year sitting next to an RCMP Officer carrying his regular side-arm...

Now if that had gone off inside a pressurized cabin at FL350, things may have got interesting.
Not really, the outflow valve would have closed a fraction of a inch to compensate for the small hole amongst many holes in the aircraft.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 12:13
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Seems like the aim of the terrorist has been achieved, at least in this respect
.....to spread fear and disruption.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 14:17
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque
Seems like the aim of the terrorist has been achieved, at least in this respect
.....to spread fear and disruption.
We don't need terroists to instill this, we instead rely on our news media to add that colour
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 14:42
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If Abdul-JimmyBob Badguy should decide to start something, the last thing I want is the flight crew getting mixed-up in a firefight. And how are the legal/safety aspects managed outside the USA
Outside of the USA the bad guy's weapons will be found by security before boarding. The safe way is to make sure that no weapons get onto the aircraft.
Many years ago the UK discussed following the USA in carrying armed guards but the idea was quickly dropped when someone asked a simple question."What happens when the armed guard finds out that one of the aircrew has been screwing his wife or maybe finds some other grievance against the world in general".

In most of the world a professional and well paid security staff do a great job of keeping weapons and suspect people off of flights. If you feel a need for armed guards on aircraft you need to rather start asking some serious questions about your security on the ground.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 15:37
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The safe way is to make sure that no weapons get onto the aircraft.
Hear hear. I remember having a conversation with a very senior police officer at about the time “sky marshals” were being mooted in the UK - he didn’t like the idea himself plus there were never going to be enough to adequately cover more than a few flights at a time, so they would be the “risky” ones. I opined that if a flight was deemed that risky, it wouldn’t be leaving the gate if I had anything to do with it...
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 15:44
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US Law Enforcement officers do have previous for what this event could have lead to: https://krcgtv.com/news/local/police...-van-backfires
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