View Full Version : Commercial Airliners as Terrorist Weapons

09-12-2001, 07:02 AM
It's terribly frustrating not to be able to respond to the acts perpetrated yesterday but I agree with others that Bush is doing the right things. However, a major issue in my mind now is the use of commercial airliners as weapons of destruction. When these planes have the potential for such mass destruction, it's obvious that we have to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. It's also obvious that the security procedures at airports need a major overhaul and they need to be overhauled with the greatest speed possible. I'm quite sure that there are many good ideas that will result in much better security but my concern is what I perceive as the FAA's penchant for "analysis paralysis." Witness the ongoing debate over how to alleviate air traffic congestion. From what I've seen congressional and executive leadership is needed as well as allocating a lot more money.

09-12-2001, 09:23 AM
What bothers me is when the big guys say "God Bless America" it sounds like they are denying the rest of the world... "God Bless America, but f*** Canada, Mexico, all our neighbors and homelands. If it must be said, how about saying "God Bless Us All" instead. jan

09-12-2001, 10:11 AM
I believe that creating a separate entry for pilots and preventing entry into the cockpit from the cabin is something we will see designed into future airliners and maybe retrofitted into existing ones.


09-12-2001, 11:39 AM
Supposedly, on one of the planes, the terrorists lured the pilot from the cockpit by killing flight attendants one by one, causing the pilot to come into the cabin to see what was happening. Very little can be done about this, I would suppose.

I trim my beard nightly and travel with a scissors. My carry-on bag is inspected about 1/3 of the time, they see the scissors and that's that. I don't know how we can make hijackings 100% preventable. Perhaps we need to think about not allowing any carry ons. I believe I heard that there hadn't been a hijacking in the U.S. since 1991 before yesterday.

It does seem there needs to be stricter rules about cockpit access. Whatever happened vis-a-vis the Egyptian pilot who apparently crashed his plane on purpose? Weren't they going to make a rule that there had to be two people in the cockpit at all times? It seems after an incident that there's a lot of talk but very little substantive action.

09-12-2001, 12:11 PM
""Supposedly, on one of the planes, the terrorists lured the pilot from the cockpit by killing flight attendants one by one, causing the pilot to come into the cabin to see what was happening. Very little can be done about this, I would suppose.""

If that had happened, the pilot would have alerted ground crontrol, at the very least, as to what was happening. Don't forget that no distress signal was transmitted from any of the planes. This is the real mystery about the modus operandi of the assassins. Why did the pilots not send out the highjacking signal ?? They must have been somehow surprised and then killed instantly.

09-12-2001, 12:22 PM
Under current FAA regs you are allowed a knife with an unserrated blade of up to 4". You are supposed to be able to carry this even after inspection/search. I think that rule might change now, but I doubt it will have a real impact. I know there are people who carry knives and flashlights aboard for emergencies and personal defense once they land. These are usually people who practice fighting with and without weapons. It seemed a bit paranoid to me, but it's hard not to speculate about whether the events of yesterday would have been changed if there had been some of these types aboard. Perhaps not, but I wonder if there was ever a point aboard the airliners yesterday where a few people skilled in hand to weapon fighting could have made a stand and taken out the terrorists. Perhaps this is indelicate to talk about, but I think the Israelis do after bitter experience. I've also heard there's always an armed good guy aboard every El Al flight, but I don't know whether this is true.

09-12-2001, 12:24 PM
I heard someone on ABC news say that he felt that they could find two of both the black boxes and another recorder (cockpit recorder, which is different from the black box?) in at least two of the planes in a relatively short time (the plane that crashed in PA and the one that went into the Pentagon).

Then again, I heard one expert say it would take a trained pilot to execute the banking turn the second plane made when it went into the WTC building, and another say it was something anyone could do.

09-12-2001, 12:31 PM
I heard someone (I think on CNN) talk about having air marshalls aboard planes. He said we used to have this, but stopped it for economic reasons. I never knew about this. Were these air marshalls armed? When was this stopped? Or was this guy wrong (or did I mis-hear him)?

I've seen people who bring their own food aboard pull out swiss army knives to peel their apples, etc. And, as I say, I travel with a scissors. So hard to stop people who really wants to cause trouble. But this doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

09-12-2001, 01:00 PM
I’m going to speculate about a couple of things. I heard a report today that someone on the plane that crashed in PA called on his cell phone and said they were going to try and take the plane back. I would guess that this is exactly what they tried to do and were at least somewhat successful in that the plane didn’t reach its target. I too don’t want to be indelicate either but the thought that knives and “box cutters” could be ultimately used to cause the destruction and loss of life that ensued is very disturbing to me. I don’t know if it went down this way but if it did, it does bother the hell out of me that 60+ people could be aboard an airplane and watch while people get slaughtered by two or three terrorists with knives. I suppose they were in a state of shock and probably thought if they cooperated they would be ok but when they start witnessing people getting slaughtered I would think they would know it was time to act.

09-12-2001, 01:48 PM
Ask anyone who's been mugged, raped or killed (well, the last one would be tough) in front of or near a crowd in our country about the general "helpfulness" of the mass crowd...

09-13-2001, 01:38 PM
I imagine that a few things contributed to this: Hijackings in the past have been ransom oriented, the people who were the terrorists could have been highly trained and obviosly were highly motivated to kill anyone who didn't cooperate. I think the Pittsberg deal happened because the pilot had probably received word of the WTC and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Just my speculation,