Government to Begin Arming Cargo Pilots

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by eyelikeart, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

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    #1
    I find it interesting, personally. Try not to turn this into a political discussion. ;)

    story here
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #2
    Re: Government to Begin Arming Cargo Pilots

    Oh this isn't political, it's about effective security measures.

    For example have they determined that cargo planes pose a risk? Sure they could have the same destructive power as any other plane, but how would a terrorist get on board? Pack themselves in a crate and try posing as a package, or slip on to the tarmack as a courier employee? I hope that they would spend more time on how the terrorist got on the plane then just saying "Oh well it's a possibility, so lets give everbody guns".

    Let's say this would be terrorist does get on board, are guns that effective? If you arm pilots that means all the "action" is going to be in the cockpit, which can be pretty confining and packed full of important instruments vital to the operation of the plane. Is the pilot/co-pilot going to be able to draw his weapon and shoot his attacker in the time it would take the terrorist to cross a distance of 3 meters or less? What if the pilot did get a shot off? What damage is the bullet going to do to the plane? Even if the pilot hits his (lets assume unarmored) attacker the exiting bullet from the attacker's body could puncture the skin of the plane causing the cockpit to depressurize.

    In this case I actually hope they are not telling us about proceedures for entering and exiting the cockpit during flight. Assuming that there is cause to leave the cockpit during flight I would armor the door, make it lock automaticaly and put a spy hole on it. Then when you need to leave the cockpit you leave your key behind, and knock to get back in. If there is a badguy on the other side of the door that would at least give the armed pilots time to draw their weapons and radio in an emergency.

    ....sorry for the semi-rant, but I'm a realist and these security messures are getting mind-bogglingly stupid.
     
  3. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    #3
    I agree. And I still stand by my view that guns and planes don't mix. End of story.
     
  4. joker2 macrumors 6502a

    joker2

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    #4
    I can't help but wonder if that's any relation to this story of the guy who shipped himself to his parents' place overnight.
     
  5. haganah macrumors member

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    #5
    Re: Re: Government to Begin Arming Cargo Pilots

    Even shooting many times through the wall of the plane isn't enough to depressurize it. Urban legend or something.

     
  6. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Re: Re: Government to Begin Arming Cargo Pilots

    The puncturing-******-in-the-pressurized-plane-and-it-imploding-like-in-that-James-Bond-movie is just that... Hollywood science, with no relevance to real world physics.

    With the controls all at the cockpit, by definition, all the action will be at the cockpit. Arming the pilots now is no different as it was two months prior to Sept 11, 2001. You see, in July 2001, was when the rule for armed pilots was rescinded by the FAA. The armed pilot rule was in place during the 1960s, up until 2001!

    Also, cargo planes usually have a skeleton crew. There won't be any stewardesses saying that there is a terrorist laying in wait for the co-pilot to open the cockpit door and relieve his bladder. There aren't any passengers that can talk either, unless you count a Furby or Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

    Plus, there is no guarantee that the terrorist would not be armed either. Lots of stuff are shipped in cargo planes. Knives, pressurized gas cannisters, guns, rifles, chemicals, pretty much everything.

    Also, since the cockpit would be the center of action, the pilot with a gun is in a better position to keep control of the cockpit than if he doesn't have one. You see, the terrorist would have to approach the cockpit to gain control of it. And with a gun, close distance is your friend if you are the one that is shooting, and the enemy has to close the gap, makes for easier targets.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    Shouldn't the first line of defense be impenatrable cockpit doors? If we are going to arm the pilots, fine; but lets see if we can't make those guns a moot point by denying anyone who isn't supposed to be there access to the cockpit.

    Particularly on passenger flights, the cockpit should not even be accessable from the cabin. Then the terrorists would know they could kill all the passengers they wanted and it still wouldn't get them any closer to the cockpit. If there is a door that locks, there would be a lot of pressure put on the cockpit crew to open-that-door-or-the-next-guy-gets-it.
     
  8. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    The idea that I had about impenetrable cockpits are ones where there is no door or entry into the cockpit unless its directly from the outside of the airplane. Pilots enter the cockpit through the window, much like fighter pilots enter their cockpits via the canopy window. That way, a terrorist would have to do some high speed high altitude stunt in order to get into the cockpit.

    But lets say a terrorist infiltrated the cockpit by being a pilot, how would the pilots ask for help if they can't get help from the federal air marshalls?

    A gun in the cockpit is such an inexpensive piece of insurance to ensure that the plane stays in the control of who it belongs to, why are people so afeerd of an inanimate piece of metal, plastic and wood?
     
  9. coopdog macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Do you mean a gun? Because it shoots hot sharp metal very fast and it made for killing people.

    It has been proven that a gun shot will hardly do anything to a plane. Even if you shoot at the window it will just leave a hole a bit bigger than the bullet. A shoe bomb might not even take down a plane. A while ago half the top of a large plane got ripped off. Only one person (no seat belt) was killed. The plane even landed fine. So guns are safe.

    There should be something to stop someone before they get into the cockpit. I think today passagers would kill or hurt very badly anyone that tried to hijack a plane. There was one case where that happened. I remember reading about a guy who was pounding on the cockpit and talking about hijacking and so many people tried to restrain him that he actually died. They said that the people on the plane were acting in bounds and no one was charged.

    Wouldn't you do ANYTHING to stop a terrorist on your plane? It's very odd to me why no one stopped the terrorists on the any of the planes on 9/11. They had box cutters, a 3 inch blade! People say, well they didn't know that they were going to crash them. So what? People are hijacking your plane with little knifes. Beat the **** out of them.
     
  10. MacAztec macrumors 68040

    MacAztec

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    #10


    Exactly, I feel the same way. So, they have a gun? Well I think 100+ passengers could take on a few camel riders anytime.
     
  11. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Heckler & Koch SP-89 to turn that terrorist to swiss cheese.
     
  12. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #12
    Re: Re: Re: Government to Begin Arming Cargo Pilots

    I wasn't talking about explosive decompression I'm talking about mask-dropping, structure testing air decompression. Shatter a window with a bullet probably wouldn't be anthing like the "James Bond" decompressions, and some planes have stood up remarkably well durring rapid pressure loss, but it be one problem to avoid in flight.
    Hence the spy hole (or maybe CCD cameras) at the door.But this is just a guess the main point I was trying to make is that:
    1) Terrorists should be stopped before they ever get to the plane
    2) Terrorists should somehow prevented from ever getting acces to the cockpit if they were able to get on the plane.
    3) Use of firearms is not really something you want to rely on when you are controlling a large pressurized plane at high altitude sitting down in a large stiff seat
    Sure you can't protect against everything but that's why I said the door should be armored and locked.
    Alright you may have me here, cause I'm no close quarter combat specialist, but I think it would stand to reason that if the pilots were rushed by an attacker they would not be able to draw, turn and fire if taken by surprise. But (depending on your definition of close quarters) a gun is not your friend when the attacker is right on you.
    I've got an explanation for that coopdog, simply put the "game" has changed. Prior to Sept 11th hijacking meant you might die, but were probably going to land in Cuba and only be harmed if the hijackers felt they weren't being taken seriously. So the odds of passenger survival (even with a sucessfull hijacking)were pretty good. So while you may spend several hours/days/weeks in hell, you had a good chance of living through it... and this is what probably was going through the minds of some of those poor souls that fatefull day.
    But now if a plane was hijacked, people should realize that there chances of survival are pretty slim if the hijackers are successfull. So that means that the better chance of survival (espeicaly given the short timeline between take-over and crash) is to "actively resist" or start some butt kicking of their own to over throw the terrorist take over.

    That's why I laugh at people who think keeping things like nail clippers off planes are helping... The real reason is because the fight on the plane has changed and terrorists now must combat everyone on the plane, pasengers and staff alike.
     
  13. CMillerERAU macrumors regular

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    #13
    Wow, if that came true I'd have to stop packing soft drinks wth me. 8 hours is a long time without access to the 1st class bathrooms.
     
  14. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Behind every gun that has fired, was a person that fired it, whether intentional or not. Think about that.

    The reason that the 3 first planes were taken over and not stopped was that people on the plane did not know that they were going to be part of a missile. Most media accounts of terrorist hijackings of planes ended up with passengers taking a side detour and mini-vacation to a totalitarian country with no running water. If there were any killings at all, it was the ones with jewish sounding names.

    Its only after Sept 11, or when passengers on the 4th plane that crashed in Pennsylvania figured out that they were to be part of a missile, that they went after the cockpit after it was already taken over. Now, what if a few of those passengers had a CCW license, or was an off-duty cop and carried a gun?
     
  15. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #15
    Guns never go off accidentally?
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    - Han Solo

    :p
     
  17. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #17
    Yes other than the occasional accidental firings when droped jolted or overheated. And remember guns don't kill people, people kill people (but guns make it a heck of a lot easier). Using the same argument that means we should be able to by fuel air bombs or anthrax and other nasty implements. Hey! I'm a nice guy and I would only use them for self protection and hunting... awwww common! :rolleyes:
     
  18. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Accidental discharge of firearms are the fault of the manufacturer, if it indeed a mechanical failure. Or the fault of the user, if it was a failure because improper use.

    Discharge of a firearm via the press of a trigger is not accidental. Its deliberate, whether its intentional or not. These are called negligent discharge, if its not intentional. These are also called justifiable homicide (self defense), manslaughter, or murder, if its intentional.

    I'll defer comment over your fuel-air bomb and anthrax at another thread since its off-topic.
     
  19. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #19
    Thank you for the link eyelikeart. It is very interesting. I think that airplane cargo pilots should be allowed to carry guns. If it prevents one hijacking of a plane then it is well worth the effort. The gun on the plane will be a deterrent.
     
  20. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I think that an easier way to achieve the arming of cargo pilots would be to allow pilots that get for CCW licenses in their home states to be armed.

    They already would have to go through background checks, proficiency training, as well as classwork in the law as it relates to firearms.

    This way, the TSA could free up some manpower to go after the terrorists that caused some flights to be cancelled during New Years and around the SuperBowl.
     

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