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Should We Have Learned More From PSA 1771?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 3:45 pm

For whatever reason, PSA 1771 popped into my head on the drive home tonight. It seems that while the FAA decided that airline employees should go through security screening, they didn't see the need for reinforced cockpit doors. It seems to me that incident clearly demonstrated that a lunatic with weapon could easily breech a cockpit door and dictate the fate of all of those on board.

I think that is should be noted that "only" 44 people lost their lives in that incident. Perhaps both the FAA and the airline industry felt that such a remote event was not worth the expense of aircraft modification. They did solve the disgruntled employee problem, right?

In any case, before I'm attacked, I know that hindsight is 20/20. However, I'm not in the business of public safety. What I'm trying to point out is that something more should have been learned from 1771.

So what do you think? Was the topic of reinforced flight decks discussed after 1771? If so, why didn't it happen? If not, why not?
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RE: Should We Have Learned More From PSA 1771?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 10:04 pm

A good point. That should have been a wake up call.
Flying Colors Forever!
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RE: Should We Have Learned More From PSA 1771?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 10:49 pm

The sad fact is that 44 lost lives was probably considered an acceptable risk against the cost of making cockpit doors safe from attack.

Sad but true, I should know as I worked for the company that built the aircraft in the PSA incident and the airline nearly s**t themselves when the cost just to modify the PSA fleet was made known.
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RE: Should We Have Learned More From PSA 1771?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:19 pm

There was an older thread about PSA 1771 that mentioned prior to that event, which was caused by a disgruntled airline employee (Not a pilot), it was legal for Pilots to have guns in the cockpit. After the PSA incident,the FAA changed the rules and required all airline employees (including pilots) to clear security so the pilots were no longer allowed that option.

So here's something to think about. When most pilots are furloughed, aren't they given some sort of notice, like "Your last day will be month from now"? If we change the rules and once again allow guns in the cockpit, what if you have an angry, or depressed soon-to-be furloughed pilot in the cockpit who wants to extract revenge on the company? Should they still be allowed to have a gun in the cockpit? If so, then I think when pilots are told they'll be furloughed,it should be done so after their last flight. JMHO.


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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 2:13 am

RE: Should We Have Learned More From PSA 1771?

Tue Oct 30, 2001 3:42 am

The FAA had opportunities before and after the PSA accident to make a difference.

In 1964, a Pacific Airlines F-27 crashed in San Ramon. A distraught man brought his .357 aboard and killed the crew. After this accident, cockpit doors were ordered shut during flight. Clearly not enough was done.

In 1994, there was the Fedex DC-10 incident where the disgruntled Capt brought his tools of distruction aboard in a guitar case. His plan was to take out the crew and crash into the Fedex Center in Memphis. Imagine the implications of that--had it been successful. This incident (like Pacific Airlines and PSA) appears as nothing more than a footnote--even though it could have been a wake up call.

Lone Star Mike: Getting furloughed sucks, no two ways about it. Judging by your post, you sound like you are kind of Theory X when it comes to management practices. However furloughing is not the same as termination--Seniority numbers are not lost. Thankfully those of us that were furloughed were given enough time to prepare for other means of employment in sufficient time. If you tell a pilot he or she is going to be furloughed after the last flight--the situation is going to be exacerbated. And people wonder why ALPA exists??!!

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