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Why Couldn't The Pax Overpower The Terrorists?  
User currently offlineCYKA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1318 times:

Several reports of people calling via cell phones from the doomed planes reported that there were severel terrorists armed with knives or simular stabbing weapons onboard.

Now, considering that there were 80+ people on average on each flight, couldn't they have overpowered the few attakers and taken control over the situation instead of sitting in their seats comfortably until the a/c were crashed into their targets?

It seems to me, that as citizens of the US they should have done something to prevent this tragedy. The only oddball of these events is the crash of the 757 near Pitsburgh(sp?), which does suggest some onboard struggle since the a/c crashed short of any target.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGuyBetsy1 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

Let's say YOU are the passenger.

You have a gun pointed at you and a threat to shoot you between the eyes if you make a sudden move.

Someone probably was already shot or stabbed to make the point.

You have no idea where the plane is going.

You only hope that it's just a hijack and they only want to go somewhere.

You'd have no idea what the hijackers have in mind.

Now, would you have done anything?

User currently offlineYYZ-Barry From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1171 times:

I think this is a valid question - but I believe that they probably acted very quickly, and probably attacked with great violence, i.e. slitting one of the FA's throat...at that point no matter how small the weapon, people will pay attention...plus I think it should not be overlooked that the flights had few PAXs...I think that was a factor...

these terrorists were working on a very short timeframe...they needed to take over the plane, subdue the crew and passengers and complete their mission...

don't know if anyone else thought about all those awful movies (i.e. Turbalence) that have come up in recent days...in the movies there are always demands, deadlines and whatever...today we saw what reality is...

User currently offlineNotar520AC From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1606 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1154 times:

Would you walk up to someone with a 9mm semi automatic handgun, live grenades, combat knives, and a bad attitude?

BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
User currently offlineCYKA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1119 times:

It is belived that they did not not have any firearms or other explosives, rather only stabbing weapons.(Besides how would they get them on the plane? I have transported army knives in my hand bag before so thats possible).

As one man I would not openly oppose the terrorists but a small group of pax sitting close by could have stormed one as a unit and others on the plane done the same once they realized what was going on.

Sure a few people would have gotten injured but the situation was, in my opinion, menageble. I cetainly wouldn't sit and do nothing, especially with the aircraft flying unusualy fast in close proximity to the ground.

User currently offlineSFOintern From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 770 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1107 times:

The terrorists could have assembled knives out of aluminum (or some other undetectable composite) parts.

User currently offlineWillfly4food From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1092 times:

Keep in mind this was a new idea. No one has ever done this before. I only hope that this will change the attitudes of passengers and crew alike. Anyone who acts in a threatening manner, be it a drugged out air-rager or worse, should be dealt with in an extream manner on any flight. I'm sorry to those who are ready to cry about their rights and blah, blah, blah, There are few options at 37,000 feet. People need to learn to behave or face that you will be dealt with the way I beleive Americans will deal with Bull Sh** from now on.

My thoughts and love go to all the families and friends of the victoms.

My hope for suffering goes to the families of the perpetators.

User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1076 times:

They just reported that one of them passengers on the plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh called his wife on his cell phone telling her that he loved her and that he and two other passengers were going to try to overthrow the hijackers. One can now speculate that perhaps these three heroes sacrificed the lives of all of those onboard to save the lives of perhaps thousands (rumored targets were either the White House, the Capitol, or the Pentagon) on the ground in Washington D.C. It has also been reported in order to gain flightdeck access, the hijackers started to kill flight attendants so that one of the pilots would be forced to leave the cockpit and allow these hijackers access to the flight deck. I personally think that these passengers were in total complete shock of what was unfolding before them to really react in a manner to save their lives and the untold thousands that were killed on the ground. The one report I heard tonight while I was at work that really got me angry was that on one of the flights the hijackers commandeered, they herded the passengers into the rear of the plane and those with cellphones were told to call their families and tell them that they were going to die. This tragedy was not unavoidable, as how can one defend against a faceless enemy? As long as America is the global superpower, there will always be people that wish harm onto our country. The Oklahoma City bombing was early on thought to have been the work of Middle Eastern terrorists, only after a few days was it determined that it was the work of homegrown terrorists. These bombings in New York and Washington are clearly the work of a very sophisticated terrorist network, possibly those of Oslama Bin Laden, perpetuated and planned over a long period of time, not just something that was developed over a month or two. For all we know, this attack had been in the planning stage for a year or more. Today, America lost its' safety and sense of security.

User currently offlineSpk From Thailand, joined Jun 2001, 458 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1065 times:

We don't know how many terrorists are on each plane. Chance is that there are many terrorists on board which could explain why the pax can't overpower them easily.

User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1040 times:

I don't recall a hijcaking where the passengers would have overpowered the hijackers. Most of the time, the passengers are released after an uncomfortable sit at some distant airport.

Besides, I think the airlines direct the passengers to "remain calm" in these situations, and that's the wisest option to do. Most of the time, hijacked planes aren't run into things.

User currently offlineWillfly4food From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1034 times:

That is no longer the thought, not after today. Now no one would be stupid enough to hijack an airplane and think they would live. Pax will now (I hope) kill anyone who poses a threat to a flight. There is no way you could hijack and think that the pax expect anything less than what happened today.

User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2542 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1026 times:

The passengers would of most probably had no idea of the intentions of what was going to happen to them!! Like most Hijackings, they land, and a list of demands are given!! Therefore, Pax, and Cabin Crew members ould of thought to remain calm, and do what the Hijackers said!!

A UA Flight Attendant onboard said that the hijackers had stabbed to death 2 Flight attendants and are entering the cockpit. She then said that they were going to the cockpit. The phone then Cut off...Minutes later they crashed.

There we have it...that is my theory any way!! It must of been really bad onboard...
PS: They took over the polane with Paper scissors and Butter knives served out onboard...The also took out Metal knives from the Galley! It is reported.


User currently offlineVictor Hotel From Australia, joined Aug 2000, 305 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1003 times:

Like mentioned before, I doubt anyone on board knew what the hijackers had in mind. The passengers probably belived they just wanted refuge in another country, so why risk your or other passengers lives when you belive there is a chance of servival by co-operation. I also think that had any one had the idea that they were headed for a building full of civilians they would have risked their lives anyway to try and steer away and possibly ditch in the harbour. Even if it meant being killed by the hijackers anyway.

User currently offlineSTEINWAY From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 999 times:

May be those events are going to change pax reaction in future hijackings? Maybe pax won't remain in "quiet" in their seats anymore as they know how bad it can end up.
This is a page turned in "classic" hijacking and pax behaviour during hijacking.

User currently offlineHias From Germany, joined Sep 2000, 349 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 996 times:

I know Northwest Airlines had a procedure for cabin crews when they notice that the plane has been hijacked and hijackers are in the cockpit. This procedure told them to do nothing to disturb the flight crew and the hijacker...

User currently offlineELAL 744 From Israel, joined Jun 2000, 170 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (13 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 973 times:
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I may be mistaken, but anti-terrorist lore has it that on an Ethiopian Airliner that was hijacked, the 2 hijackers were overcome by the onboard security staff. They then tied the terrorists to chairs and placed towels on their chests and slit their throats, watching them bleed to death. This is not in keeping with the idea of trial by jury, however it is a fantastic deterrent.

The people who are behind this tragedy, or who gave comfort to them should take warning: this attack has changed things. To paraphrase from the Koran: “Though you may dwell in high towers – death will come to you”.


Vercere bracis meis
User currently offlineJoni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 963 times:


I'm surprised that someone your age yould call throat-slitting "fantastic".

User currently offlineNaimas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 2 weeks ago) and read 941 times:

This is like ignorant spectators asking

Why didn't women just FIGHT OFF their rapists and run away?

Why didn't the car who got in the fatal accident just LOOK where it was going?

Why didnt the people who died when their house burnt down just not get out?

Why did the people who died in NYC yesterday just not call in sick for work?

This is really a stupid subject.

OBVIOUSLY the "be docile and make no waves" philosopy that we are taught on flights was in effect. NO ONE thought they would crash the plane into the WTC!


All is fair in love and war and in hijacking situations.

User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6878 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 922 times:

Pilots are responsible to make sure the pax don't get harmed. In most cases, they would obey what the hijacker wants... or at least pretend to... Anyway, pilots would assume it's a "normal" hijacking, and not a terrorist attack to use the plane as a bomb !

Hijackers need only say "I have explosives" while carrying a knife and the pilots would obey... by the time they realise this is not a "normal" hijacking, it would be too late...

Sad sad loss indeed...


When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineIvailo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 907 times:

see this

and also go to play that game:

WTC defender online game

I know this is not a good humor (since it is black humor) but anyways you may like it.

whatever, may all who lost their lives r.i.p.

User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 867 times:

Whoever created this has WAY TOO MUCH time on his hands.

"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 849 times:

At 1016am, CNN reported that one F/A on the first aircraft that hit the WTC called and said passengers and crew had been sprayed in the face with mace to disable them from stopping the terrorists.

User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 840 times:

My mom got caught once with pepper spray in her purse. The security people took it before they would allow us through the security gate. I still think an employee(s) @ BOS, EWR, and DCA placed the weapons on the aircraft before anyone anyone actually was on the plane.

"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineDC10Tony From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 818 times:

One of the reasons why I think the pax didn't do anything is probably because on each flight, the terrorists didn't make themselves known until about 10 min. before the crash, and when they made themselves known, they might've told pax. that they wouldn't be harmed if they cooperated. Had the pax known it was a kamikazi mission, I'm sure someone would've tried something.

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