Skip to comments.Airline Saftey - Real American Style
Posted on 09/27/2001 9:17:00 AM PDT by TERMINATTOR
In a Previous Rules of Engagement article, I took a lot of heat from backing down from arming passengers (It's the Captain's call). Part of the reason was getting word on what pilots were talking about among themselves. I did state there were other maneuvers possible that I wouldn't discuss. Well, some pilot talked openly about it - so, the cat's our of the bag now. After reading this, ask yourself would you feel safer with this Real American Pilot in the cockpit. This article is not for folks with weak stomachs, as you will see he has that "Rules of Engagement" Attitude. - J.J. Johnson
Fraternal Brothers and Sisters,
My name is John Burnett. I am a DC-10 Captain for FedEx. I am also a Police Officer for the Memphis Police Department.
My purpose in writing this is to share some of my thoughts regarding actions a pilot might consider when faced with a modern-day hijacker. These thoughts are "outside-the-box" when it comes to the way we've all been trained. Neither the FAA or our companies will suggest any of these techniques or implement them as a part of our normal training cycles. They couldn't for fear of lawsuits.
I am distributing this via e-mail to buddies I've flown with. I'm asking them to send it to their circle of friends within the industry, and for you to send it to yours. I know most of us have e-mail, and I hope this reaches the next to face the horror of some religious fanatic onboard.
We have all had "training" in what to do in case of a hijacking; try to keep the hijacker calm, make him think you're doing what he wants, take him where ever he wants to go, etc., etc., etc. Save your passengers, your crew, and your aircraft.
In an emergency, you will revert to that training. When our unfortunate peers were faced with the screams of the Flight Attendants and hijacker's demands to open the cockpit door, their training probably made them open the door. When the fanatics made demands, their training told them to comply as best they could. I can only wonder what their thoughts were as they left the cockpit and were tied up in the back of the plane; what they thought as they descended over New York.. I hope the fanatics had to kill them in their seats and drag their dead bodies out of the cockpit. But, I bet they did as they were trained to do..
As you look back over recent hijackings, FedEx, Egypt Air, and now the September 11th hijackings, you see a perpetrator who, for one reason or another wants to take over the airplane and kill himself. Each of these hijackers, except for the FedEx incident, were successful. They took over the airplane and killed everyone onboard.
If you're following the news programs today, you hear a lot about how we could let these hijackers learn to fly. You would think if knowing how to fly would guarantee a successful hijacking, Auburn Calloway (the FedEx hijacker) would have been a hijacker success story. He was a Navy pilot, a martial arts student, a fellow FedEx crewmember, and he took all the weapons he needed: hammers, knives and a spear gun. He didn't have to overcome any Flight Attendants or demand they open the cockpit door. He just went back to his bag, took out his hammer came back into the cockpit and started crushing skulls.
The crewmembers on that flight didn't worry about Flight Attendants, they didn't worry about passengers. All three pilots left the cockpit and fought a hand-to-hand, life-or-death battle.
To survive today's hijacker, you cannot worry about your passengers; you cannot worry about your Flight Attendants. You must develop a mind-set that everyone onboard - including yourself - is already dead. Because, if the hijacker is successful in taking over your airplane, not only you, your crew, your passengers and your aircraft are lost, but thousands on the ground are at risk.
One of the reasons the FedEx crew survived, is the extraordinary actions of the co-pilot. Although he had brain injury, the co-pilot took the DC-10 and immediately executed a half-roll. This maneuver took the hijacker off his feet as the Captain and S/O were struggling with him. During a point in the maneuver, the hijacker, Captain and S/O were thrown back behind the cockpit door. When he righted the airplane, the F/O then left his seat and joined the fight in the galley area of the plane. It was only after the Captain determined the hijacker was subdued, he returned to the cockpit and flew the airplane to landing.
Very few of us have had to confront true evil. Fewer still have seriously considered taking the life of another human being. I believe this is the reason the FedEx crew did not kill their attacker. The crew's heroism that day is beyond belief and any action that leads to a safe landing and recovery cannot be argued with. But, when the Captain left the F/O and S/O, thinking the situation was under control, he was mistaken. The F/O and S/O had sustained serious, life-threatening injuries. The hijacker had not. As the Captain flew the aircraft, the hijacker, who had surrendered, began the fight anew. As the airplane landed, the hijacker was just moments away from overcoming the two crewmembers.
I mention this for your consideration. I would suggest that you make the conscious decision to kill anyone who tries to take your airplane from you. Today we are at war. The hijacker who comes through your cockpit door is going to kill you and everyone onboard.
So, how do you do that? What weapons are available to us as pilots?
Command that all men come forward and fight with the hijackers. You have many able-bodied men onboard. They are sitting in shock not knowing what to do. Command they come forward and help you kill your attackers. And, they will come.
The airplane itself.
Get the hijackers off their feet. Go into an immediate dive to float them to the ceiling. Then execute a 6G positive maneuver and hope they hit their head or break their back as they hit the floor, galley shelf, etc.
Dump the cabin - maybe one of the hijackers has a head cold.
Pull the fire handles, shut the start levers and turn the fuel valves off. If you loose the battle, at least the airplane won't be used as a guided missile on a kamikaze mission. With luck, maybe these guys didn't learn how to do an in-flight restart. Then leave the cockpit - all of you, and kill your attackers - don't believe it when they surrender - don't be nice to them - KILL THEM.
If your airplane has one, the Captain might consider making sure it's loaded and secured next to his bag. I can think of nothing more satisfying than watching a ball of burning phosphorous embedded into a fanatic's gut, burning its way through him.
I would suggest you have your co-pilot take it from it's holder and secure it next to him so he has it immediately available. Makes an excellent skull crusher.
The FAA use to require a 2 cell. A 3 cell Mag-Light makes an excellent weapon. If your maneuvers have the hijackers on the floor writhing in pain, crush their skulls with it.
Your stolen hotel bic pen.
Drive it into an attacker's eye, ear, throat, or into the area just under the jaw bone. That's a particular interesting place to drive it, because when he opens his mouth to scream, you can read "Hyatt" sticking there.
Your hand and fingers
Drive your fingers into his eyes and try to feel your fingernails scrape the back of his eye sockets. Scoop the eyeballs out. It will confuse the hell out of him when he finds himself looking at his shoes as they dangle there on the ocular nerves.
Remember Hannabal Lecter. Eat a nose, a cheek, or a finger. And keep eating. Attack with all viciousness. A piranha is a small fish, but it's greatly feared. A hijacker is not expecting you to eat him and it might make him forget why he got on your airplane to begin with. It will, at least, impress his buddies.
Now here's my wish-list of things the FAA could do to help, especially in this time of war.
Arm the Captain
The battle is not going to require any long shots and a small revolver would be a good choice. It would hold off the attackers long enough for you to disable your aircraft. If the attackers claimed the red package they were holding was a bomb, I'd shoot out the door glass and hope the door would be ripped out and the hijacker and his package would be sucked out. And hey, if I got sucked out with him, I'd try to fly myself to the hijacker look in his face and laugh at him all the way to the ground.
Invite the local Police to jumpseat
Police are always looking for something free. Donut shops use to be a favorite target for robbers - until they started giving donuts to the Police. Robbers don't rob donut shops anymore.
I would suggest each Police Department send the FAA a list of the best shots on the department and those guys and their guns would be welcome on my airplane. Fill every vacant seat with armed Police - give them a donut - and tell them to shoot anyone who gives your Flight Attendant any shit.
Stop this silly no-knife rule.
Make it public. Tell the public they're welcome to bring their pocket knives onboard. Then everyone will bring them. When you make your intercom call for help, you'll have a dozen or more knife wielding helpers trying to make sure their new Gerber tastes fanatics blood. There are even a few of them who'd want to keep ears as souvenirs.
Law enforcement agencies are all aware there are copy-cat criminals and fanatics. We have a number of loony fanatical hate-groups here in the USA: ALF, PETA, KKK, Army of God, Anti-abortionists, and the list goes on. It doesn't matter the size of your airplane. Right now, as I write this, there is an anti-abortionist escapee here in the Memphis area. He's seen what happened at the World Trade Center. A small commuter plane would do a great job on an abortion clinic, or on an animal research facility, or on a local synagogue, mosque, etc., etc., etc.....
None of us is immune. Take some time and consider your actions if this event should ever happen to you.
My prayer is none of you ever have to face this kind of decision.
Best of luck to you, and may God Bless
"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." - Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
To arms, to arms, the terrorists are coming!
America's Militia wants YOU!
We must be ever vigilant in protecting our inalienable rights as enumerated in the Constitution and BOR.
Congress has provided (Article I - Section. 8, U.S. Constitution) the Militia with the means to arm themselves: CMP (Civilian Markmenship Program).
Bible quotes in favor of annihilating jihadists
Poll: bin Laden's skull can be best used as an ....
Molon Labe !
Use the hot water or hot coffee against knife wielding hijackers and then beat them over the head with the pot.
I've often thought that the people who designed commercial airliners must be just a little bit on the Clinton/Cretien side of political insanity.
AIRLINERS SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCESS FROM THE CABIN TO THE COCKPIT! PERIOD.
How many times have these physcopathic, fervent, frothing-at-the-mouth 'fundamentalists' just forced their way--walked--into a cabin, whipped out a weapon of some sort and then had control of a plane, and all the innocent lives on board?! There have been something like 969 hijackings since WWII...20 a year! If the pilots and navigator boarded through a separate entrance...under armed guard even better...the mass slaughter--no, not 'tragedy'; that implies an accident--of Sept 11th would never likely have come to pass.
Air marshalls are certainly a good idea now, as they were all along, but entrance to the cockpit should not be available from the cabin. If such a situation arose as a bird strike on the cockpit, killing all cockpit crew, conditions in there would most likely not be such that anyone else could gain control and bring the plane in safely, anyway,(unlike good ol BS Hollywood would have you believe) so there's really no 'gamble' involved in that approach, I don't think.
For now, though, the time being, ARM THE PILOTS! Place a security camera at the cockpit door, facing down the approaching aisle, and an infrared beam aimed across the aisle approaching the cabin. Instruct all other flightcrew to NEVER, EVER break that beam! If someone breaks the beam, break out the equalizers, hit the autopilot, and all three take aim at the door. If someone enters the cockpit, a hail of bullets enters their brain.
If more maniacs remain in the cabin, you may lose some, or even all of the passengers, but you retain control of the plane, the weapon they are REALLY after. Cut off the oxygen to the cabin, if possible, land the plane at the nearest large airport, and let the resident SWAT team enjoy themselves...
Too simple. Too judicious. The liberals would hate it. Better thousands would die than a few have hurt feelings...
Such a system of defense could EASILY be put in place...don't leave it to the airlines, just make it law; no airliner leaves the ground without armed pilots and an advance warning system. Contract out the work of equipping the planes to security companies, and watch how fast the planes get retrofitted...
by Kevin Southwick
There is nothing so emasculating to us writers as facing grief utterly beyond repair and linguistic description. But such has been delivered unto the entire civilized world, with all its technological advances, by a few guys with knives. The word for the day "stupidity."
You see, the passengers aboard the four hijacked airlines were "safe" according to the Dictionary of Modern PC Usage. That is, they were unarmed. However, there were no armed security personnel to protect them from what happened. Now the airlines are prohibiting even plastic knives on board commercial passenger jets. Does the flying public feel safer? Well, theyre staying away in droves.
Americans are not ready to trust each other with real weapons on aircraft, so, heres a proposal a Citizens Air Marshall Program.
There are tens of thousands of Americans who have been background checked by the FBI and their states law enforcement in order to get a Concealed Handgun License (CHL). If you have ever been in any kind of trouble with the law, forget it. Youll be denied. I know that New York Senators Schumer and Clinton hate guns. But 9-11 should have convinced them that, yes, there is an evil bigger than NRA and gun owners. And it may show its horrible face again.
I have a CHL. I often carry a handgun in places where the law allows. I know that inside of three seconds I can kill one or more people near me. It is an awful and humbling knowledge, one that gives me to give thanks in prayer that I have never had to use this power; one that makes me aware that if I ever use this power I will have to answer legally and morally before the meticulous scrutiny of grand juries, family, friends, and priests. But if I were aboard any of the 9-11 hijacked airlines, I would have gladly pointed my handgun at the hijacker and pulled the trigger. With one shot I could have saved thousands of lives. DO YOU HEAR THAT SCHUMER AND CLINTON! (And if the pilots were murdered, as a private pilot I might have been able to land the plane with tower assistance.)
The FAA is scrambling at this moment to get sky marshals aboard commercial aircraft. But there are not nearly enough, and we are the potential victims. So why rely on full time sky marshals? Why not implement a program to allow anyone with a CHL to apply for certification as a Citizen Sky Marshall?
We could learn procedures in what to do with a hijacker, how to discretely present our credentials at the ticket counter and be walked through the metal detector. We could take annual proficiency tests to make sure we comply with any recent FAA rules and to refamiliarize ourselves with safety procedures. We might be required to use ammo that is least likely to compromise the aircrafts pressurized skin. Insurance regulations and federal law would immune us from liability as long as we use force to answer force. There could be lockers at airports where we could lock our weapon in destination states or countries that do not recognize our CHL. There could be thousands of us in the air within a week.
What are we waiting for? Another disaster?
This would not be a paid job, mind you. It merely extends right-to-carry to the airlines whenever we might be traveling. With a few armed passengers and pilots scattered randomly, and unpredictably, potential hijackers would have to consider: who is armed? That guy in coach reading the newspaper? That little old lady in first class? The young woman using her laptop in business class? Anyone of them could rise up with a gun and say
Hey, you, DROP THE BOX CUTTER. NOWWWW!
While I applaud the spirit of the article, the content of the above excerpt makes me a wee bit suspicious of the author's credentials. A DC-10 pilot? I don't think so, Tim.