How do we make commercial aviation more secure? - RC Groups
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Sep 14, 2001, 02:49 AM
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ShinySteelRobot's Avatar

How do we make commercial aviation more secure?

How do we make commercial aviation more secure?

Some folks are suggesting that we put an armed "sky marshall" on each flight (clarification for those outside the USA: In America, marshalls are federal police officers who have the authority to cross state lines).

Others say we should arm all domestic pilots (would every pilot be okay with this?).

Another problem is airport security. Did I hear on the news that each airline hires its own security staff? And that an airport security badge which allows access to all areas of an airport is as easy to fake as a driver's license?

Perhaps we ought to create a new federal agency that's responsible for security for all airlines at all American airports. Each employee of this hypothetical agency would have his/her background checked by the FBI. Also, their security credentials should be designed so as to be nearly impossible to forge.

A couple of security holes have now been closed in the past few days: It used to be that you could carry a 4" knife onto a plane. Also, it used to be that anyone could pass through security and go right up to the departure gate, regardless of whether s/he had a ticket.

Anyone have any ideas/comments about how to make us feel safe about flying again?
Sep 14, 2001, 03:35 AM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
I think you've suggested a few really good ideas. I personally would feel safer if we had undercover armed marshals on board. Security in US airports as a whole is gonna have to get very tight. I remember going through Frankfurt and being interrogated because I had a few rechargeable flight packs in my carry on which didn't fit into the rest of my check in luggage. Armed guards escorted me to the room with their explosives sniffing machine. They didn't take any chances because so much is at stake. I never felt one bit of animosity towards the situation because I knew that that kind of security keeps me safe along with everybody else who passes through those gates. US citizens are always bitching about infringement on civil liberties but nobody seems to notice that measures are taken for their own safety. People have to get their heads out of their butts and realize that. If it takes me an extra hour to get through an airport and onto a plane I don't care for a second if it means a safer trip.
Sep 14, 2001, 03:39 AM
3D Toy Designer
MicroRotors's Avatar


I was thinking about this one tonight.

And I think that the marshalls will cost a fortune to implement on our skyways plus they will be the first one to get it if something happens.

Also will they be packin heat? If so there is the chance that they will have to give up there gun in a hostage situation there by giving a gun to the hijacker,,, Not good!

The security being beefed up is an ok Idea, but it will get old real fast and I think my freedom is getting squeezed out of me with each passing day. I think the security we had was just fine if we try something different like this;

EVERY plane be equiped with a radio control system that when there is any trouble the pilot or anyone in the cockpit can hit a switch and the controls are renderd usless from the plane. Imediatlly a signal is sent to a satilite and it determans the planes position, amount of fuel it has to fly on, and the nearest or safest least populated airport which ever makes more sence and it flys the plane in all by itself. The doors canot open from the inside so it is now a prison untill he is let out with the passangers.

All the pilot has to do is go sit in back with the passangers and enjoy a smoke and watch the inflight movie as he canot revers the situation as it has to be reset on the ground by the ground crew.

The plane flys on electronics any how so its just a matter of tying in with the main computer on the plane. We can lauch a couple of satilites up in space or add to exsiting ones for the controllers to operate the whole thing.

Now I know you are saying well what if theres a glitch,,,,

Well the secondary system is someone sitting in a transmitterd simulater. The biggest and coolest RC system.

The cost will be less than the damage we sufferd at the WTC.
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Sep 14, 2001, 03:47 AM
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ShinySteelRobot's Avatar
Here's a link to an interesting article...we could learn a thing or two from our allies in the Middle East...

"Since its security system of vigorous screening went into effect following the hijacking of an El Al flight to Algeria in 1968, no El Al plane has been successfully hijacked."
Sep 14, 2001, 05:08 AM
ChrisP's Avatar
A jewish colleague of mine once said that he always carried an anti-hijack kit in his briefcase when he flew. I asked him what this comprised of and he answered :

'A fez and a stick-on plastic foreskin'.

I thought this was VERY funny !
Sep 14, 2001, 10:31 AM
dorysch1's Avatar


I thought of the rc solution as well but it would be difficult and very expensive to update this many planes with that technology the planes were all hijacked with small knives, I think that haveing the pilots securely locked in their cabins would be a great deterent a highjacker isn't going to bring a bomb onto a plane if his demands cannot be physically met and blowing up the plane would be pointless to him he could just have sent the bomb on the plane without him if that were the intentions, also a mild sleeping gas could be released to the passenger area at any sign of trouble rendering all people aft of the flight cabin useless until it reaches its intended destination?
Sep 14, 2001, 11:09 AM
The Bent Pin
JCastle's Avatar
I think I would start by limiting all carry on luggage to one bag no larger than a purse. Everything would be a lot easier to search and control that way.
Sep 14, 2001, 11:16 AM
Registered User
Search all baggage, no carry on, Fly NUDE!!!! It might be difficult but never boring

Sep 14, 2001, 11:17 AM
Tacoma, WA, USA
William A's Avatar
Give everyone on board their own pistol.
Sep 14, 2001, 12:00 PM
Registered User
gerico's Avatar
Metal doors on the flight cabin with video feeds allowing the flight crew to visually monitor every part of the cabin.

There are a variety of things tha can be done via a "panic switch" to both alert authorities and freeze the autopilot on it's original destination.

Sky marshalls are an ok idea but it does not go far enough. Air piracy needs to be classified as an act of war and dealt with under the war powers act. A single cowboy cop w/ a 6 shooter isn't my idea of realistic deterrent. We have a large number of highly trained, seasoned people in the military. They're called special forces, seals, rangers, delta force, etc. With a bit of additional training these individuals could become very effective sky marshalls. They should remain on active duty w/ the armed forces which, as I recall, are paid for out of our taxes. 2 or more on each aircraft would be pretty effective against a few guys with knives. Wouldn't adversely affect any law abiding travelers freedoms at all and only costs the airlines the seats. If any hijackers survive they should go to military prison (via war powers act). I suspect aircraft hijacking would quickly become pretty unpopular.

Sep 14, 2001, 12:29 PM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
After having flown on bizzness trips throught the past few years,
security is way laxed. For one, the x-ray machines are old.
Two, where do they get the old folks to adminster them?
Their paid next to nothing. What is needed is a uniform system
at all airports. Get trained people to administer. Then question comes up, "who is going to pay for all this stuff and who would
be responsible"? Either the FAA or the Attourney General's office.
Airlines pay or, just increase the ticket cost by 5 or 10 bux. One of my main beefs is the carry on luggage thing. If it was up to me, there would be none. Got involved in an argument once when this idiot put this huge duffel bag above my seat in the overhead and went and sat in the back of the plane. Hence, no place to put my coat. I threw the duffel in aisle and put my coat in. This guy comes from the back b*tchin up a storm. I called a flight attendant and they made the guy check his bag because it was oversized. This is what I mean about having lax security.
And if anyone complains about taking too long to board or it takes too long to get thru security, just show 'em a picture of
the jets crashing into the world trade center.

Sep 14, 2001, 12:39 PM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
Originally posted by LuckyArmpit
Got involved in an argument once when this idiot put this huge duffel bag above my seat in the overhead and went and sat in the back of the plane. Hence, no place to put my coat. I threw the duffel in aisle and put my coat in. This guy comes from the back b*tchin up a storm.

Lucky he wasn't packing a piece, as has been suggested on more than one forum as a solution to hijacking.

I know exactly what you mean though.


Sep 14, 2001, 12:49 PM
Ascended Master
Sparky Paul's Avatar
I would be surprised if a few terrorists could effect a sucessful hijacking anytime in the near future, with this example so clear as to the results of tame submission.
The men who prevented the 4th plane from getting to DC did the right thing. Knife wielding won't be enough anymore to prevent the passengers from attacking the terrorists.
But the primary fix has to be prevention of access to the cockpit. No door at all!*
What happens in the passenger cabin can't affect the flight.
And if things get really bad, the FAA must have the ability to turn off aircraft systems.. such as the motors.. remotely.
Accept the loss of the plane versus the much greater loss had it been used sucessfully.
*Pilots carry their own lunches and coffee.. there's a camp potty in the corner..
Sep 14, 2001, 02:13 PM
Registered User
But Sparky should the pilots still be NUDE in their little cockpit cell as well as everyone else on the rest of the plane? I think so...well it's the weekend isn't it

Sep 14, 2001, 02:28 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
I really like the autopilot one- just have a switch that the autopilot is flying the plane. Basically make sure it can't be overridden or can only be overridden with a command from outside the airplane. Of course whatever system that you come up with is still vulnerable to a high tech hack approach, but that's hard to do technically.

This has lots of virtues- it's economical and difficult to defeat. Of course hijackers would be forced to grab commuter airplanes instead, but they don't take out buildings.

I'm not real impressed with the idea of beefing up security- it'll prove counterproductive. Air travel is still safer than anything else- make it too much pain, and people will choose another form of transportation which is riskier. Similar problem with marshalls- you'll just increase the cost of air travel. Why not just arm stewardesses with Tasers- i.e. some type of non-lethal firearm.? Or how about tranquilizer guns? You really don't want people carrying firearms on airplanes- explosive decompression is not fun.

Unfortunately, we are going to have to start x-raying luggage (checked and carry on) to prevent the random suicide attack where the target is just the plane and passengers. I don't see a way around this.