EZYAirbus
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Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:06 am

Will terrorists take advantage of air marshalls and try and board a plane knowing full well there is a gun on board, if there are enough they could easily overpower the air marshalls, i think the air marshalls will only fire the gun as a last resort in a pressurised cabin.

what you people think?

Glenn
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
jhooper
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:16 am

that's why we hope that air marshalls are better trained than the terrorists!
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:20 am

EZYAirbus:

Firing a gun in a pressurized cabin has no effect at all on cabin pressure. None. That is something that Hollywood dreamed up.

The frangible ammunition that AMs use will not penetrate the hull of an airplane. It is, however, extraordinarily hard on the human body.

Even if a shell were to pierce the skin, it would cause no more than a very loud and annoying pressure leak. It could be stopped by simply putting something fairly large over it like a newspaper. Keep in mind that the pressure outflow valves that control cabin pressure are typically about 18 inches across.
 
777ER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:24 am

Sadly we ALL have to think about this because it has now come to having Sky Marshalls on nearly every US bound flight. If there is going to a hijacking and there are about 5-10 terrirosts on board, how can one or even two defend themselfs, the plane and the passengers from double the amount of terrirosts then there are of Sky Marshalls. In other words YES it will be an advantage. Lets just hope that no Sky Marshalls are needed
 
babybus
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:26 am

I can see no way that there could be a gun fight in the air or the thought of downing a whole aircraft just for the sake of national pride or esteem.

Airport operators tell us they are very thorough in their searches and we are told there is accurate intelligence about operations. That really doesn't seem to be the case.

Getting civilians caught up in gun battles in the air doesn't appear a credible way forward.

and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:16 am

Babybus

What is your plan?
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:36 am

No one knows which exact flight an AM will be on. That way it will keep the terrorists guessing if there is an armed AM on-board.

According to the US Gov't, these AMs will receive (or have received) CQB (Close Quarters Battle) training like many SWAT and Special Ops Units in the US. These are not your everyday run-of-the-mill patrol officers. They are also trained to blend in, like an undercover cop. I'm sure that the firearm and ammo they have are of top quality.

Just knowing there might be an AM aboard, is better than not having one on.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
necigrad
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:45 pm

I still fail to see what an air marshal does. I was ALWAYS taught that in order to have a hijacking there had to be a weapon or a threat of a weapon. So now we put the weapon on the plane for them?
 
VSGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:51 pm

777ER,

No one knows how many flights have Sky Marshall’s on them. I don’t think for a second that every flight or even 50% of flights have Sky Marshall’s on them (talking about flights from & too the EU).

As for guns, well, safest way could be to have Sky Marshall’s onboard, but without a gun...

Kimberly.
 
Guest

RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:14 am

I don't get the point of this discussion....

Sky Marshals are usually not wearing a sign on their clothes "Look im a Sky Marshal and armed!!!". They're wearing civil clothes, like every other passenger in the airplane.
If you have e.g. 200 passengers onboard a flight to the US, how to find out who's the sky marshal??? I can't see any way.

And I also guess, the biggest advantage of a Sky Marshal is that nobody knows who it is. It could be the guy with two children next to him, or the good dressed businessman. Nobody knows...

So Air Marshals are a good thing IMO, and because of their good training, as Bluewave said, I don't think any of them would pull a gun in the cabin, there are other ways to bring down an UNARMED "terrorist"!
 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:15 am

Necigrad

You are right. You fail to see. Do you have any idea how stupid your statement that we "put the weapon on the plane for them" sounds? Unless of course you meant for use ON them

I'd guess that if an FAM carried (for example) ten rounds of ammunition and there were eleven hijackers with boxcutters the best a hijacker could hope for is to gain control of one empty pistol and ten dead companions. It sounds as if you believe that, apart from the weapons carried by the FAM's there is no possibility of anyone ever smuggling a weapon aboard an airplane again. Ridiculous. I'm glad they are on board on my flights.

Broad-brush criticism is cheap and easy and we've had a belly full of it by now.
I pose to you the same question I posed in reply number 5:

What is your plan?



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:01 am

necigrad,
We put the threat of the weapon on the plane? We did that when pilots thought they could be the hero's and carry the gun. I would trust a FAM anyday over a pilot.

If anything the FAM will be the one to take the first hit or to see how many or who is the threat onboard the plane, I don't think that it will EVER happen the way it did before. People are aware of what is at stake and what they will do, it is like a skipping record, so you would hope that enough guys or German women would take back the aircraft.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
777236ER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:06 am

Piedmontgirl, a bullet hitting a window would cause a big problem. So would a bullet hitting any number of electricalor hydraulic componenets, not to mention 300+ passengers.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshals An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 am

UAL777 CONTRAIL

I don't know how the UK intends to run its program but since Necigrad is posting from the USA I think it would be appropriate to comment on the US practices.

In the first place, UK or US one does not use an apostrophe to form a plural. The word is heroes not hero's. That is the possessive.

In the second place, the pilots did not do it to be "hero's" but to save the lives (deserving or not) of their passengers as a last-ditch defense. The FFDO's (armed pilots) guns must remain on the flight deck. We do not ever intend to come charging down the aisle like Wyatt Earp. If the FFDO ever has to draw his weapon it is because there was no FAM or other LEO on board and/or the bad guys have prevailed. AND, the bad guys have managed to break open the bulletproof cockpit door.

So ask yourself, if hijackers are firmly in command of the passenger cabin and using your head as a battering ram against the cockpit door, a flight of F-15s are busting mach to get there in time to shoot you down before your plane can be used to kill three thousand people on the ground, don't you think you might have some sort of epiphany and come to believe that maybe the pilots having a gun (or two) might be an okay idea after all?

Personally I think arming pilots is a bad idea but I can't think of a better one, given today's realities. It is kind of like capital punishment. One can make all kinds of arguments against it but one fact has never been disputed. An executed felon has not once ever gone on to kill again.

There is a Catch-22 at work here and few people, even in the news media are smart enough or honest enough to make note of it. If counter terrorism efforts are 100% successful there is no terrorist act committed and therefore the counter terrorism measures look like they are not needed. Always remember the success statistic is a zero. Nothing happens - that's a good thing!

By the way, I apologize for correcting your use of the language on "hero's" but I did that just to make one point.

It is easy to criticize. Ralph Nader managed to get the Corvair taken out of production but has yet to design a car of his own. Critics really do not have much value. If you think this is an important topic then contribute to it with ideas, suggestions. We all know what the faults are. The person of value will be the person who improves the system.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:57 am

77236ER:

Piedmontgirl, a bullet hitting a window would cause a big problem. So would a bullet hitting any number of electricalor hydraulic componenets, not to mention 300+ passengers.

1) The ammunition used by AMs will not pierce the skin of the airplane. It is a specialized ammo made just for that purpose. It has been tested repeatedly.

2) Even if a window blew out, you would have a decompression. The masks would drop. Anytime a pressure outflow valve fails on any given airplane, you have a hole about 18 inches across. You can't see it from your seat. You have to be outside the plane and directly under it, but it's there. The plane doesn't stop flying because of this.

3) Hollywood does not have the first clue about decompressions. The ones in movies feature things flying all around the airplane and last for several minutes. I've been in decompressions. They last a few seconds at most and nothing flies around the cabin. The masks drop. The airplane descends to below 14,000, and that's that.

4) If hijackers manage to take control of the airplane and are behind that reinforced cockpit door, the F-16s are going to come up and shoot the airplane down. A frangible bullet hitting a window and going splat is nothing compared to the damage an air-to-air missile will cause. The best place, I understand, to hit the airplane is just forward or aft of the wing. This insures a large explosion and the immediate deaths of all aboard. If, say, only the tail were to be shot off, it might well leave the passengers conscious and cognizant of what is happening for 20 to 30 seconds. Time that off on your watch and see just how long it seems.

SlamClick:

In the second place, the pilots did not do it to be "hero's" but to save the lives (deserving or not) of their passengers as a last-ditch defense. The FFDO's (armed pilots) guns must remain on the flight deck. We do not ever intend to come charging down the aisle like Wyatt Earp. If the FFDO ever has to draw his weapon it is because there was no FAM or other LEO on board and/or the bad guys have prevailed. AND, the bad guys have managed to break open the bulletproof cockpit door.

This is true. Totally accurate information. I find it odd that someone will put his life in the pilots' hands when he gets on the plane, but does not think the pilots can be trusted with a pistol.

Many, many pilots have top secret government clearances, and can be trusted to fly F-14s and F-15s and B-52s armed with nuclear weapons, but cannot be trusted with a pistol so that he can make a last ditch effort to keep himself, his crew, and his passengers (deserving or not) from being killed. I find that to be an utterly bizarre situation.

When I first started flying, every pilot I knew had a .45 in his flight bag. They didn't play Wyatt Earp then, and they're not going to do it now. Pilots are some of the most self disciplined people I know.

I put my own life in the hands of pilots every single day I worked a trip or flew for any other reason for well over thirty years. I have more than 30,000 take-off and landings, almost 45,000 hours in the air. The worst thing a pilot has ever done to me is be mildly annoying. Big whoop.



[Edited 2004-01-04 19:05:31]
 
ObiThomas
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:03 am

Hollywood does not have the first clue about decompressions. The ones in movies feature things flying all around the airplane and last for several minutes. I've been in decompressions. They last a few seconds at most and nothing flies around the cabin.

Somewhat off the topic of bullet-caused decompression, but doesn't this depend on the size of the decompression vent? I have read reports of the UAL 747 that blew a cargo door off Honolulu and it was devastating. People were sucked out of the aircraft (one into the #3 engine, yikes!). Similar with the THY DC-10 in Paris.

Agreed, a bullet couldn't cause anything the size of this.
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:25 am

I have seen video of some of the training the Air Marshall's are going through. Like I said in my previous post, it's Special Forces-type stuff. As far as type of firearm, it was not disclosed, but the smallest caliber the US Gov't. uses is 9mm. They also use the .40SW and .45ACP pistols as well. Frangible ammo is made fro all of those calibers.

I can guarantee you two things: US Law Enforcement will not issue them less than 10 rounds, if anything one magazine will hold OVER 10 rounds; and each AM will have at least one backup magazine, if not two. On the first point, most high quality pistols hold more than 10 rounds (unless a 1911 .45), since they aren't restricted like the US public; and they probably have been accurized to be even more on target, especially for the type of mission and ammo it will deployed on.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:42 am

Obithomas:

Somewhat off the topic of bullet-caused decompression, but doesn't this depend on the size of the decompression vent? I have read reports of the UAL 747 that blew a cargo door off Honolulu and it was devastating. People were sucked out of the aircraft (one into the #3 engine, yikes!). Similar with the THY DC-10 in Paris

The UA 74: That was an entire cargo door. A huge hole in the airplane. There were several passengers that were sucked out. That's a hole big enough to stand up in. Even at that, the airplane did not stop flying. Please remember that on the UA 74, the damage extended up into the passenger area, it was not limited to "just" the area of the cargo door. There was a hole that extended up into the passenger cabin. The seats were plainly visible through it. Even at that, it happened in an instant.

Everyone remembers the scene in Airport where the flight attendant (Dean Martin's love interest) is frantically holding on to seat belts while Deano bravely drags himself down the aisle on his stomach to rescue her. This took I don't know how long. Wouldn't happen like that because it couldn't happen like that.

The loss of a cargo door, or any other door, can be catastrophic. However, an airplane can have a pretty good sized hole in it and go on flying. The UA 74 sure did. If I am thinking about the correct Paris crash, that was a structural failure at a critical phase of flight that caused the airplane to crash.

In order to do that kind of damage to an airplane, the crazies would have to either have a bomb or a good sized military weapon like a grenade launcher, an RPG launcher, a bazooka, or something of the like. These are such large weapons that a security screener would have to be either completely asleep or have been bribed for them to get on board.

The Aloha, I think it was, 732 that had its top blow off kept on flying. There was a lot of stuff blowing around the cabin, but that was from the wind. The airplane was depressurized and the 200 mph wind made a mess of anything that wasn't nailed down. One flight attendant was lost in that incident. She was standing in the forward galley at the time the top came off. Think here the way stuff would blow around in a convertible at even 40 miles per hour.

As a point of interest, on a 732, you can hear the aft pressure outflow valve working when you stand in the back galley.
 
777236ER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:00 am

Even if a window blew out, you would have a decompression. The masks would drop. Anytime a pressure outflow valve fails on any given airplane, you have a hole about 18 inches across. You can't see it from your seat. You have to be outside the plane and directly under it, but it's there. The plane doesn't stop flying because of this.

>8psi, a window blowing out would cause a serious, and rapid decompression. Should the hole be plugged with the wrong object (eg. food cart), that object being forced out of the fuselage could cause damage akin to the Aloha 737-200 crash. While the aircraft could still fly, people's lives could very easily be lost.

That's assuming the sky marshall misses the 300 people and countless electrical and hydraulic systems in a confined space.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:35 am

777. You are totally overstating the facts. So what if a hydraulic system is hit or an electrical component is hit. It won't make any difference. If an AM is shooting I've got more problems than some redundant aircraft system. If an AM is shooting it means I have terrorists dedicated to die in the pursuit of bringing down my aircraft. I don't care if passengers or crew are injured because of an AM's actions, because that AM's actions will be our best chance of survival.

Stop trying to bolster your argument with bogus scenarios.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:46 am

777236ER:

>8psi, a window blowing out would cause a serious, and rapid decompression. Should the hole be plugged with the wrong object (eg. food cart), that object being forced out of the fuselage could cause damage akin to the Aloha 737-200 crash. While the aircraft could still fly, people's lives could very easily be lost.

This is bizarre and bogus. No one is going to try to plug up a window with a food cart. The airplane would be depressurized. The masks would come down. At this point, there is such a problem in the airplane that a blown out window would be of little importance. The airplane would go on flying.

MD88Captain:

777. You are totally overstating the facts. So what if a hydraulic system is hit or an electrical component is hit. It won't make any difference. If an AM is shooting I've got more problems than some redundant aircraft system. If an AM is shooting it means I have terrorists dedicated to die in the pursuit of bringing down my aircraft. I don't care if passengers or crew are injured because of an AM's actions, because that AM's actions will be our best chance of survival.

Excellent post. From my own perspective as a flight attendant, I am unconcerned about passengers or crew being injured, including myself, because if these terrorists get the airplane, I am going to surely die.

At that point, being concerned about a stray bullet hitting the wrong thing is meaningless. As you stated, the aircraft systems are redundant anyway.

 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:52 am

Folks I don't know what damage a random bullet might cause to an airliner. I know the probable effects are vastly overstated in popular press and movies. But I just don't know what might happen.

But like so many of you, I saw the video of the wreckage flying out the other side of the 2nd tower trailing fire. I have a fair idea of what hitting a building is likely to do.

I also know which I prefer.

If you cannot figure out for yourself why you are not permitted to congregate at the forward lav I think you probably do not even have a need to know. It is worthwhile. Live with it.

I used to get told by Europeans that we Americans "live in Disneyland" and now I am hearing a lot of whining from Eurpeans over minor inconveniences intended to save their damn lives. Maybe the world has gone mad.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:55 am

Sorry, guess I meant the last two paragraphs for another thread.

oops
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
777236ER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:18 am

This is bizarre and bogus. No one is going to try to plug up a window with a food cart.

The rapid depressurisation would do it for you, like the F/A that was stuck in the Aloha 737-200 hole.

If an AM is shooting it means I have terrorists dedicated to die in the pursuit of bringing down my aircraft.

You'd have to hope so wouldn't you? Let's just hope they have good training and were throughly vetted themselves.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 5:36 am

777:

I've been through decompressions. They were complete decompressions. Not so much as a piece of paper moved. A 300 pound cart is not going to be dragged across three seats and against a window.

There was no flight attendant stuck in a hole on the Aloha 732. She went totally out of the airplane. She did not make the hole. The top of the plane came off. It was turned into a convertible.

Once the airplane is depressurized or decompressed, that's it.

You keep overstating your case and making bizarre claims. Hollywood does not know jack shit about decompressions or what happens when one occurs. An explosive decompression takes about 3 seconds. It does not take the endless minutes that Hollywood types think it takes.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:01 am

"like the F/A that was stuck in the Aloha 737-200 hole" ????? Now you've lost all credibility. You could at least do a little research before posting such bogus trash.
 
7574EVER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:12 am

People are infatuated with the "Hollywood" air disasters. Yes, if a door were to open inflight, any unsecured objects would be sucked out due to the differences in pressure, however once the cabin pressure reaches equilibrium with the outside pressure, the suction should stop. I always laugh when I see a movie and the aircraft is a couple thousand feet in the air and people and things are still being sucked out after the long descent from thirty-five thousand feet. Good ole Hollywood. As for a bullet hole, I think most people fear this due to a lack of knowledge of pressuization systems. Most uneducated people think that an airplane cabin is nothing more than a balloon that is pumped up before flight and released after landing and that any pinhole in the process would spell disaster (again, thank YOU Hollywood). Pressure is constantly being pumped into the cabin and the pressure outflow valve as piedmontgirl had mentioned is nothing more than a hole in the fuselage to release air pressure. I love the look on people's faces when the ask me about aircraft pressurization and they find out that in reality there IS a hole in the airplane.
As for the fear that a terrorist would get the gun from the air marshall. All I have to say is, in post 9/11 days do you think that passengers would just sit around and watch a terrorist wrestle with an air marshall?
And finally about the issue of a passenger accidentally being shot. I just ask this one question? Which is better, one or two innocent people giving their lives so that the plane can land safely, or a plane-full of innocent people dying as well as people on the ground when a terrorist takes over.
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:34 am

Sounds like PiedmontGirl has been through her share of decompressions, and knows what she is talking about. I don't think she's blowing smoke. You go girl!

As I have stated before, the AMs are not the neighborhood patrol cop. I am quite sure that they must constantly practice to be in the 95-100% accurate pistol shooters in all knids of simulated combat scenarios. SWAT and SpecOps are constantly practicing in the event they are called out. The average officer in HNL only has to qualify @ 70% accuracy. AMs, SWAT, and SpecOps are held to an extremely high standard. Shooting @ 90+% takes a lot of practice, and 1000s of rounds of ammo, if not 100s. I know, been there, one of my hobbies.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
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KLM11
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:58 am

On 747's the flight marshall normally sits on the upper deck (most commonly in the exit row). That might give the terrorists an advantage of knowing where the air marshall is??

Safe Flying Everyone, KLM11  Smile
BENAIRE - The Refined Airline
 
7574EVER
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:01 am

"On 747's the flight marshall normally sits on the upper deck (most commonly in the exit row). That might give the terrorists an advantage of knowing where the air marshall is??"

Well sure now that you told eveyone where they sit. lol

Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:30 am

Bluewave707:

I've been through two rapid decompressions. One was a failed pressure outflow valve on a 732, one was on a 722. The differences between explosive, rapid, and slow decompressions are the amount of time it takes for them to occur.

The first signs are wildly popping ears and a rapid expelling of air from your lungs. You feel the changes in your sinuses, and in your digestive tract. There's fogging in the airplane because the air temperature drops rapidly, and the masks drop. This all happens within the space of a small number of seconds.

An aircraft cabin is typically pressurized to about 8600 feet. The masks drop when the cabin pressure reaches 14,000 feet. It's cold at 30,000 plus feet and the air is thin. However, once the pressure equalizes, your ears stop popping and you breath normally -- you just need an oxygen supply. Ears pop again as you descend and the pressure builds back up.

If the suction didn't stop, people's lungs would be sucked out of their noses. I don't think Hollywood wants to portray their leading men like that. Once the pressure equalizes, it's equalized, and just increases as the airplane descends to lower altitudes and the air pressure outside increases.

Hollywood also portrays pilots and flight attendants sitting in bars and consuming alcoholic beverages in their uniforms. In the real world, this will get you fired so fast your head would spin. Most airlines prohibit their flight crews from even being inside a bar in uniform.

Shooting is also one of my hobbies and I know from experience that shooting with 90%+ accuracy takes an awful lot of practice. This is not the requirements of an ordinary patrol officer.

 
ObiThomas
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:07 am

PiedmontGirl:

Even at that, it happened in an instant.

I see, I didn't realize that. When I read the reports and the passengers were discussing how terrified they were, what I missed is that they were talking about the aftermath of the decompression.

Funny, the Hollywood image was so stuck in my mind, I just assumed they were talking about a long decompression phase!

Thanks for clarifying that!
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:24 pm

Obithomas:

Even at that, it happened in an instant.

I see, I didn't realize that. When I read the reports and the passengers were discussing how terrified they were, what I missed is that they were talking about the aftermath of the decompression.


The decompression itself would have been terrifying, especially for those closest to the hole. But it only lasted, quite literally, a second or two.

It must have been a terrifying ride back to the airport. It would have been very cold in there, the noise level from that big hole in the plane would have been horrendous, they were getting oxygen from those little yellow cups, and certainly all of them knew that some of the passengers had been sucked out. I don't doubt but what these people were frightened nearly out of their wits.

The fear would have magnified every little creak and bounce that the airplane made adding to the terror. They would have wondered with every sound and little movement whether or not the airplane was going to totally fall apart. Scared doesn't even begin to describe what these people felt.

Funny, the Hollywood image was so stuck in my mind, I just assumed they were talking about a long decompression phase!

Those images that Hollywood produces are very vivid and I understand why they stick in people's minds.

Thanks for clarifying that!

You're so very welcome!  Smile
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:28 pm

PiedmontGirl,

Thanks for your wisdom and knowledge. You are one of few whom I respect in this forum.

Shooting to 90+% does take a gob of ammo, but isn't it good mental discipline? And stress relief? I have talked with some involved in SpecWarfare, and they have said that it's not the amount of ammo you shoot, but where you put each round.

Hollywood will always exagerate things, like decompression, and shooting a gun in a plane.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:44 pm

Bluewave707:

Thank you so very much for your kind words. The are very much appreciated.

Shooting to 90+% does take a gob of ammo, but isn't it good mental discipline? And stress relief? I have talked with some involved in SpecWarfare, and they have said that it's not the amount of ammo you shoot, but where you put each round.

It is excellent mental discipline and it is wonderful stress relief. I like the feel of the pistol in my hands, I like the smell of the powder, and I especially like being able to put that little chunk of lead exactly where I want it. It takes a lot of ammo, but it's also where you put the rounds. Like any other mental exercise, the better you get at it, the better you can get at it. Wonderful, isn't it??

Hollywood will always exagerate things, like decompression, and shooting a gun in a plane.

And anything else they run across.  Smile
 
BOEING747400
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:58 pm

What if a terrorist or an accomplice to him or her tried to apply for the job of AM or SM? Wouldn't that be a serious problem?
 
C17Glbm
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RE: Air Marshals An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:59 pm

I feel that for civilian aviation and commercial aviation the air marshals are alright as long as they do their jobs right. I was recently on a American Airlines flight originating in FRA and was surprised at the air marshal introducing himself to the flight crew right at the entrance of the gate. And then, while announcing the flight's details, the Captain felt like sharing the information that in fact we did have a air marshal on board today. In this case, a terrorist could target the person and eliminate any repercussion from that side in advance. If all airlines handle their business like this, I doubt having air marshals will be very effective.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:09 pm

C17Glbm:

And then, while announcing the flight's details, the Captain felt like sharing the information that in fact we did have a air marshal on board today. In this case, a terrorist could target the person and eliminate any repercussion from that side in advance. If all airlines handle their business like this, I doubt having air marshals will be very effective.

He could have been an off duty AM just going someplace, too.

You have no idea whether or not there were working AMs on that flight or not.

The procedures for this call for the AMs to meet the crew (pilots and F/As) at the time of briefing, not at the top of the loading bridge. Certainly there is to be no mention made of their presence on board the aircraft. Everybody knows the drill and I cannot imagine an AA crew being so unprofessional as to breach it.

I'm guessing this guy was just going someplace and wanted to introduce himself to the Captain as a matter of professional nicety.

 
C17Glbm
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RE: Air Marshals An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:17 pm

PiedmontGirl,


I 100% agree. It just sounded somewhat awkward when the Captain said was briefing us about additional security measures and then slid a little "........also this flight is being accompanied by an air marshal"
In terms of a preventive measures that might be the thing to do. Personally I found the entire scenario rather strange.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:43 pm

C17Glbm:

100% agree. It just sounded somewhat awkward when the Captain said was briefing us about additional security measures and then slid a little "........also this flight is being accompanied by an air marshal"
In terms of a preventive measures that might be the thing to do. Personally I found the entire scenario rather strange.


I agree. It sounds very strange. I've never heard or heard of a pilot making an announcement of any kind about AMs, security or anything of the like.

Frankly, I can't imagine why he did that. It's one of those things that just kind of escapes me. Ya know??

 
C17Glbm
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RE: Air Marshals An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:50 pm

"PiedmontGirl
It's one of those things that just kind of escapes me. Ya know??"

Sure do. I think nowadays with all these additional security measures and with all these extra rules you can't help to go nuts.
 
Bluewave 707
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:06 pm

PiedmontGirl,

You are one of the few women I know of that are an active shooter. PG, keep that front sight on target! Don't you just love it when every round hits the 10-ring?  Smile

About that AA pilot and crew ... There aren't any adjectives beyond STUPID of what they did. Off- or on-duty, they should have kept their mouths shut about the AM. Even if they were trying to give their pax some sense of security. What did a former president once say ... "Loose lips sinks ships"

As for a terrorist applying for the job ... they'll have to go through some stringent background checks by the FBI, among other gov't agencies. One of which is fingerprinting. If they were foreign born, the scrutiny will be even higher.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:17 am

SLAMCLICK,
Actually you didn't clear up the use or correct turn for the word hero.
I have been against the whole pilot with gun scenario since the beginning. Now I am not trying to change your opinions or you mind on the matter, because I could careless if you and I have the same opinions. A FAM is onboard for a reason, he is trained to do one job, keep the plane safe, and out of the hands of terrorist.

I don't think you need a Wyatt Earp on the plane, let Wyatt fly the plane and worry about that. If a FAM had to pull his gun? That plane would be on finals to some remote or international airport as quickly as you would say Hershey squirts. So no, I don't think you see the whole picture, by looking at your profile I can see why you don't see the other side, you are a pilot who thinks that by having a gun you are safe, let a REAL trained professional have the gun and YOU fly the plane.

I do think there are flaws in the program, being a CSR for UNITED I see these FAMS approach us and we lead them to the airplanes, now I don't know if the pilots don't like these guys because they are carrying guns and they aren't but they treat thee people badly. Second, they ALL sit in first class!!! If there are 2 on the plane they both sit in first??? You need to put one in first and the other in coach, maybe the last row so they can see from front to back. If flaws are seen by a CSR then I think someone needs to rethink the whole FAM program.

So in short, I don't agree with you and I wont, leave the guns to trained professionals who only have to worry about one thing, not fly the plane and try to save the plane from bad guys.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:36 am

Bluewave707:

You are one of the few women I know of that are an active shooter. PG, keep that front sight on target! Don't you just love it when every round hits the 10-ring?

LOL....I sure do. There aren't very many women who are active shooters, although, there are more of us in the South than there are in other places. At the range I use, it's typically me and a bunch of cops. They think it's neat that I can shoot. They thought it was ever neater when they found out I was a flight attendant and not law enforcement.  Smile

About that AA pilot and crew ... There aren't any adjectives beyond STUPID of what they did. Off- or on-duty, they should have kept their mouths shut about the AM. Even if they were trying to give their pax some sense of security. What did a former president once say ... "Loose lips sinks ships"

It was foolish and loose lips do sink ships. I just can't imagine why he did that. How very odd. I am wondering if there were on duty FAMs on that flight and what they thought of this.



 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:18 am

UAL 777 Contrail

IF it was true that [FAM'S] "all sit in first class" you would be guilty of a serious security breach for saying so. At least it would be if you had the least idea of what you are talking about.

Security compromises do not occur when a high school student "divulges" security sensitive information. They occur when a person working in the field divulges such information. If you work in the industry I devoutly hope your company security department will track down your username and terminate your employment immediately. Your attitude and judgement make you an unacceptable security risk.

If you understood anything whatever about how the intelligence gathering systems work you would know that it is little pieces of data and rarely one big piece that form the mosaic of information. Don't give these swine who would kill you as soon as they would kill me any more information than they already get from outside sources.

It does not matter what you or I think. The decisions are going to be made by persons with far more information than either of us is privy to. That is just as well.

As for our differences of opinion on the core matter, in the words of the old song: "it don't mean that much to mean that much to you" Your profile displays a smartass disingenuousness that I will not bother sparring with. I am by nature inclined to speak truth. You do not appear to have any such instinct.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
copter808
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RE: Air Marshals An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:33 am

Everyone seems to be missing the point on the value (or folly) of having armed pilots!

The weapon would only be used as a last resort! It doesn't matter if there is a high risk--and it is not--that it would cause the aircraft to crash. We seem to be forgetting that once the terrorists enter the cockpit THE AIRPLANE AND IT'S OCCUPANTS ARE ALREADY LOST!!!!!

The weapon would only be a last chance effort to avoid a disaster. If it failed, nothing would be lost!

 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:41 am

Copter808:

The weapon would only be a last chance effort to avoid a disaster. If it failed, nothing would be lost!

Armed pilots, who are subjected to close quarters combat training, would use that firearm only if the cockpit door has been breached. It would be literally a last ditch effort to save the airplane and all of the people on board.

Gotta understand, the pilot would only be shooting as far as from his seat to the cockpit door. That door is small enough so that only one person at a time can enter it.

I see no reason to deny these pilots, many of whom maintain top secret clearance ratings and who can be trusted to operate military aircraft armed with nuclear weapons, the last chance to defend himself and his plane and passengers with a pistol.

 
C17Glbm
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:47 am

Many of my colleague AF pilots have top secret clearances and certainly can be trusted to execute their missions well but then again, I wouldn't trust too many of us up front with guns! Some folks are just made to concentrate on the flying part!
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:58 am

C17Glbm:

Well.......you know the program is strictly voluntary. I would trust most any pilot I've ever flown with to fly armed. If I can't trust him with a pistol, I can't trust him with the plane which is tens of thousands of times more lethal than any pistol ever thought about being.

When I first started flying, pilots were required to fly armed when we hauled mail, which was on every flight. Every single pilot I flew with had a .45 auto loader in his flight bag. No one played Wyatt Earp then and none of them are going to now.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Air Marshalls An Advantage To Terrorists?

Tue Jan 06, 2004 5:07 am

Copter808

I agree with you.
I had already said something to that effect in Reply #13, the 3rd and 4th paragraphs, quoted below:

In the second place, the pilots did not do it to be "hero's" but to save the lives (deserving or not) of their passengers as a last-ditch defense. The FFDO's (armed pilots) guns must remain on the flight deck. We do not ever intend to come charging down the aisle like Wyatt Earp. If the FFDO ever has to draw his weapon it is because there was no FAM or other LEO on board and/or the bad guys have prevailed. AND, the bad guys have managed to break open the bulletproof cockpit door.

So ask yourself, if hijackers are firmly in command of the passenger cabin and using your head as a battering ram against the cockpit door, a flight of F-15s are busting mach to get there in time to shoot you down before your plane can be used to kill three thousand people on the ground, don't you think you might have some sort of epiphany and come to believe that maybe the pilots having a gun (or two) might be an okay idea after all?


One issue here is money. Ideally, if human lives were at stake money would not be a factor but it always has been and it probably always will be. And here is one of the money considerations.

The average Federal Air Marshal probably earns a higher salary than the average pilot and has work rules of comparable productivity. (I'll bet a lot of peopel who react before they think will jump on that statement.) Right away I need to acknowledge that NO FAM earns as much as the highest paid pilots are earning. But they start at a higher wage than pilots. They get pay raises where sometimes pilot do not. The average pilot is a first officer with less than maximum time-in-service. It took me many years at an airline to earn as much as I did as a civil servant. Our Government pays good. Now this being true - or nearly true, it will cost as much to put FAMs on planes as to put pillots on planes. And someone will have to pay the bill. Pilots can fly the plane. FAM's, useful as they are, cannot even serve drinks.

If we went with two FAM's on each flight the FAM population would be roughly equal to the pilot population and the cost would be very similar. And there is no beating these guys down on their wages like has been done with pilots. It would become a gigantic burden on the taxpayers. Also consider their seats. Either the airline donates the two (or however many are needed) seats and loses that revenue or the Government pays for the seats with tax revenues collected from you and me.

Now let's deal with the "hero" question for a moment. We are at war. It is as real as any war in history except that one side is a group of individuals without a country, without a flag, but not without money and covert support. They can operate without rules and will cheerfully blow up a crowd of school children while we will not. The old world is dead and gone. This is a new age. One of the favorite battlefields of the terrorists is airliners. We pilots practically live aboard airliners. I go into a combat zone every day I go to work.

Now who would you consider more "heroic?" A person who goes into combat armed, or a person who does it unarmed?

Most of us who are combat veterans have a very different definition of "hero" from those of you who are not.

I sure hope no FFDO ever has to use his weapon. Hey! I hope never to use my medical insurance too.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.

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