Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Keep It Simple, Stupid

Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.

by princepawn (Parson)
on Sep 14, 2001 at 22:10 UTC ( #112478=offtopicroot: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This posting has been designated as off-topic for the PerlMonks web site. Please do not respond to it.

I have been noticing that airlines are putting in efforts to keep people from having any sort of knife. Well, unfortunately, they can still carry on pens and pencils, and these in the wrong hands are lethal weapons.

I think a more secure way to handle this issue is to have an armed security guard at the front and back of the plane and/or arm the flight attendants.

Further, no access to the cockpit should be permitted.

What do you think about these ideas? Should I contact the FAA with my suggestion?

  • Comment on Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Could we stop this?
by Hanamaki (Chaplain) on Sep 14, 2001 at 22:34 UTC
    No offense intented, but could we stop to talk about this topic in a technical group. When this stupid terrorist attack on New York happened all of us were shocked, and we naturally wanted to talk about our feelings. IMHO, thats okay as an exception.

    But we are a technical community here. Many of us have different believe systems, different worldviews, different religions, etc. pp.
    I have my own opinions on Gun Law, driving without speed limit, capital and corporal punishment, religious fundamentalism by christians or muslim or hindi, hamburgers and mad cow disease, and much more. On all these topics we could have strong fights because I have my believes!!! But this is not the place to fight. While mourning and expressing your sad feelings seem to be okay, we should not start to fight on these topics.
    16 years ago when I got my amateur radio license (ham) the regulation office told us Never speak about politics!, -- wise guys!
    For talking about revenge, politics, airplane safety, war etc. there are other groups and communties.

    Going into politics can destroy a peaceful and nice community like the perl monks. So I beg you Please stop it!

    Please get me right there is no flame intended, and other threads are more approbriate to post this, but this is the newest thread in a row of WTC threads.

    I want to appologize to fellow perl monk princepawn for using his well intended thread to complain.

      On reflection I disagree with Hanamaki. A thing I've noticed about Perlmonks is that it actually is a community, in a way that so many other places on the web are not. People here have personalities, not just personas. And a feature of real communities, even ones founded around a single common interest, is that the rest of life spills into them. I just got back from a fund-raiser for a local sheltered housing project, and sure, we talked about sheltered housing - but we also talked about New York and DC.

      In real communities, people talk about what's on their minds. They don't perhaps come to the community with the intention of unburdening themselves. They come to write code. But they don't check the rest of their mind at the door. So in the first place it won't be possible to stop people talking about this. It's going to happen - and siblings who don't want to read it just have to exercise the same self-control they exercise (or not) by not wasting hours coming up with obfu.

      But to my mind, it's nothing but a sign of health when we can talk about this kind of thing. Not that that is what the monastery is for; what it's for is perl. But we do perl by exchanging ideas and skills and information in an open free-form way. And that happens best in an atmosphere where people can be themselves, where they're not just here for technical purposes. It happens best in a community.

      In short, perlmonks will only be a good technical community if it's a technical community.

      Sibling Hanamaki's point about creating dissension and bad feeling and breaking down the community is well taken. If that were a danger, it would be something we should try and stop. Though as I say, I don't think anyone could stop it because if somebody wants to post, he's going to post, more so if you try shut him up. But my experience is that it doesn'tthreaten the community. I've read views I agree with and views I don't agree with; but almost without exception I have respected the seriousness with which they are expressed and held. I have disagreed strenuously with other monks (for example about Afghanistan, where I worked for a year, a country I love dearly and which I fear is grossly misunderstood - glad to take that one up at a later date!). But to my mind this can only strengthen the community. Maybe it wouldn't strengthen other, weaker communities. But we have enough in common and, I must say, a high enough average level of getting-over-ourselves and general maturity, that for us here, I think strenuous debate is a positive force.

      One other thing that real communities do, is they go on and on about how the community works and what's wrong with it and what's right with it and how it ought to change, yada yada, and this too is a form of discourse that binds the community together. Any damn' fool can agree to differ: but I think the arguments that go on here are both founded on, and constructive of, the large common ground we have. To which Hanamaki, by stimulating this conversation, has also contributed.

      George Sherston

      There is a real easy way for this to not effect you, realllllll simple. DON'T READ THE POSTINGS! Voila, stopped for you.

      I think you are expecting people to get over something like this a little too quickly. I am sure that many of the people posting here, post because they feel some security and community here and they need to say what they have to say in an environment that the feel comfortable in.

      It is a technical community, I agree. But there has always been non-technical conversations, on many subjects. As for Permonks being a "peaceful and nice" community -- I think you should look again; We have our fights, our arguements, our heated discussions -- but most return and the monestary returns to calmness for awhile.

      I ask you to simply ignore those threads that do not interest you and understand the needs that others may have at this time. I personally find the Obfuscations area to be largely of little interest to me. However, instead of posting and attacking those who wish to discuss them I simply ignore them and let things be.

      Let things be, read what you want, ignore what you want.

        There is a real easy way for this to not effect you, realllllll simple. DON'T READ THE POSTINGS! Voila, stopped for you.

        Sifmole, thanks for your reply. Of course I understand your viewpoint and I share your feelings that it is diffucult to play Perl in these hard times.

        Unfortunately I am just a weak human and because like all of us I am interessted in this topic, its almost impossible not to read this OT posts. And, as stupid as I am, I already lost respect for some of our fellow monks, just based on there opinion. And they have the right to have there opinion. (Fortunatly, I cannot remember even one of the names I started to dislike)

        However, instead of posting and attacking those who wish to discuss them I simply ignore them and let things be.

        If my post looked like an attack I want to apologize to all who felt they were attacked. No flame and no attack was intended. I just feel sad watching some posts.

Re: Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Sep 14, 2001 at 22:41 UTC
    Sibling Hanamaki is correct.

    In addition, access to the cockpits is not permitted by both FAA rules and airline policy. But, if you're a pilot and I said "Let me in or I start killing passengers!" ... what would you do? Even if the cockpit was locked.......

    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

Re: Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.
by touch (Novice) on Sep 15, 2001 at 13:00 UTC
    As I'm sure others have said, arming flight attendants or hiring armed guards may only arm the hijackers with more powerfull weapons. As I am a pilot in training, I couldn't imagine if the cockpit were locked and I was told to open it or passengers would be killed.

    The only thing that I think could and should be done(at least for larger planes) is a bit of programming to the aircrafts computers. Most large planes are push button operated. Meaning taking off and landing are pretty much controlled by the computer. In the event of a hijacking, the pilot is supposed to contact the tower and change his transponder to 7700(emergency signal). I'm not positive, but I believe there is also the equivalent to a "silent alarm" button, like a bank, that alerts the tower of a hijacking. This is not enough. What needs to happen, is if this button is pressed, the control tower takes control of the aircraft and puts it into a circle pattern.

    What this would mean(and let the hijackers know this before hand!) is that the plane would be uncontrollable to the pilot or anybody else on that plane. Without computer control, it would be impossible to created the nightmare that happened to the WTC Towers and the Pentagon. While I don't like the idea of letting the computer land an aircraft, it has been done before with some success and in a time of need ,such as those that just occured, I wouldn't mind taking the chance. Alright, I'm tired and rambling so I'll leave you to think about this. Bottom line, no weapons on board, no locked cockpit, NO CONTROL in the plane after hijackers are suspected(under any circumstance: even if the captain radios the tower and tells them its a false alarm)


      Personally, I think they should just set something up where there are two heavy doors between the cockpit and the passengers. Only one of these doors would be allowed to be open at a time, probably enforced by computer control. (The computer controlling this would be behind the doors, so it would be impossible to tamper with.) They would also have cameras set up throughout the fuselage so they could see what was happening. In the event of an emergency, they would press the big red TERRORIST button and the doors would lock down tightly. If the terrorists started to demand that they be given control of the plane or else, *one* of the pilots (who will have had training for this) could arm himself and go through the 'airlock' to try and defuse the situation, while the other tries to set the plane down safely. Once again, only one door could be unlocked at a time, so the terrorists would never have direct access to the cockpit.

      I also think sky marshals are a good idea. Even if they're bored most of the time, the one percent of the time when they're in use is worth it.

      --Brent Dax
      There is no sig.

Re: Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.
by lemming (Priest) on Sep 14, 2001 at 22:20 UTC

    The trained guards at the front and back of the plane may be workable. Having weapons on the flight attendants would just supply an attacker with a weapon.

    Clarification: Better security before boarding I think is the priority. Training the flight attendants to spot possible problems is a good idea. Which is probably already done to defuse possible air rage incidents.

    As the AM notes, most of the time the guards would be bored. At lot of the solutions that people are tossing around will need to be reexamined later when we aren't hurting as much.

    We now return to perl programing already in progress

      I think that events have now made highjackings impossible. There are no threats to compare with the demonstrated consequences of giving up.

      What flight crew will now open the cockpit? What passenger will believe in personal survival? Statistically, every flight has aboard people of demonstrated selfless courage: veterans, police, firefighters, nurses. Add to that the many who have never been tested but will rise to the occasion.

      There is evidence that the passengers of Flight 93 did just that. Sooner, with more altitude, with the flight crew still in control, they would have succeeded. As it is, they became immortal heroes.

      We may discover what the terrorists intended for Flight 93, but we cannot know what awful compounding of horror was spared us by the passengers' sacrifice.

      Who will take a wound assisting another to overpower a man with a knife? Someone will consciously decide to.

      Who will believe a bomb threat? We now know that a quick prayer and a throw of the dice is in order.

      Who will believe that their obedience to a fanatic will spare a child with a knife at its throat? Nobody.

      Everyone who flies should think on this. If you feel like a leader, lead. Enough will follow. Pilots and those with medical training should hold back. You may be needed afterwards.

      Summary Added: If you act you may live. If you do not all will die.


      They used to have armed guards on flights. They were so bored by just sitting there and looking for trouble when 99% of the time they were not needed, that they ended up causing more problems than they were fixing.
Re: Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.
by Jerry (Scribe) on Sep 15, 2001 at 00:31 UTC
    Although I'm sure space is at a premium on interstate airliners, I think security is still a higher priority. I think one or two plainclothes armed guards should accompany all flights, and that planes should be modified so that entry of the cockpit from the cabin is not physically possible. This would require installing additional restroom facilities and such, but would prohibit anyone from taking control of an aircraft with a small weapon.

    The reasoning: Security measures are already in place that prevent anyone from bringing onboard tools large enough to cut through a wall into the cockpit. Security measures already in place also largely prevent would-be attackers from bringing bombs onboard. Without physically patting down passengers or xraying them (impractical - xrays pose a cancer risk) there would be no way of detecting nonmetal weapons. If we eliminate access to the cockpit except thru a seperate external entry, it would eliminate the possibility of attackers taking control of a plane.


Re: Arm the flight attendants and lock the cockpit.
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Sep 15, 2001 at 02:38 UTC
    Like my barber said, a toothpick can be threatening, if you're mean enough.

    I find it incredible that they could hold people at knife-point. Maybe I'm not so easily intimidated because I'm bigger than most people I encounter. But that's the key: the crew and passangers should have more confidance!

    Picture this: would-be hijacker uses a sharp implement on the captain. He plays along to buy time. Then the stewdess breaks his skull with the fire extinguisher.

    No security guard with a dedicated job, but what if all the beverage servers also had martial-arts training? Maybe just one is a blackbelt, but everyone would have more confidance in a situation and could handle themselves in a manner other than as sheep.

      Now that we've all seen the coverage of Tuesday's terrorist acts, and had time to think, it's certainly easy to speculate as to what happened on those aircraft, and how we would have conducted ourselves.

      Your comment about "everyone would have more confidance in a situation and could handle themselves in a manner other than as sheep" is probably not terribly appropriate. Passengers and crew on at least one of the flights weren't "sheep", from what's been reported. The simple fact is, we don't know how they conducted themselves - we weren't there.

      BTW, they're not "beverage servers" - they're flight attendants. Their training involves a lot more than pushing a beverage cart - talk to one someday - you might be surprised what they have to learn.

      - robsv
      SHEEP! Come on man you have no idea what went on in those planes. I don't think anybody could imagine what was about to happen.

      If this ever happens again, hopefully you will be on the plane and save us all ya big strong lug. But then again, since you are bigger than most, maybe they'll slit your throat first.

        Yesterday on "Deadline Discovery", I learned that the plane that crashed without hitting any target or killing anyone who was on the ground was scuttled by passengers who did fight back. Jeremy and his cohorts saved the whitehouse. I heard GWB refer to them in passing as being among the heros. I hope they get individual and specific recognition from Congress.

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
and all is quiet...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others wandering the Monastery: (3)
As of 2018-04-24 23:20 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?