Flutterby™! : Armed Pilots

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Armed Pilots

2002-09-06 16:39:23+00 by TC 4 comments

Senate votes to Arm Pilots. This seems like a "yeah duh" to me. I think the airlines are opposing this because of perceived liability of armed staff. we need start with the assumtion pilots are good and rational people. If they are not ....well the people in the plane are screwed anyhow. If I was a pilot I would be demanding the right to pack heat.BTW www.salon.com seems to suck less these days.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Politics Aviation Salon magazine ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-09-07 07:28:17+00 by: ccoryell

I have nothing to add to bruce schniers disection and destruction of the proposed plans to arm pilots:


cheers, carl

#Comment made: 2002-09-07 13:55:18+00 by: anser

But I do. The function of an armed-pilot program is not to create a guaranteed-safe sharpshooting exhibition program in America's skies, but to deflate the confidence of any solo or group hijacker planning to use an aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction, that they will successfully gain control of the cockpit.

Schneier's critique is basically that every system has vulnerabilities and if you replace today's well known system (no gun in cockpit [wanna bet?]) with some other well known system where the gun is always in the red box to the left of the copilot's seat or whatever, then someone can eventually exploit it.

What is far more likely to happen is that pilots will arm themselves and NOT adhere to any single system against which the bad guys can counter-train. It might be on his hip, even if there is a red box. It might be rotated every flight between captain, copilot, navigator etc. There might be an unloaded gun in plain sight and a loaded one stashed somewhere else. Etcetera.

The way this protects the flight itself is that it's not worth the bad guys even trying the mission because they have no confidence that they'll get the big payoff. You can bet your bottom dollar that even if the "muscle" is breaking stewardess's necks every five minutes, Capt. Over is not going to surrender the cockpit so they can take out Disneyland as well, not after 9/11.

I think it's a good program because it increases hijacker FUD.

#Comment made: 2002-09-07 16:20:56+00 by: Dan Lyke

Funny this should come up, there's a thread about cockpit guns and hijacking risk assessment in the most recent issue of the RISKS digest.

#Comment made: 2002-09-08 01:28:13+00 by: Larry Burton

Something that has never been clear to me is whether or not the airlines would have the final say on whether an employee of theirs carried a gun while on duty. The airlines are against the government lifting their restrictions on pilots being armed but if an airline has final say on employee policy why would they be against lifting the restrictions?