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Pilots With Guns. Bad Idea?  
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 856 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4202 times:

In the aftermath of JetBlue 191 I wonder, once again, about the logic of a pilot carrying a firearm. I never understood why this would ever help to begin with. What exactly are these pilots planning to do? And, to the point, what if a lunatic pilot went berserk with his government approved firearm in hand ?

[Edited 2012-03-29 18:35:15]

67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefreeze3192 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4195 times:

What a lot of people don't know is that there is a very sharp crash axe that is kept in the cockpit and can be just as deadly as a firearm. If you take the gun away, there's still the crash axe, which can't be removed as it is required equipment. Not to mention, if a pilot when "berserk" all they would have to do is take control of the plane and do what they wanted with it.

Keep the guns.



"A passenger bets his life that his pilot is a worthy heir to an ancient tradition of excellence and professionalism."
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3447 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4183 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Thread starter):
In the aftermath of JetBlue 191 I wonder, once again, about the logic of a pilot carrying a firearm. I never understood why this would ever help to begin with but, to the point, what if a lunatic pilot went berserk again with his government approved firearm in hand?

What if a lunatic airport police officer went berserk with his government approved firearm in hand?


User currently offlineflying_727 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 440 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4172 times:

You're worried about a gun when s/he is "packing" the column or side stick?


On ATA, You're On Vacation
User currently offlinenonfirm From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4171 times:

I think a pilot carrying a gun makes them a target. I have not been in favor of pilots carrying guns from the start.They can cause more harm then do good.

User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4160 times:

What a lot of people don't know is that there is a very sharp crash axe that is kept in the cockpit and can be just as deadly as a firearm. If you take the gun away, there's still the crash axe, which can't be removed as it is required equipment. Not to mention, if a pilot when "berserk" all they would have to do is take control of the plane and do what they wanted with it.

Keep the guns.


Thanks..good stuff. Now we all know about the axe. And again, why do we have the guns?


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12281 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4092 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 2):
What if a lunatic airport police officer went berserk with his government approved firearm in hand?

Exactly. There have been plenty of police officers who have lost it while on or off duty...we still give them guns. Why should FFDOs be any different?



“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 5):
Thanks..good stuff. Now we all know about the axe. And again, why do we have the guns?

Why do we have TCAS, dual / triple hydraulic systems, EGPWS, etc? None of that is necessary to get us from A to B. It's an extra level of safety. Plenty of people swear up and down a cockpit will never be breached again. We don't know that to be fact, and until we do we add the extra level of safety.


User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3948 times:

But the pilots have guns. How is this safer? It makes the pilot feel safer but why? Is he really going to fire off a warning round, or worse, shoot the wrong guy? I think the latter.

User currently offlineAcey559 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1544 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3880 times:

The selection process for the FFDO program is very intense and they certainly factor mental stability into the equation. I spoke with a captain the other day who wasn't selected the first time around because he told them he liked to have a beer on his overnights. Not heavily drink, but have a beer. Granted, nobody can ever know if they'll have a mental breakdown but the point being is that they try to weed out those who they think are more susceptible. I say we get rid of air marshals and keep FFDOs because it is much more effective and cost efficient to have armed pilots, but the way this administration loves to waste money, I'm not shocked they want to slash the program.  

User currently offlineboeingfever777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 409 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3869 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Thread starter):

1/1,000,000 that this happened to a pilot... Most all pilots that are FFDO cert are 100% stable individuals.



Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

Quoting boeingfever777 (Reply 10):

Perhaps, but no one seems to be able to answer the original question: how is does a pilot with a gun make flying safer?


User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3846 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 8):
It makes the pilot feel safer but why?

Because for the past 10 years pilots have come to the realization that they are targets, and that any attempt at a cockpit breach will be by individuals who are prepared to die.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 8):
Is he really going to fire off a warning round, or worse, shoot the wrong guy? I think the latter.

The only way a firearm would ever be intentionally discharged would be in the event of a breached cockpit. While it would certainly be a tragedy to wound a bystander, it is still an outcome preferable to all 150 passengers being killed.


User currently offlineairportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3840 times:

Quoting N353SK (Reply 12):
The only way a firearm would ever be intentionally discharged would be in the event of a breached cockpit. While it would certainly be a tragedy to wound a bystander, it is still an outcome preferable to all 150 passengers being killed.

Not entirely true...

A US pilot a few years back accidentally discharged his gun on the flight deck...

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-3965159.html



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3832 times:

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 13):
accidentally
Quoting N353SK (Reply 12):
intentionally



I'm not disputing the fact that guns can be dangerous. What needs to be understood is that a person who attempts to force entry into a cockpit is doing so with the intention of killing everybody on board, including himself. The only way to prevent this is by lethal force.

[Edited 2012-03-29 21:16:47]

User currently offlineSEA From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3832 times:

Honestly, it seems stupid to allow anyone to have a gun on a pressurized tube hurtling through the atmosphere, but I digress,

User currently offlineairportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Quoting N353SK (Reply 14):


Edited: you and I are posting things at the same time all over the place  Smile

I am neither disputing nor for a particular position. Merely pointing out things.

Fair is fair

[Edited 2012-03-29 21:19:13]


I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineboeingfever777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 409 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 11):


Pilots are targets as they control and fly the plane. Having a firearm greatly diminishes someone trying to hurt the pilot, crew, and passengers.

Can guarantee you if AA & UA pilots on the 9/11 flights had firearms would have been a different outcome.



Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

Guns in the Cockpit are a terrible idea, an idea only endorsed in, you guessed it, the gun loving USA.



A country that refuses to acknowledge the connection between having millions of guns and, surprise, surprise thousands of people getting shot and killed every year.



The likelihood these guns carried by FFDO's will be used in the manner envisioned is very low, more likely there will be another accidental discharge, an FFDO going nuts and shooting the other Pilot or a combination of both.


Cancel this dangerous program ASAP.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineairportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3760 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):

Guns in the Cockpit are a terrible idea, an idea only endorsed in, you guessed it, the gun loving USA.

I'll be honest...this is kind of surprising coming from you...not that you say questionable things at all...but somewhat refreshing in a sense given your perspective on airline ops

Thanks Max Q. Respected 100%+



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3740 times:

Quoting boeingfever777 (Reply 17):
Having a firearm greatly diminishes someone trying to hurt the pilot, crew, and passengers.

It doesn't stop them from trying whatsoever. Like I said earlier, anybody who has the intention of bringing down an airliner is already prepared to die. The presence of lethal force decreases the chance of any sort of attack being successful.


User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 319 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 11):
Perhaps, but no one seems to be able to answer the original question: how is does a pilot with a gun make flying safer?

Anyone trying to breech the cockpit will find out. Stop listening to the media hype about this poor Jetblue pilot.

The system worked.



My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlinembj2000 From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 426 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3489 times:

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 22):
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 11):
Perhaps, but no one seems to be able to answer the original question: how is does a pilot with a gun make flying safer?

Anyone trying to breech the cockpit will find out. Stop listening to the media hype about this poor Jetblue pilot.

The system worked.

The system most probably doesn't work. The gun wont just lie around in the cockpit ready to be used, it will be hidden in some kind of holster. The "bad guy" will break into the cockpit and put a knife on the pilot's throat, do you really think, that pilot or co-pilot will be able in that situation, also being somehow immobilized in the seats, to quickly grab the gun an react?

No way!



Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7089 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3477 times:

A pilot with a gun is a good idea when he flies a F-16 over Afganistan, they don´t belong in the cockpit of a a civil airliner.


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2168 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

Quoting boeingfever777 (Reply 17):

Can guarantee you if AA & UA pilots on the 9/11 flights had firearms would have been a different outcome.

No - you definitely can't "guarantee" it. It's not even likely (but of course we'll never know).

Remember that things were different before 9/11. Aircraft were hijacked all the time, but most always were then taken somewhere to land. The idea that step one in a hijacking would be to kill both pilots would have seemed positively insane. So I cannot imagine that, even if the pilots had been armed, their first instinct would have been to blast away the moment the hijackers entered the cockpit, which probably would have been the only way to prevent what was coming.


To answer the thread question: to arm pilots is definitely a strange idea that I don't working anywhere outside of the US. That said, if I were flying in the US and the pilot was experienced with handling guns and had one around... let's say I wouldn't be overly concerned with it. I wouldn't feel any safer, but it wouldn't bother me either.

[Edited 2012-03-30 02:11:02]


Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
25 Post contains images speedygonzales : The only place guns should ever be allowed on civilian plans is unloaded in the cargo hold. Bullets should be placed in special containers if the nee
26 Max Q : Very well said.
27 garpd : A NW 757/767 Pilot once had a blog on a flightsim website that he regularly updated. In one post, he discussed his being enrolled in the FFDO program.
28 norcal : How about all the normal lunatics who are given guns or worse concealed carry permits? Yes the mentality before 9/11 was different, hence no guns. Ho
29 oneskyjet : Letting pilots carry guns is a stupid idea. Pilots like it because it allows them to avoid TSA security lines. This should go down as yet another over
30 EY460 : I just don't understand the need of a gun on a plane. Aren't all cockpit doors armoured now? How could a person make his way to the cockpit? The only
31 norcal : You really have no idea what you're talking about. Actually pilots avoid TSA security lines in other ways like Known Crew Member. Another way is simp
32 EY460 : We are talking about extreme situations. There are side effects with this but there are also side effects with a gun. Pilots are not snipers and usin
33 Post contains links N353SK : http://www.knowncrewmember.org There are much simpler methods of bypassing security screening. Known Crewmember is expanding to most of the USA's mode
34 DiamondFlyer : You can do what you want in your country. We'll do what we want in ours. Call me back when you have 18 or so crazies decide that they want to kill 30
35 Acey559 : The manual at my airline specifically says we will NOT engage in evasive maneuvers should that sort of situation arise because of the danger involved
36 ASFlyer : Pilots carrying guns at work is ridiculous. Seeing as how they're locked in the cockpit and nobody can get in that they don't want to get in, the oppo
37 Post contains images MountainFlyer : I wanted to stay out of this one, but I couldn't resist. Please, spare us the irrational rhetoric and read some statistics. In 2010 (latest data I've
38 GT4EZY : No, No, No. There is little need IMO for them to carry guns. They could possibly have been of use during 9/11 but that isn't a certainty. It all happe
39 norcal : The fire arm is the last resort. Pilots don't come roaring out of the cockpit guns blazing in some attempt to retake the plane. If there is an attemp
40 TWA772LR : Don't pilots go through a psychiatric test when they go through their firearms training?
41 4holer : Strange controversy here. Seems to me, that in a situation where a Bad Guy is attempting to take control of the cockpit of an airliner, an armed pilot
42 Post contains images MountainFlyer : You would think, huh? Seems to me that too many people with degrees from the University of Main Stream Media and Secondhand Information have better i
43 cbphoto : Ha, this is hilarious! How many people have died as a result of an FFDO going nuts, or "accidentally" shooting someone? How is this a dangerous progr
44 EY460 : That's not a bad idea. And about stun guns? They might be more effective and with less collateral effects. And they could also be used with violent u
45 cbphoto : I can say for a fact that they do go through vigorous back round checks, one on one interviews as well as psychiatric tests, before they are even sel
46 UALWN : Yet in 2010 the number of intentional homicides per 100,000 people in the US was 4.8, while, in, say, Canada was 1.6, in the UK was 1.2, in Germany w
47 pliersinsight : A policy of not cooperating with hijacker demands or opening the door would have worked just as well.
48 Post contains images MountainFlyer : Using that same list where you got those numbers, the US is solidly in the bottom half in intentional homicides. Not as good as some as you pointed o
49 pliersinsight : I'm not sure a TASER would be good for the aircraft electrical system. Plus the intended target will likely be touching other passengers when the jol
50 UALWN : Sure the US fares better than the likes of Colombia or Haiti, but still worse than Lebanon or Bangladesh. I'm not sure you should take heart from bei
51 johns624 : Exactly. My brother is a pilot for a major airline and I manage a range where FFDO's qual. You'd be surprised at how many do it for their ego and nev
52 norcal : Again terrorists are trained in hand to hand combat. Do you think a tiny little 120 lbs FA is going to be able to successfully use a stun gun against
53 Av8tor : Trust me, those same pilots are rolling their eyes and laughing when they see you prance onboard.
54 jet-lagged : Pilots with guns = bad idea. Their job is to fly the plane. You don't steer with a gun. The presence of guns quickly inflates the risks and potential
55 Yellowstone : Nor do you steer with a weather radar, or a fuel quantity indicator, or a fire suppression system, or a reinforced cockpit door... The pilots' job is
56 rampart : This statement below appears to be emotionally driven: So I have to ask, are differing opinions drivel, or misinformed if the opinion does't match yo
57 cbphoto : Umm..you do realize FFDO's are not allowed to carry internationally right? So obviously they are not going to be carrying with them on their trips to
58 PPVRA : Those statistics don't stand up to closer scrutiny. There are many issues that influence violence and the mere availability of fire arms is a minor o
59 Yellowstone : I believe his point is that if you're flying exclusively international routes, getting qualified as an FFDO isn't going to keep you safer (since you
60 Acey559 : Tell that to the hundreds if not thousands of pilots that have safely carried passengers to their destinations for years with a weapon on their hip i
61 m11stephen : Good god... You're kidding me right? I don't think anyone needs to tell you how bad of an idea it is to give a clearly uniformed flight attendant a f
62 4holer : There are people on here with a counterargument to this? Really?
63 Acey559 : I don't care whether they agree or not, I'm just saying that if someone is trying to kill me with no regard to anything but that one task, I'd much r
64 kiwiinoz : I am very much against the widespread gun ownership in the US, but I think for pilots it's a good idea, whilst on duty. The jetblue thing is so statis
65 ASFlyer : I don't think I've ever pranced onto an airplane. Whether the pilots like me or not is of absolutely no concern to me. They didn't hire me, they can'
66 geezer : You wrote that, I just pushed the quote button; "how is does you think anyone is going to explain anything to any one who doesn't even "proof read" t
67 johns624 : Thank you. That is what I meant. You probably don't want to hear about the one who loaded the cartridges into the magazine backwards, do you? Or the
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