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Guns in Cockpits...House overwhelmingly says, yes!

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One queston:What would be the effect of a bullet piercing the skin of an airliner at, say, 35,000 feet?Wouldn't a non-lethal solution be better, like a taser or something? Seems the effect of depressurization in the cockpit would be just as bad as an intruder.Just wondering.Justin

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From what I heard a while back they would use special bullets that will be strong enough to pierce a person's body but not the fuselage of the plane. That's what I heard. I guess pilots will also get some special training so that they can avoid shooting something else, only shoot when the hijacker is at close disance or something else to prevent stray bullets.Take careMike

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Hi Braun,Too bad we have cowards in the Senate.And the reason guns would work in the cockpit is deterrence, an already proven theory with nuclear weapons, and would work in this case as well, IMHO.Regards,Joe :-wave.Oshkosh Pictures From 2001 (Part 1) 78 Pics in Frames with 1mb in ThumbnailsHigh speed connection Recommended:http://home.attbi.com/~flypics1/FrameSet.htm.Oshkosh Pictures From 2001 (Part 2) 106 Pics in Frames with 1.5mb in ThumbnailsHigh speed connection recommended:http://home.attbi.com/~flypics2/FrameSet.htm.Picture Gallery of My Flight in a 1945 SNJ-6 on June 1st, 2002Joliet, Illinoishttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/FrameSet.htm.http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Yes Joe...I'm not going to mince words here. Folks keep talking about, "...what if a...a mistake could...but, you know..."These are ATP Pilots. Most are ex-military, and regardless they have the demonstrable discipline to master something as simple as putting a bullet in the 10 ring.As I've said before. I don't own guns. I won't own guns. I understand guns exist. Pilots can "handle it" Pilots are handling "weapons of mass destruction" from the point of rotation, until the landing roll. Anyone who says otherwise, in my "opinion", don't have a clue.Cheers,bt

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Hi Braun ;) :-beerchug Goodnight Braun :-wave 'nuff said,Regards, ;)

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Thanks Greg. Let me restate. I don't mind your (your...the collective everyone) opinion, just if your opinion is a pilot, an ATP pilot, cant handle using a 357 or something to put a bullet in someone to prevent sure catastrophe, well again, in my opinion, that person just don't have a clue.I have a 15 year Air Force background. All AF pilots pack. There were reasons. I know of no military pilot blowing away anyone, anywhere in flight by accident. No one. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong. So...Seems to me that pilots should pack as the "last line of defense" Stow it in cockpit. Guards place it in plane first of day, guard it on ground when aircraft is parked/loading. End of day, they take custody of weapon. Period. Simple.Guns in cockpits, 9/11. Guns in cockpits, 9/11. Hindsight is 20/20. History repeats itself too.Best,bt

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Great. Just what we need, a bunch of drunk pilots with guns. Secure doors prevent access to the cockpit. If there's an incident, the pilots need to concentrate on landing, not shooting.As for the "cowards" in the Senate comment...well, I have other opinions.

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Braun,That was a bit harsh...Regards,

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I think this is getting just a tad out of hand. I understand that pilots feel the need for safety, but there are ways around it. Somehow I never have felt unsafe on an airliner, never will, and if anything shakse my confidence in the system, its this new allowance of firearms in the cockpit. Scott

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What ??? They have nuclear weapons in the cockpit ??? :-newburn The nuclear weapons theory is rather flawed - otherwise why is the world slightly worried about India v Pakistan (and I am not talking about the cricket) also why is anyone worried about Iraq getting nukes ???Deterents are only going to work with people who care - the loonies do not pay any attention.

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"if your opinion is a pilot, an ATP pilot, cant handle using a 357 or something to put a bullet in someone to prevent sure catastrophe, well again, in my opinion, that person just don't have a clue."That was what I said Greg, not just the "snippit" you quoted. Fair is fair. If a person is oppossed to guns in cockpits, speak out with real opposition. Give factual evidence as to why they should not carry. Just don't say they are not capable, untrained, etc. In my view, that simply don't wash.Cheers,bt

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HI Braun,I don't think it's a matter of an ATP not being capable of handling a firearm. I'm sure they would be properly trained, etc.But IMO a cockpit intrusion scenario has "struggle" built into it. Two people struggling over a firearm, an errant bullet is nearly inevitable. The potential for catastrophic decompression is high. A punctured windshield at 600 kts is not going to increase any safety margins.There is no doubt some means of crew defense is a good thing. I'm just not sure a handgun in the cockpit is the best means. A taser to paralyze an intruder and good strong rope and handcuffs would seem to me to be a much better solution. Or something along those lines.Justin

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Valid concerns Justin, but my understanding is the bullets are "special", designed just for A/C. It is obvious that this is a topic that is not "black and white", and that most folks have strong feelings.Greg (soarpics) sorry I made my comments attached to your post. It implies that I disagreed in someway with you. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we were just sharing a virtual beer!Best to all,bt

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Lets look at this concept:You have improved security to prevent guns getting onto planes. Good!You have improved security by making the cockpit doors stronger. Good!Now, you throw it all out by putting a gun back on the plane coupled with the pilot having to open the strong door to use it. Huh???People see this as a logical thing???

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I wouldn't worry. If they don't let the pilots have guns in the cockpit, a good alternative would be for the pilot to decompress the aircraft if someone hijacked the airplane. I'd tell the passengers on board that since we have no guns to defend ourselves, if a hijacking occurs, they are to take a deep breath and hold it for ten minutes or so. Let's see, we can trust these guys to fly an airplane worth tens of millions of dollars with hundreds of lives in their hands; but not trust them to handle a little ole hand gun. Many are former military pilots. I'm sure they know how to shoot. Where is the common sense in this society???

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Guys, guys,I tried to shut up while following this discussion, but I can't. I'll try to avoid putting fuel on a heated discussion, but as subtlety never has been my strongest point.... bear with me please.I for one would not feel the tiniest bit safer with guns in the cockpit. It's putting emphasis on the wrong issue - according to a recent news item airport security in some US airports still fail to catch up to 50% of weapons attempted to be smuggled on board. Call me stupid, but I think there's some room for improvement there before putting together the ingredients for an onboard gunfight. Very nice to know the pilot's guns will carry special ammunition, but who seriously believes a hijacker will take the same precautions? And sure - pilots are overall sensible people (but IMO the drunk-pilots affair couldn't have been better timed to show that pilots are humans too - AND the other pilot who refused a safety check over a cup of coffee doesn't help either) and I guess that overall they could be trained to try and not make mistakes with handling the gun and putting holes where they shouldn't be (but the nature of accidents is that they can NEVER FULLY be prevented). The issue of training however is more than "which bit of the gun to point forward" or "which tiny handle to pull". What to do when a hijacker simply starts killing passengers one by one? Charge out of the cockpit? Criminal psychology and such are a much bigger part of being able to control a hostage situation than holding a piece of metal. Saying pilots can be "trained" is saying that law enforcement isn't a profession in its own right. Being a cop is a full-time job, and so is training to be an airline pilot. Given a choice, I'd rather have my pilots train to fly, thank you.Vince

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I say Arm them, and the sonner, the better.For those who are worried as to what type of ammunition might be used.Please see the research the US Army has done, and do a google search on the following."frangible" Ammunition I feel that guns would be a system designed to accomplish two goals. 1) To deter cockpit entrance attempts2) Self defense for the pilots, just as The United States Military currently mandates for its pilots.Can anyone post a link where someone attempted a hijacking of a United States Military Aircraft?I rest my case. The rest is pure conjecture and hyperbole.Regards,Joe :-wavehttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg http://avsim.com/hangar/air/bfu/logo70.gif

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Yep, you're right as usual. No one dare argue with your logic.Have a good evening, Joe :-beerchug

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Joe,In the past few months there have been about 6 attempted cockpit intrusions, all by mental cases, not terrorists. And a couple days ago a mentally-challenged person wanted to tour the cockpit and was flattened and busted just for asking.So let's shoot them all, right?God help you if you ask for another bag of peanuts on the pilots' bad day.The fact is, the pilots should, under no circumstances, leave the cockpit. Why aren't we doing something more about making sure "terrorists" don't even make it to the plane? And once on, what will they have? Batons? Grenades? Rocket Launchers?Leave it to Americans to always want the John Wayne approach instead of making sure there's security in the first place. Has El Al EVER been hijacked? No. Was the shooting at LAX on the El Al concourse? No. Did the Egyptian guy with the American Residency Papers belong to a terrorist cell? No. Did he get onto an aircraft? No.What happens when the pilots shoot the mental cases, or the mentally-challenged unarmed person? Good-bye pilot. Good-bye bankrupt airline. In no cases recently did anyone succeed in actually getting control of the aircraft, or even get fully into the cockpit (and the guy wouldn't have ever made it as far as he did if the pilots had locked the lower locks). Secondly, if all the airlines would pull their heads out, they need to follow Jet Blue's lead and get cameras into the cabins. $180,000 busses have them, why not 240 million dollar airplanes?No matter how fast a bullet is, radio is still faster. Observe, asses, determine, call, land.Guns are not now, nor have they ever been a solution. There's a reason we got rid of the Wild West.

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concerned with whats in the baggage compartment. We've (sort of, minimally) addressed who gets on the plane and who gets in the cockpit, but I am really worried about the baggage issue. Unmatched bags still travel...a lot (just check out the unclaimed baggage area at any airport, scary)When you think about it, the commandeering of an airliner is probably the last choice of the bad guys now...because passengers are ready and willing to fight back, in numbers, which makes it a poor choice/risk for the terrorists. And other measures already in place. There are MANY other options for them to cause destruction and death, they are imaginative and they will hit us in an unexpected fashion, as before...blindside...They're evil, nasty, and deserve the lowest level of Hell, but they're not completely stupid. They've shown that.IMHO...We're fighting the last war already. Dave

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No of course nobody tried to hijack a military aircraft. Because for terrorists, it wouldn't have anywhere near as much media impact as a civilian aircraft hijack. Terrorism lives for media exposure. That's the whole point of it. It would be more dangerous for terrorists as well. Civilians are easier to detain than trained soldiers. The powers-that-be would also think twice before shooting down a civilian liner, not necessarily a military aircraft.Yes, having guns would deter some from even attempting a hijack, but as someone posted above, what if the hijackers decide to kill the passengers one by one until the pilot opens the cockpit door ? How many dead passengers is a pilot able to stand until he does what he is asked ? Of course, as a pilot, you can open the door and try to shoot him before he does shoot you, but if you miss...__________________________________________________________EricList of all airlines, aircraft manufacturers and aircraft types recognised by ATC:http://www.geocities.com/eric_2203/orhttp://ftp.avsim.com/library/esearch.php?D...atID=fs2002misc

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Eric,All good points.The one thing that everyone seems to be missing is that if pilots have guns, then the hijackers, knowing the pilots have guns, would not be deterred, they'd simply open fire on everybody and kill everyone. These days they're hoping to die anyway, so how is giving pilots guns going to stop anything?Pilots can't fly and leave the cockpit to shoot people, and with secure doors the cockpit can't be breached in any case, so pilots have no reason to have guns.When the pilots don't have guns, at least the hijackers feel they can intimidate everyone, thus in all probability getting their way (it's the way it used to be before the jerks decided to fly into buildings).Air Marshals do a really good job. When we had them after the spate of hijackings in the 70's, hijackings dropped to almost nothing. The Marshals were pulled and hijackings soared.Let the trained professional Law officers do their job, and let the trained professional pilots do theirs.There's just no sane, reasonable reason to give pilots guns. Give flight attendants mace and far better self-defense training. Flight Attendants are the first line of defense on the plane. I don't see anyone saying to give them guns.Also these days the passengers have changed from passive victims to taking charge when incidents happen (passengers have stopped numerous people lately).But according to some, hell, let's just arm everyone, even the passengers, and let God sort them all out.It's sick thinking. We're supposed to be far more civilized than that. If we're not, then we're no different from those who slammed planes into buildings.

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Remember, pilot's are not all knowing god's they are just as dumb or as smart as the general population. As an airline mechanic who deal's with this segment of the population on a daily basis, I can safely say I wouldnt trust some of them with an empty water pistol! Sorry for the rant! Iam mad at some of our pilot's for the recent wave of main wheel's getting flat spotted on landing. They are not easy to break down!

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