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Arming the pilots or using the Air Marshalls...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by flygirl, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. flygirl

    flygirl

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    I just heard on the news that we might be arming the polits or using more of the Air Marshalls for International flights. It all might get very tricky as I think it would depend on the different countries rules and laws. I think that arming the pilots would be a good thing and using more of the Air Marshalls would be wise as well. Why not just use both?
    I don't get to work on the PAX birds, only the cargo ones, so arming the cargo pilots is not realy a priority. We see the same faces each day, so no strangers. Unless someone turned. I have heard many views from our guys, please let me know some of yours.
     
  2. Exile

    Exile

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    Personally I think arming the pilots is a bad move, unless it's for absoloute last ditch self-protection. If the pilots have to stop flying the plane to take on armed assailants it's already gone too far. Sky marshalls would stand a better chance of stopping them reaching the cockpit in the first place.

    I cannot see pilots rushing to do CQB handgun training either.
     

  3. flygirl

    flygirl

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    We all should take a good look at the security that El Air uses. Very high profile Air Marshall on all of their flights. I'd like to get in on one of the training classes for Air Marshalls. Close quarters training would be very interesting.
     
  4. SMUNK

    SMUNK Detached Member

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    Suppose that there isn't an air marshall on the flight due to either cost or just a lack of adequetly trained agents?

    Would you still consider it unwise to arm the pilot?

    Furthermore, the idea that the pilots must "stop flying the plane" is silly. Pilots program the route into the computer and the computer really flies the plane. It's not as if they are up in the cockpit wrestling with a yolk for the duration of the flight. They just observe instrument readings and act in rare circumstances. Many planes even LAND THEMSELVES.

    We have a program for training pilots that is more than adequate. What are they gonna do?. . .TAKE CONTROLL OF THE PLANE?!

    Roughly 80% of pilots (in the U.S. at least) are ex-millitary and already have considerable weapons experience.

    Maybe you've just been in the UK too long.

    The point is mute anyway, never again will passengers just sit and allow terrorists to guide a plane as a missile. unless terrorists make up the majority of male passengers. HMMMMM.
     
  5. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Okay, since when is it an either/or proposition?

    How about air marshals, reinforced doors, possibly armed flight crew AND arm the pilots?

    I don't understand this argument, it's one that people use for home protection as well, "Why not use alarms, dogs, and bolts on the doors? Why do you have a firearm for home protection." Since when does the idea of being armed mean you cannot use the other defensive measures as well?

    Have you ever noticed that there are at least two pilots in the cockpit? Perhaps it could be that no one has to stop flying to defend the cockpit. It may be that one could do the job and the other pilot defend.

    Why eliminate a defensive measure? I honestly don't understand.

    DanH
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    HerrGlock^c Best point of view I've seen yet.

    Shortly after 9-11 when I saw the stupidity they were calling airport and base security, along the Gulf Coast, there was fixing to be at least one armed pilot flying there.

    I know at least one pilot and mechanic that were armed at one of the small bases;)


    We even started standing guard duty ;)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Here you go, have a couple of us fly shotgun ...

    Oh, the pilots in the pics are armed as well ;j


    [​IMG]

    DanH
     
  8. Semper Glock

    Semper Glock

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    I'm sorry but this really chaps my *** whenever I hear this!! First of all there will NEVER be enough AIR marshalls to cover all commercial flights. Ever. The notion that I'm going to sit there and "concentrate on flying" while being attacked is absurd. Can you drive your car with me in the back seat attacking you? If a fire breaks out in the cockpit do you think that I will fly the airplane or grab the extinguisher and fight the fire? The autopilot is flying most of the time anyway and remember that there is at least 2 of us up there.

    If there is a cockpit breach, there WILL be a fight to the death. If I win, we all live. If I loose, you all die. So it make sense to give me the edge and let me carry a sidearm.

    Even now if you do manage to get through the door YOU WILL DIE - period. If I have to use the crash axe, my 3d cell maglite, or my size 10 1/2 boots, I am going to kill you. At this point all of the airline security layers have failed. Even the other passengers in the back have failed to stop you. If you are dead, then I don't have to worry about you getting up again and starting another fight before I can get the airplane landed on the first piece of available concrete.

    I will know something is going on in the back before you get to me. Those doors maybe somewhat secure but they are not soundproof. I will have time to turn around and get positioned, it only takes a few seconds. I will not be a 'sitting duck'. The autopilot is flying the airplane 90% of the time anyway, so I can concentrate on stopping you.

    I do not want a stungun or a taser. These are politically correct, non-lethal answers for a very lethal problem. I do not want fragmenting bullets. I want DoubleTap 165's. You need to be incapacitated now and the DT's should to do it.

    A bullet through the fuselage is NOT a big deal. The airplane will not depressurize. Even if it did, it still is not a big deal. It's not fun, but is low on the priority list when faced with a hijacking. Even if a critical system is hit by a stray bullet there is enough redundency built in to ensure safe flight.

    Airline pilots are some of the most trained, tested, and scrutinized professionals out there. We have demonstrated that we are trainable. Most pilots have a college education and quite a few are former military (I'm a former enlisted Marine). I don't intend on rushing out of the cockpit waving my gun around over every little problem in the cabin. I use my judgement every day to make decisions that affect your safety. Such as how to get around that monster thunderstorm ahead of us. Dealing with mechanical problems that arise during flight. There are a lot of things that happen during a flight that most passengers are not aware of. That's because I'm trained to deal with it and to use my judgement to make decisions about it. That's my job. I think I can probably use my judgement to determine when it's time for the gun to come out or not. Frontsight has offered to train pilots for free if they are allowed to carry. Maybe Massad Ayoob could develop a class specifically for pilots.

    These are the thoughts of one airline pilot. I don't represent any air carrier or pilot group, but there are a lot of pilots who agree with me. I carry my gun everywhere my MI CPL allows me to. It would be nice to also to take it to work with me.

    My rant isn't aimed at you, Exile, you just happen to bring it up.:)
     
  9. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Makes you want to scream doesn't it Semper Glock

    You are trusted with a multi million dollar airplane and hundreds of passenger's lives and "they" still say you are too stupid to use a gun properly.:(


    I usually don't win any friends when talking to the missinformed that don't want the pilots armed.:(

    I just go on an "Ego trip" and tell them, "You haven't a clue what you are talking about. I can fly the helicopter, eat a hamburger and kill your *** with a pistol and not miss a stroke."

    That usually gets the question, "You can eat while you fly a helicopter". ;f


    Semper Fi
     
  10. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Let's see...

    Flying an 869,944 pound molotove cocktail with 400+ people aboard in excess of 500 MPH (just as a for instance), talk on four radios, tune multiple nav-aids, monitor four engines, and have enough training to know what to do if any of that goes screwy before any of the passengers know something's wrong and people think that shooting someone is going to take any thought away from any of that?

    Take thought away. Okay, personal experience.

    This was one flight and was possibly the busiest 4 hours of my life.

    Single pilot (OH-58 A+), JAAT as the coordinator. Want to know what all is going on during this?

    FM1, FM2, UHF, VHF radios. Helicopter. 50-100' hover (yes, hover. gotta see everything that's going on.)

    Artillery on one FM radio, Apache gunships on the other.

    VHF used for air-to-air, ATC and common freq for training area. Must make calls every 15 minutes.

    UHF for A-10s to bring them in, call hot or not and talk to the FAC (Forward Air Controller) before he hands them off to me.

    Still at a hover, A-10s call their IP and tell me to give them 3 minute inbound. Timing is everything. The trick is to have artillery start firing, arty backs off, Apaches come up and shoot as A-10s are inbound. Apaches drop back down as A-10s roll in. Apaches back up as A-10s leave.

    Gee, who tells everybody when to do everything? Me. Yes, JAAT is a training item and evaluatable on check rides. So, what all is going on here:

    fuel check at cruise and then again at hover, rechecks about every 10-15 minutes.

    Call admin 15 min check in to ATC

    Time Arty so that last round impacts when A-10s are leaving IP and do time of flight so you know when to call the SEAD and know when they will call rounds complete.

    Talk A-10s in, ensure they are clear of traffic and other hazards.

    Talk to Apaches and get them starting to come out of hover hole when the arty is complete, call them down when A-10s are inbound.

    Clear A-10s in hot IF you know they have the right target and they are in a firing range (or weapons free zone)

    Call Apaches back up when A-10s are egressing, decide if A-10s require a reattack and coordinate if necessary.

    Sounds easy, right? All while maintaining hover over a decent area that if your engine quits, you have a chance at least. Keeping the aircraft +/- about 20' altitude, keeping it out of the trees. Watching out for other aircraft that may not know you're playing out there. Writing frequencies and call signs down for those you do not have from the briefing. Okay, here's the kicker. I'm a mid-time pilot. 1,500 hours. There are people just joining the airlines with twice or three times my hours.

    and someone wants to tell me that on a straight and level flight, 4 miles above the ground, a pilot's going to have problems defending the cockpit from intruders? Huh? Must be someone who doesn't fly, has never flown, and only is repeating what they hear from other people who have a problem with armed pilots. It cannot be someone who was in a military cockpit (as were the majority of the commercial pilots up there today)

    DanH
     
  11. Hank Bodmer

    Hank Bodmer

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    The real issue with arming the pilots has to do with the whole RKBA issue and not security. If it makes sense to arm the pilots,(and it does)pretty soon everybody else will want to be armed.

    The liberals want firearms reserved for use ONLY by the all powerfull goverment.
     
  12. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    Flygirl,

    In point of fact, the TSA DOES NOT want U.S. International Pilots (flying U.S. flag carrier aircraft) armed! They are looking for "mostly domestic" pilots according to their own website. The selection process is ONEROUS at best and large numbers of airline pilots, with military and even LE backgrounds are being rejected to carry a weapon in the cockpit. Some of these rejected applicants formerly carried nuclear weapons on their aircraft but now cannot be trusted with a small handgun in their cockpit. The bottom line is this-the TSA got the FFDO program shoved down their throat by Congress and they are going to be as obstructionist as possible.

    I have written them about this-we fly the biggest jets, with the most fuel, at the fastest speeds, with the greatest number of paxs onboard. I think they are concerned about the weapons carriage issue abroad, even though our Air Marshal's already have the protocols established.

    One more thing, I have been an airline pilot for 20 years, flying both domestic and international routes, to "hotspots" around the world since 9/11. Guess how many FAM's I've had onboard? You guessed it- CLASSIFIED!! ;t


    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
     
  13. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

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    ;Q
     
  14. flygirl

    flygirl

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    I understand the frustration of the topic. And wish to thank all of you for your very candid opinions. They are all very valid. I talk to our crews each day on this very "HOT" topic. I do know that our NCA crew members will not be allowed arms.Singapore Airlines will not either,and I won't even get into the Air China policies. But these are our cargo birds that I speek of. And cargo has no voice and make the very best passengers. If the field of Air Marshall were open for me I'd be honored to fly with all of you. Alas I am too old for the program, but then who in his right mind would expect a beautiful 40+ woman to be a Air Marshall. And the places I could hide my weapon would amaze you. ;f
     
  15. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    And we 40+ men just love to play hide and seek. ;P ;f

    One of the deputies in the dept where I volunteer came BACK after being an AM. He hated it. Hours upon hours of sitting on your butt just waiting/watching for something to happen. At least when you're on the street you're in and out of the car all day.


    T
     
  16. Exile

    Exile

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    I'm not against arming the pilots, I only think it should be for their last ditch protection, i.e. the terrorists have got past air marshall or any other measures. I don't think it's a good idea to put the pilots as the first line of defence.

    If we are going to use automation as a reason for the pilots to be able to take on armed conflicts and therefore be expendable, we must question the reason for having pilots at all.

    Personally I would like to see cockpits structurally sealed from the passenger areas but I appreciate that's a non-starter, certainly in the current generation of aircraft.

    I do apologise if I offended your perception of your own ability to deal with a situation, I just don't think you should be put in that position.

    I have certainly been in the UK most of my life and perhaps it is a culture thing. Less and less of our airline pilots are ex-military. Those that are would only, in the majority of cases, received minimal small arms training anyway.
     
  17. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Exile,
    What is so sad is if a pilot (or passenger) on each of the 9-11 airplanes had nothing more than a piss-ant little 38 pistol, 9-11 would have been nothing but some dead sub human terrorists (and yes maybe a few innocent folks).

    For the lack of a few hundred dollars in steel and our out of control politically correct beaurocracy there are thousands of people dead and we are at war.
     
  18. pilot718

    pilot718 Hey Buddy!

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    Bravo Semper Glock, I could not have said it better myself!!! ;Y
     
  19. mbsigman

    mbsigman

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    Bravo Semper Glock, I could not have said it better myself!!!

    And I second that emotion.

    Mr Exile, I don't know if you have children. If you do, and if your children had been on one of our airplanes or one of United's airplanes that were turned into weapons, I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that you would have wanted our flight crews to have been armed to the teeth. As one rather eloquent board member has stated, only one .38 pop gun in those cockpits would have made a huge difference in our history.

    There is no way in hell that FAMs can be on all flights. Period.

    I know some of those pilots that fly ANG combat air patrol missions over our cities. If given the order by the National Command Authority to shoot, you can bet your bippy that the missiles WILL FLY. If your loved ones are on that unfortunate airplane, they die. If only one armed pilot can change that outcome, wouldn't you want that option that your children might live?

    Don't give me that United Kingdom culture crap. Those bastards didn't attack London, they attacked US. US. Far as I'm concerned, when the Jews say the words 'never again' it is fully applicable here.

    And if some POS tries to come through the cockpit door when I'm a crewmember, one of us will keep flying while the other makes sure that he (or them, as the case may be) turns into a DEAD POS. You can take that to the bank.

    NEVER AGAIN.

    Mike
     
  20. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer

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    Flying a plane and being a gunfighter are two different things. I'm against arming pilots. I've never been that impressed with their skills, and I've known a few.

    Fly the planes, do your job, let the AM's do their job.