Mr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2786 posts, RR: 9 Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1357 times:
I read in a local news paper that the AOPA is considering a new training program for airline pilots that will train them to "fight back" instead of cooperating with highjackers.
Now that it has been made very clear that highjackers could be suicidal terrorists' who wish to use the aircraft as a deadly bomb, instead of wanting the pilots to land safely, (to fullfill their political or financial demands), airline pilots could be trained to defend their cockpit with their axe and to "depressurize" the cabin, in order to suddenly incompacitate the highjackers.
Plus, U.S. president Bush made it very clear during his recent speech to congress, that armed "Air Marshals" will now be present on certain flights.
So...If there will already be guns in the cabin with undercover air marshals...why not in the cockpit? I'm sure that some pilots would want a firearm hidden up front, and some pilots wouldn't. I'm also sure that if the aircraft is to be depresssurized, the pilots would rather it be done with the flip of a switch, not a bullet.
If I was an airline pilot today, after what's happened, I would want a 9mm handgun with 12 rounds in the mag, to protect my passengers and crew. I'd rather pull a trigger (If I had to), than swing an axe. That's my opinion.
Twotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1325 times:
The pilot's primary responsiblity is to fly the aircraft not play superhero of the sky. The only SENSIBLE solution is to place an armed and TRAINED sky marshall on the flight and let them deal with the law enforcement issues. Most pilot's have neither the proper training nor judgement to be able to properly draw and control a weapon of any kind in an adrenaline charged situation like these. BAD, BAD, BAD idea. Leave the dirty harry stuff to those who are trained and able to do it properly.
Airplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1307 times:
Well said. I agree 100%. One other issue is that if pilot's were required to carry a firearm, I would guess that some would be out of a job. For instance I would assme that a clean criminal record and perhaps a background check may uncover something that makes a pilot ineligible for the opertion of a firearm.
How can a hole affect an airplane? The possibilities are endless. Imagine if a bullet penetrated some electrical equipment. Or if it hit a control cable. Structural integrity would probably not suffer but there is no guarantee.
Here's a short demonstration about the effects of holes in the fuselage that you can try with a sheet of paper. Start with a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 (or equivalent for our European friends). Grasp each end and pull abruptly several times. You'll find that its hard to tear the paper.
Now make a hole approximately 2 inches in diameter in the center of the paper and repeat the pull test. You'll find that the paper is much easier to pull apart.
The reason? When an airplane pressurizes the fuselage reacts much like a balloon. The metal skins are stretched. The tensile properties of the metal prevent the skins from tearing apart. When a hole exists, there is less material along each axis, therefore less tensile strength.
So how do they accomodate fuselage holes for antennas etc.??
When you make a hole in a fuselage, you have to replace the strength that was was removed. This is down by re-enforcing the hole with another piece of metal commonly known as a "doubler". A doubler surrounds the original hole and translates the force "around" the hole. Of course severl fasteners (like rivets) have to hold the tranfer the force from the skin to the doubler. The rivets are under shearing force. The number and size of the rivets are dependant on the tensile strength which has to be restored.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of a doubler, redo the above demonstration, but before you try to tear the paper with a hole in it, re-enforce the hole by surrounding it with scotch tape. You'll find that most (if not all) of the strength is restored.
So...knowing that can we guess what the effects of a little hole on the fuselage is? Not 100%
Jsuen From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 211 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1284 times:
Airplane skins are reenforced to prevent catastrophic failure in the event of a skin tear. Tears are designed to propagate along the skin until they reach a tear strap and stop to prevent exactly the problem Airplay talks about.
Due to manufacturing and inspection problems, Aloha 243 suffered a catastrophic in-flight failure when multiple cracks, due to corrosion and manufacturing problems caused massive disbonding of the skin. The airplane lost, basically, all the structure above the first class section. Due to structure loss, the rear of the plane drooped one meter. The plane landed, and the only fatality was a flight attendent who was sucked out. Of course, I wouldn't try this on any airplane, but is an example of how much a plane can stand.
A single bullet through the skin won't cause decompression. The outflow valves vent more air than a small hole.
JG From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 0 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1250 times:
I don't care to engage in a discussion of being a "Superhero of the Sky" but I would prefer to be able to defend my life, and by default the lives of any passengers, to be able to return to my family. If that means having weapon superiority even if only as a deterrent, so be it. Personally, I fly airplanes for a living not ego.
On the subject of aircraft damage in the event of weapon discharge. As a reasonably avid shooter I am experienced with the maintenance and use of handguns. It is widely known that ammunition exists that rapidly disintegrates upon hitting a hard target without causing much damage. This same ammunition, upon hitting a soft target tranfers all of its energy to the target (read: no exit wound). I own this type of ammunition for my own home defense weapon.
I don't think that everyone should carry and I am not here to offer any comment on perceived US 2nd Ammendment rights. I will say that it is not a bad idea if the individual receives proper training and maintains proficiency. I will also say that it is naive to expect an existing or future Air Marshall staff to cover just the THOUSANDS of flights that the company for which I work operates everyday...
Pmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1222 times:
A "sinter" bullet is made of small lead pellets held together with a binder. It causes MASSIVE flesh wounds, however shooting it against a window the pieces fragment and the energy is spent. It is the perfect solution to this. To all those who think that a pilot is REQUIRED to do this is crazy; it should be an option. I also believe that MOST pilots would be willing to attend a 2 day training course to learn how to use the weapon effectively. My belief is no training no gun in the cockpit, just that simple. It's not a bad idea, sorry gang.
Twotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1222 times:
Great, now the pilots have to go to extra training and maintain proficiency. They cry about having to work more than 10 days a month as it is now. Can you imagine how much money ALPA is going to demand if the pilots are "required" to be proficient with firearms as well. As I said before, there is nothing good at all about this idea...BAD,BAD,BAD idea...
Pmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2 Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1214 times:
I didn't say I liked the options here, I don't think it should be REQUIRED for pilots to carry a sidearm, it should be optional. If you choose the option you SHOULD be required to have firearm training. What's your solution?
Airplay From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1199 times:
Yah, you're right. I think most of us realize that *most* of the time a gunshot would not result in a catastrophic failure altough there is no guarantee of the extent of flying lead in the fuselage. But wasn't that a neat demonstration?
Tripleseven From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 118 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1190 times:
So many questions to add to Airplay's:
Would pilots flying, say SFO-LHR on UA be allowed to take the siderms away from the airport? I'd think they would have to secure them before leaving the premises.
Would US pilots be only permitted to carry the sidearms when at the airport or aboard a plane? What about concealed?
Would non US based carriers, such as BA become inviting targets if US pilots carry sidearms and British, Canadian etc. don't? With all of the non US based airlines over US and Canadian airspace, how does the FAA solve that problem?
Mr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2786 posts, RR: 9 Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1192 times:
On the TV news today. It was reported that the ALPA has stated, "most of it's members are in favour of the proposal for more secured cockpit doors AND firearms in the cockpit".
Naturally, a quick training course on the use of a sidearm would be nessesary.
Suddenly, things have changed in the world of airlines, and especially that of the airline pilots. This cockpit firearm possibility will be their choice.
It was mentioned above that if 2 highjackers tried to take over an airliner...the undercover sky marshals would take care of the situation, and the flying should be left to the pilots. Sure, in a perfect world. Let me remind you, that of the 4 airliners that were just crashed by terrorists, 3 of those aircraft had 5 terrorists on board, and the fourth had 4 of these maniacs! >>> I agree that the pilots' job "should" be to just fly the aircraft, however, it is quite clear that life in the skies has suddenly changed. A world wide WAR has been declared!
I hope and pray that this will never happen, but, imagine that you're an airline pilot cruising onroute over North America, when suddenly you hear gun shots back in the cabin, between highjackers and sky marshals...and the sky marshals lose the fight. Where do you think the highjackers are going next? That's right. Your cockpit! What are you going to defend yourself with if they make it through the door? Your hand with some skin on it!
If the airline pilots are seriously considering having a gun in their cockpit. Let them. If it makes them feel more safe.
Guys, that's my last input towards this very tricky topic. We all have the right to our own views. Now I would like to continue learning technical info about what make these big beautiful jets fly!
Twotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1169 times:
yep bill, you know me so well. I actually have been flying aircraft since the age of 6. I have experience in 20 different types of aircraft including light turbine twins. I have over 1400 hours, most of it in Alaska (where most pilots on this forum couldn't do it.) I am rated for floats, wheels and skis. I have an external load permit based on demonstrated ability for when I am flying floats. I hold a first class medical because I choose to maintain one. Don't tell me I am a wanna be. I could have flown for a living, but I think that "driving a bus" would take all the fun out of it. Fact is, the bigger the airplane is the easier it is to fly. (any honest pilot will tell you this.) I fly as often as I like to and go where I want to go when I want to go there. I am a mechanic by choice becuase I enjoy the technical challenge and the rewards that go with it. So, next time, little boy, ask a little about me before you go trashing me, or better yet, just shut the fuck up.
Bill Bob From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (12 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1168 times:
You make me laugh, first of all if you put any credence in what the profile says about me or anyone else I truly feel sorry for your sorry ass. I'm not impressed with your flying and 1400 hours would not make a pimple on the ass of most airline first Officers. In fact it would not get you through the door. Hope you don't get a sore arm trying to pat yourself on the back. You complain about ALPA, bet you do not belong to IAM either. Suggest you go to bed and get up on the other side tomorrow.