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The cockpit door

Old 30th Dec 2002, 22:16
  #21 (permalink)  
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The whole world is not governed by FAR rules. In fact a very large chunk is not.

Thank God.
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Old 31st Dec 2002, 08:11
  #22 (permalink)  
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I don't know if it was evident enough from my previous postings, but before 9-11 it was up to the captain weather or not the door was open, closed or locked. After 9-11 we now fly with locked doors, from cabin clear signal to parking brake on after ended flight.
Old 3rd Jan 2003, 19:22
  #23 (permalink)  
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Just because the horse bolted once does not make it sensible to leave the stable door open now.

This debate is surely now moot. It went the rounds in the eighties, and it went the rounds in the nineties. If cabin doors had been barred as a matter of procedure for all that time 9-11 would never have happened, it would not have been worth trying and then all the millions wasted on window dressing 'security' and all the inconvenience and stupidity of the last couple of years would never have happened. And Oh yes! A large chunk of the aviation industry would be a lot healthier financially than it is today.

Oh, and another thing, my kids would still be able visit the occasional cockpit, after the appropriate checks.

A plague on all of you who put your vanity or your comfort above the safety of your passengers.
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Old 4th Jan 2003, 16:30
  #24 (permalink)  
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You seem to have missed the point.

The USA already had a locked door/restricted access policy that had been in effect for around 15-20 years.

In all that time there have been only a few cases where approved access to the cockpit was used for nefarious purposes.

The locked door policy didn't stop the 11/9 hijackers, none of whom were part of the 'approved access' crowd. Nor could it.

Up until then guidelines & recommendations ALL advised cooperation with hijackers, with the intent of getting the aircraft on the ground where negotiations could take place. After all, the a/c's time in the air is finite.

The 11/9 hijackers changed the 'accepted' norm.

They were able to assume control of the a/c because current policy specified that cooperation is appropriate.

It matters not whether they boarded with box cutters or whatever. Just about anything would have served as a weapon. Glass bottles (think how many are on board or are available by the thousands at the duty free), an innocuous strip of metal eg those often found in spring steel clips or on folders, even a sharp pencil or fountain pen would have sufficed to slice someone's throat open. Shall I mention safety razors? Or karate?

All that was needed was a means of threat + demonstration of willingness to proceed with the threat ie slice the throat of the nearest flight attendant or passenger, and cooperation that includes access to the flight deck was assured.

It was the then policy of cooperation that was instrumental in their gaining control, not the discression about who is allowed up front.

Of all the thousands upon thousands of flight deck visitors or jump seat rides how many resulted in 11/9 events? None.

Meanwhile we have the ludicrous situation of flight & cabin crew being searched for inane items are deemed to be offensive weapons or being refused access to the jumpseat, conveniently forgetting that we already have access to the flight deck just by turning up for work.

Idiot rules devised by bureaucratic idiots in the name of some laudable goal doesn't excuse the idiots.
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Old 5th Jan 2003, 02:44
  #25 (permalink)  
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I don't disagree Tinstaafl, in fact I agree, (Pedant!) While I dislike the policy expounded by the US (No negotiation, ) and probably they break their own rules too, in the end, the very end, no negotiation it has to be. People will die as victims of this policy, it may be me, it may be people I love, mostly we don't get to choose, it is, like the victims of war or terrorism, mostly random. In the very end it is probably the only viable policy. unless we want to be subject to everyone with the most minor grudge, ( or unless you have a way to remove all the causes of such grudges.)

There was a lot of debate in the eighties ( or was it earlier, it seems like last year as I'm getting rather old,) about cockpit doors and security. Like nearly all 'preventions' all the steps have to be in place.
1. Secure door.
2. Policy and procedure to maintain and use it.
3. Policy and procedure if terrorists gain the cabin.
4. Appropriate passenger screening ( and I don't mean the farce we are going thru now.)

I freely admit I did not foresee 911 but there are people whose job it is to foresee these things and ( with hindsight) it was not very 'unforeseeable.' They should have bitten the bullet. That ounce of prevention might have saved this pound of cure.

I was not questioning the stupidity of banishing flight crew or other screened personel, I even think appropriate other visitors should be allowed. Howerver it is manifestly stupid to fly with the cockpit door open all the time. Far too easy to walk up as though going to the head, take one step further and hold pretty well anything sharp under a pilot's chin and basically the plane is yours.

I miss the cockpit visits. My first was to stand beside Nancy in the pointy nose of a Dragon Rapide as we flew down the Thames and banked around the Tower of London on the 5 pound sightseeing trip from Heathrow. There was no security check for that flight, any way I don't think any one would have dared.
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