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Air Marshals On Less Than 1% Of All Flights!  
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2786 posts, RR: 10
Posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5259 times:

Even after 9-11, less than 1% of all flights in the United States are protected by air marshals. This is a big surprise to me, as I always thought that it would be somewhere around 10% - 15%, >1%. Also provides a lot of interesting questions raised against the TSA.

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/03/25/siu.air.marshals/

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3277 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5183 times:

Do you realize how many commercial flights take place daily in this country? Do you have any idea how many marshals it would take to cover 10-15%? It might be a smaller number, but the point is that the bad guys NEVER know which flight the marshal will be on. That's a bigger deterrent than actually having a marshal onboard.

User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5171 times:



Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 1):
the point is that the bad guys NEVER know which flight the marshal will be on. That's a bigger deterrent than actually having a marshal onboard.

It's not a good deterrent if they know that FAMs are only on 1% of flights, especially since FAMs are [supposedly] easy to spot.

Of course any type of smarts would tell one that FAMs are more likely to be found on flights in and out of WAS (& perhaps NYC). So picking a route that avoids those flights makes the odds even better.


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2786 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5147 times:



Quoting Analog (Reply 2):
Of course any type of smarts would tell one that FAMs are more likely to be found on flights in and out of WAS (& perhaps NYC). So picking a route that avoids those flights makes the odds even better.

From the article : Air marshals who spoke with CNN anonymously in order to protect their jobs are especially troubled by the lack of coverage on flights in and out of Washington and New Yorl

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 1):
Do you realize how many commercial flights take place daily in this country?

28,000 per day, according to the article. To know that there will be 280 flights with air marshals might not deter terrorists too much.


User currently offlineGosimeon From Ireland, joined Jan 2008, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5115 times:

Guys. A few points:

People who are suspected to be involved in terrorist activity won't be allowed on planes.

If stats are what you judge dangers by, then note probably less than 0.000000000000000000000000000000001 percent of all flights ever have had a terrorist on-board. A lot less I'm sure, but I got lazy with the 0s!

With new cabin security features, terrorists know that they can no longer hi-jack a plane and fly it around like they used to.

That >1% is a whole lot more air marshalls than any other western countries have to the best of my knowledge and we are all getting by fine.

Security takes place in the airport. Having a police man on board every flight is not only impossible for financial and staffing reasons, it also really gives a "police state" feel to flying does it not?

The TSA seem to be doing a good job at making sure suspicious people don't get on board, fair play.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29709 posts, RR: 84
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5039 times:
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Supposedly the FAM program has extremely high standards so it may just be that they cannot find enough qualified candidates to put them on more then one in one hundred flights.

User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5020 times:



Quoting Gosimeon (Reply 4):
With new cabin security features, terrorists know that they can no longer hi-jack a plane and fly it around like they used to.

Also who the hell is going to let the terrorists take over a plane anyway??, i mean they couldn't have a bomb or anything, I'd ensure that i could kill them, if they attempted to take the aircraft over.

After 9-11 dont think anyone would let them takeover!



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4943 times:



Quoting Elite (Reply 3):
From the article : Air marshals who spoke with CNN anonymously in order to protect their jobs are especially troubled by the lack of coverage on flights in and out of Washington and New Yorl

"Marshals, pilots and other law enforcement officials told CNN these flights are protected by far fewer air marshals than in the past."

That probably means that FAMs don't cover WAS & NYC flights as much as they used to; the coverage is probably closer to what other flights see. It doesn't mean that FAMs are not as common on WAS & NYC flights as other flights. I'd wager that they're still more common (no evidence though).

The FAM program is "Not performing; results not demonstrated": http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/summary/10001070.2003.html


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4914 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
Supposedly the FAM program has extremely high standards so it may just be that they cannot find enough qualified candidates to put them on more then one in one hundred flights.

Also have a fairly decent turn over rate, as its one of the most boring jobs in law enforcement.


User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6266 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4877 times:

My question is - say another 9/11 plan is in the works, and it involves 5 people per plane like last time...1 Air Marshal is supposed to be able to overcome those 5 guys intent on bringing down the plane with all their heart?

I just never really understood this program to begin with.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4858 times:



Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
Even after 9-11, less than 1% of all flights in the United States are protected by air marshals

Before 9/11, 0% of flights were covered by air marshals. As for now, I actually think even 1% is a fairly good deterrent.

Quoting Analog (Reply 2):
especially since FAMs are [supposedly] easy to spot.

That is true, and perhaps something they need to look at.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 9):
My question is - say another 9/11 plan is in the works, and it involves 5 people per plane like last time...1 Air Marshal is supposed to be able to overcome those 5 guys intent on bringing down the plane with all their heart?

Well, the presumption is that the hijackers wont have guns.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6266 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4844 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
Well, the presumption is that the hijackers wont have guns.

Oh I understand that, but still...5 guys can often overpower 1, gun or no gun. Not always, but often...even in a confined space like a plane. So I would think, at least.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4832 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 11):

Oh I understand that, but still...5 guys can often overpower 1, gun or no gun. Not always, but often...even in a confined space like a plane. So I would think, at least.

Remember, it wouldn't just be the 1 with the gun. It would be the rest of the airplane against those 5. In any case, the only truly effective security measure put in place after 9/11 was the cheapest and simplest one. The cockpit doors.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6266 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4831 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 12):
Remember, it wouldn't just be the 1 with the gun. It would be the rest of the airplane against those 5

Good point.


User currently offlineWn676 From Djibouti, joined Jun 2005, 1000 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4827 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 11):

Oh I understand that, but still...5 guys can often overpower 1, gun or no gun.

So the pax are just going to sit there and...?



Tiny, unreadable text leaves ample room for interpretation.
User currently offlineSh0rtybr0wn From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 528 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

1% sounds about right. Cockpit doors are locked. Pilots have guns ( maybe ). But most of all , pax would instantly fight and overwhelm the terrorists. If the terrorists did break into the flightdeck and somehow subdue the pilots, they wouldn't be able to reseal the door, so the pax would be able to bust in and stop them ( although the plane might crash ).

A more likely act by Al Quaeda would be to blow a widebody plane, with a bomb or missile. All it would take would be an explosive in a can of soda or bottle of beverage on the flight. How well are catering services screened and monitored?


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4765 times:



Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 15):
Cockpit doors are locked.

Not just locked, but they have solid steel running through them.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4765 times:

This is just another example of the TSA and Homeland Security run amok. Where is the money going? "That's sensitve information." More BS from the department of BS....

This is just another reason we should be expanding the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. Its a cheap alternative and it is one of the few TSA programs that is working and is actually meeting its goals, per the White House.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/10003616.2005.html

Now, if the TSA would just allow the program to work like it should, then we might have a viable and widespread deterrent.

http://www.secure-skies.org/

Checko

[Edited 2008-03-25 10:30:17]


"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4745 times:



Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 17):

This is just another reason we should be expanding the Federal Flight Deck Officer program.

So their guns can go off some more  sarcastic 

We don't need guns in airplane cabins. At all. Turning the door from junk ply board into something solid and electronically locked was the best move. The other good move was a change in attitude from passengers remaining compliant to becoming vigilant on the aircraft.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineDeltaGuy767 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 649 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4701 times:

The reason why the 9/11 terrorists succeeded was that in the past, any hijacking was conducted by the hijackers demanding the pilot land the plane at an airport and the plane would be held hostage with occupants until a government would meet the hijacker's demands. Thus passengers' first reactions would not be to fight back, but rather remain seated and let the hijackers control the situation. Now in the event of a hijacking aside from the added security features up front, pax would be MUCH more likely to fight with the hijacker(s) and try to subdue them before any harm was done. But like what has been said above, terrorist groups aren't likely to succeed in a hijacking, rather explosive devices will be the preferred choice most likely. On the topic of FAM's, there a nice thing to have on a flight, however I think that overall more money should be focused on developing explosive detection systems for airports and aircraft. This in turn will maximize our defenses against possible terrorist actions in commercial aviation.

Regards,  wave 
DeltaGuy767



A Good Landing is one you walk away from!
User currently offlineSh0rtybr0wn From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 528 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4690 times:



Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 17):
Where is the money going?

Hmmmm . 12-15 billion a month goes to an unpopular never ending war. Of all the things the government has the money to spend its money on, you would think it would be better airline security. I dont think the public would object to spending a bit more to make air travel safer.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
We don't need guns in airplane cabins.

I think maybe pilots should have a gun if they want one. They can be trusted. The important thing is they should be using "frangible" bullets on any airplane; bullets that turn to dust when they hit metal or something other than a person.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29709 posts, RR: 84
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4665 times:
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Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
Before 9/11, 0% of flights were covered by air marshals. As for now, I actually think even 1% is a fairly good deterrent.

The FAM program dates back to 1968 and was started in response to the rash of hijackings to Cuba and around the Middle East.


User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4665 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
So their guns can go off some more

Oh yeah, I forgot how that happens all the time and how it brought down the plane and caused a diversion... Yeah sure



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26196 posts, RR: 76
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4563 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):

The FAM program dates back to 1968 and was started in response to the rash of hijackings to Cuba and around the Middle East.

I meant in its current incarnation. There were only 33 FAMs on 9/11/2001, hardly statistically significant.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineJetdude From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4535 times:



Quoting Sh0rtybr0wn (Reply 20):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
We don't need guns in airplane cabins.

I think maybe pilots should have a gun if they want one. They can be trusted. The important thing is they should be using "frangible" bullets on any airplane; bullets that turn to dust when they hit metal or something other than a person.

I guess it is easier to trust a pilot if you don't work with them everyday. They are humans with very big egos (not all, but most) so just because a pilot wants a gun, does not mean s/he should have a gun. It is strictly my opinion that we are lucky that nothing more has happend than the gun going off in the flight deck of the US Airways aircraft.

In addition, with the much more secure FD door, what are the real chances a pilot would ever really need gun.

OK, I'm done with the rant!

Is there really such a thing as a "frangible" bullet?


25 Threepoint : OK, sure, but what about the vast majority of terrorists that are currently NOT suspected to be involved in any terrorist activity? Nor do they need
26 Thegreatchecko : The requirements for becoming an FFDO are very stringent and not just everyone gets a gun because they want one. Its a lengthy and very involved proc
27 N471WN : These air marshalls have outlived their usefullness and need to be reassigned to more productive work than baby sitting passengers who now know what t
28 Post contains links Jetdude : No argument there. However, I have flown with a few, that I believe due to anger issues, should not have a gun no matter how much training they had g
29 AirNZ : Just a curious question, but why should it be expanded? I don't quite understand what you mean about it is one of the few TSA programmes that is work
30 N1120A : I am not talking about the bigoted alarmists who would love to see racial profiling at any turn. I am talking about what happens once the next Mohamm
31 YULWinterSkies : Which is why there sometimes is suspicion about airline photography. Who knows what these tame photographers can hide in their tele lenses? This is s
32 Post contains images TheGreatChecko : That link to the White House has all the qualitative and goal based parameters you would ever want. It needs to be expanded because it is a cheap and
33 Luisca : Air Marshals didn't work before and wont work again, it is stupid, pointless and a complete waste of money. We should get rid of the TSA and go back t
34 ZuluAviator994 : Yes, air marshals may only be on 1% of flights, But do not forget that some pilots now carry firearms, as demonstrated by the USAirways Accident. Rega
35 Threepoint : Current levels of security can't and won't stop every determined effort to sneak illicit items on board a plane, even if every player is 'doing their
36 AirNZ : I think you're perhaps misunderstanding what I'm asking. In the real world what are those 'goals' and 'target's quantifiably measured against that in
37 TheGreatChecko : AirNZ, I'm having a bit of trouble trying to follow what you wrote. In any case, if I don't address something you mentioned, please let me know. The o
38 MMEPHX : Not to mention the tons of unscreened cargo flying around on passenger aircraft everyday. In anycase, the particular terrorists in question are unlik
39 Analog : One can quantify FAM performance in other ways, including the use of tests (real world and simulated) to see what percentage of simulated attacks are
40 FlyDeltaJets : My 2 cents. We are living in a world of fear and terror. A topic just like this proves that the terrorist are already taking control. Bottom line is t
41 Lufthansa411 : Most pilots and other staff don't have them either. Even the Air Marshall's that are supposedly on some international flights may not be allowed to c
42 Jetdude : " target=_blank>http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g...LQ2G7 It works?..Cheap? Cheap? Effective? Deterrent? It works? Proof of any of these would be
43 Pilotdude09 : So you'd rather let them fly you into a building or the ground?
44 Bond007 : Then how can be so sure when you keeping saying how successful it is? I guess most suicide bombers that killed tens of innocent people weren't succes
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