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Old August 18, 2005, 07:39 AM   #1
marshall2
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Tom Clancy's hijacked airliner

This is an excerpt from Rainbow Six, the chapter near the beginning of the novel, where special ops passengers take back an airliner from the hijackers. Very unrealistic, but some interesting lessons there anyway:

http://www.mouseguns.com/clancy.htm
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Old August 18, 2005, 08:07 PM   #2
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If you ever have the chance to do cqc training in a mock airliner don't pass it up it will be the best trainning you could ever imagine. It is great in two parts one the shooting, moving and communicating in the close, compact aisles and seats, and also the fact that there are by standards to watch out for. It was the hardest challenge of any trainning i have ever done and each time is a great test of team work and also, how you are on an individual basis.
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Old August 19, 2005, 06:55 PM   #3
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Clancy's novels

That chapter is a great reason why Police should be allowed to be armed ALL the time, EVERYWHERE. Including aircraft.
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Old August 20, 2005, 08:06 AM   #4
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tshadow6, why just police, why shouldn't everyone be allowed to be armed everywhere incl. airliners?
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Old August 20, 2005, 08:15 AM   #5
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There are a few places where it makes sense to only allow law enforcement to carry. Schools and courts come to mind. As far as airliners go I think it'd be best to let each airline make its' own rules on that. Second ammendment or not any company has the right to bar you from entering a building or stepping aboard a vehicle of theirs if they don't want firearms on it. I highly doubt that any airline would allow passengers to carry guns if they had the choice. I think allowing pilots would be hit or miss among the various airlines but I would imagine they'd allow armed air marshalls.
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Old August 20, 2005, 08:23 AM   #6
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start with police, ...

Let me ammend my statement. The trick to getting national concealed carry reciprocity is in place, it's called Act 218. 218 allows police to carry nationwide. Next, we have to get that extended to include carrying on aircraft. With 218 in place, the door is cracked open to begin lobbying for national recognition of CCW licenses. Everyone with a valid driver license may drive a vehicle anywhere in this country, why not the same recognition for our concealed permits? Both documents are issued by the state, and require proof of training. Any NRA members that know of any bills going through Congress on this subject, let me know.
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Old August 20, 2005, 10:24 AM   #7
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While that's understandable, I would still never fly on any airline that allowed civilians to carry firearms on board. A single bullet piercing a bulkhead can take down an airliner. The pilots should be allowed to carry assuming they recieve the proper training; an armed cop would worry me but not nearly as much as a civilian. Even if by some miracle the federal government recognizes a national right to carry, I still would be in favor of airlines barring any firearms on board (not in luggage, of course, just in the cabin).


edit: one note, just because a license of any kind is issued by the state does NOT mean that the person carrying said license is properly trained

How long did your driving test take? The test for my Florida license took fifteen minutes and I could've passed it with a mere couple of hours behind the wheel. There are people who can't even read english, and thus road signs, who are given a license to drive.

Just because the state says someone can do perform a task safely does not mean it's true. Is all CCW training the same in every state?
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Old August 20, 2005, 04:06 PM   #8
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While the debate whether CCW permitees should be allowed to carry onboard an airliner can go on, let me set a myth to rest... or at least beat it back a bit.

Since when has Hollywood gotten much right about anything? Especially about firearms?!? One round from a handgum will NOT bring down an airliner. Heck, several rounds out of a handgun won't bring one down. It will NOT cause an explosive decompression and drag a fat, megalomaniacal, criminal genius out the window! (sorry Mr. Bond) Fire off a 9mm at the side or a window and you will see... a 9mm hole and a bit of a sucking sound. A .45 and you will get a .45 inch hole... etc. There are several "holes" scattered about all airliners that are bigger that the hole from a .500 S&W! Unless the bullet happened to punture just the wrong system not much would happen to the aircraft and all airlines have multiple systems backing eachother up. No sudden loss of control because Steve Segal's trusty 9mm went off pointing in the wrong direction. A DHL Airbus A310 airliner was hit by a MANPAD and managed to land without any injuries or further damage. Shooting a firearm within an airliner will not cause any of the Hollywood situations. The problem isn't the hardware of the aircraft but the software of the humans. As Sean Connery playing Capt. Ramius said in "Hunt for Red October",,, "Remember, Ryan. There are things in there which don't take kindly to bullets."

Mythbusters did a "bang up job" on this myth a while back. I'll add my 17,000+ hours flying the things around, plus a little of law enforcement experiance to confirm their "findings".

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Old August 20, 2005, 04:49 PM   #9
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So a pressurized cabin at thirty thousand feet will react to a hole in the bulkhead in exactly the same way as it would if it was on the ground?
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Old August 20, 2005, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
A single bullet piercing a bulkhead can take down an airliner.
Absolutely incorrect.
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So a pressurized cabin at thirty thousand feet will react to a hole in the bulkhead in exactly the same way as it would if it was on the ground?
If the inside to outside pressure differential is the same as it would be at altitude (as it was in the test) then YES.

There have been cases when entire sections of fuselage have blown out of airliners at altitude. In the one case I can remember offhand, the only casualties were the people sitting in the seats that were attached to the section of the aircraft that fell off and one flight attendant. The plane landed safely.

Planes are a good deal more resistant to damage than most people think. You could turn the passenger cabin into swiss cheese with the only losses being the people who were actually hit with bullets.
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Old August 20, 2005, 06:57 PM   #11
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Hm... let me see... Pressure differentual on the ground - Zero psi. Pressure differentual at 30,000 - 7.6 psi. On the ground with a 9mm hole in the side... no sucking sound. At 30.000... sucking sound. Yes, there is a difference.

The aft outflow valve on a Boeing 737-300 is about 16 inches wide and can open to about 8 inches across. The forward outflow valve is about 1 inch in diameter. The sink drains in the side are about 1/4 x 1/2 inch. My point is that there are already several "holes" in the aircraft, adding a couple more small holes will not affect the aircraft's intergrity. A Boeing 747 can loss a passenger window at cruise altitude and the pressurization system will be able to keep the cabin pressurized to a normal level... it would, however tend to muss up anyone's hair style that is sitting within a couple of rows. I have had door seals on airliners blow and all that happens is a high pitched screech.

Hollywood has a cop shoot a suspect with a .40S&W and the suspect does a complete flip and flies through the plate glass window 20 feet away. Having the suspect respond normally of maybe dropping to his knees and then lying down just isn't as dramatic. Nor is the more realistic scene of the bad guy/wacko firing off a round off in a cabin and... nothing happens. Darn it!!!
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Old August 20, 2005, 06:58 PM   #12
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the difference is only 10psi, would that not be at all significant?

edit: guess I stand corrected
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Old August 20, 2005, 06:58 PM   #13
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Yes, there is a difference.
The test was constructed so that the pressure differential was identical to what it would be at altitude.

Redworm,

PSI = POUNDS per SQUARE INCH.

10 psi isn't much if you're only talking about one square inch, it's a lot of you're talking about hundreds of square feet of fuselage area. For every square foot of fuselage 10psi means that there are over 1400 pounds of pressure pushing outward.
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Old August 20, 2005, 07:22 PM   #14
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One of the incidents with the top of the cabin comming off was an Aloha Airlines B737-200 (another was a United B747-100 which lost it's fwd cargo door) which had suffered metal fatique and the top ripped off while at 24,000. The top ripped away from the flight deck door to about row 7. The only fatality was the number 2 flight attendant (Clarabelle Lansing) who was standing in the asile at about row 5. The number 1 flight attendant had been standing just aft of the flight deck door and had been knocked to the floor and badly hurt by the flight deck door and the roof ripped away, but had not been dragged anywhere. The number 3 flight attendant, who was standing in the asile at about row 15, was knocked to the floor, but not dragged towards the opening. I have the accident report here and the tear which started the catastrophic failure of the cabin was about 6 feet long and maybe 1/4 inch wide. This crack was apparently there for several flights prior to the failure. But, being along the top, was not readily visable from the ground when the pilots performed their preflight inspections. By the way, Boeing completely redesigned the way that they make the fuselage of their aircraft since and all exsisting 737's of that vintage have been heavily modified. I flew a sister ship of the Aloha bird, it had so many rivets and plates that it looked more like an iron ship than an aluminium airplane!
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Old August 24, 2005, 02:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
There are a few places where it makes sense to only allow law enforcement to carry. Schools and courts come to mind
The only armed folk were police folk at Columbine. Fat lot of good that did.
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Old August 24, 2005, 08:06 AM   #16
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Perhaps I should clarify. The only visitors of a school with guns should be law enforcement. Give teachers that want it the proper training and it changes the argument a bit (although it'd be a stupid idea to have a teacher with a gun that can't keep the students from taking the weapon). I dunno, what do you guys think of it? Kinda of a strange subject, really...kids should be protected but arming teachers and students seems like a ridiculously stupid idea.


Ah, another reason education should be privatized. Private schools can have a security force of their choosing and allow or ban whatever types of weapons they like. Despite being corrected on a bullet being able to take down a plane, I still wouldn't fly on any airline that allowed guns in the cabin for anyone but pilots and air marshalls.


edit: I also find it funny that Columbine is the only school ever mentioned when school shootings come to mind...it wasn't the first nor the most recent nor even the most horrific. Why does it stick out in people's minds? Because rich white kids died as opposed to lower class blacks and hispanics.
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Old August 24, 2005, 09:24 AM   #17
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Reading that excerpt reminds me why I don't buy Clancy's books anymore. His books take so long to get through because he puts in so much unnecessary crap. I guess his books would be a whole lot smaller if it was just action, action, action. In the end, the good guys always win despite rediculous odds. Its kind of like Rambo, the one man army!

Anyways, For you guys pushing for anyone being allowed to carry on a plane, get real. You are assuming that everyone is a level headed law abiding citizen. What if the bad guys are the only ones carrying? What if there aren't enough good guys carrying? What if there is a shoot out and a bunch of people get killed, including the good guys? What if the terrorist then take control of the airplane and then ram it into another building FULL of people. Don't forget how lucky we were that 9/11 occured early in the morning rather than later in the day. The death toll would have been at least 10 times greater. I know how gung ho we can be about pushing for our right to carry but airplanes are a bad idea.

You guys are assuming that all cops are good guys. What about sleeper cells or converts? Don't forget about the US soldier who threw a grenade in the mess hall in Iraq. Besides, how many cops can hit the broad side of a barn? Just because they have a gun doesn't mean they know how to use it. If they are SWAT or happen to be a gun enthusiast, then maybe. But how would you go about approving one and not the other? It is much better to have a specially trained sky marshall who is carry frangible ammo to minimize incidental damage.

Like it or not, there really are places better off where guns are restricted. If you don't like it, you can drive. Just make sure to avoid the states that don't have reciprocity for your permit. You might find that it is rather hard to get around. Forget about flying internationally since most countries don't have such liberal gun policies. I carry a mini Maglight or a Surefire L2, either of which can be used as a kubaton in a pinch. I travel quite a bit and have had no problems carrying either. Airlines prohibit pretty much everything else including firarms, knives of any length (pretty much any sharp object including screwdrivers), and defensive sprays such as mace and pepper spray. I don't know about Tazers but I would assume those are also prohibited. If you are really that concerned, don't fly.
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Old August 24, 2005, 09:39 AM   #18
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Schools

In Utah where I live, CCW holders CAN carry into public schools.I beleive this is a very good thing. If someone comes into my kids school and starts shooting, I hope every visiting parent is carrying, along with all of the teachers. When was the last school shooting you heard about where the perp was a visiting CCW holder ? (even if the victims were "poor blacks and hispanics")
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Old August 24, 2005, 11:15 AM   #19
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Despite being corrected on a bullet being able to take down a plane, I still wouldn't fly on any airline that allowed guns in the cabin for anyone but pilots and air marshalls.
__________________________________


What makes some guy wearing a costume (airline pilot) or a piece of tin on his shirt so trustworthy and incapable of doing wrong thereby granting him some special priviledge to carry a gun inside an aircraft? What if the late Yasser Arafat walked in there wearing a mailing tube that looked like an rpg (the average joe won't know the difference..trust me.) slung across his back with a red tennis ball grenade, some belts of ammo with plastic dummy rounds around his neck and a BIG honkin wooden hilt that looked like a ceremonial viking sword? And all while in his traditional headgear. Would that be reason to run away screaming like a little girl with eyes and mouth wide open and pee going down the pant leg just because he wore a dish cleanin rag on his head?

Just curious. How DO you use those kubatons anyway? You cant really give someone a good wallop over the head with it since its so small and made of all things a really light aluminum alloy. Its not sharp and has those nice little ridges for better grip. A $100 bill wrapped around it works better for this. I see it used as one of those 'speed passes' used at the gas station where you touch or wave the thing near the pump. Do you say magic words too?
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Old August 24, 2005, 11:29 AM   #20
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I remember seeing a decompression experiment on Mythbusters. Gunfire won't take down an airplane.


Mythbusters
Episode 10
Feb. 22, 2004
"Explosive Decompression, Frog Giggin', Rear Axle"
Explosive decompression can occur when a bullet is fired through the fuselage of a pressurized airplane.
Busted
The pressure is not high enough and the hole is too small. Even when a sizable hole was blown in the fuselage with explosives, the rush of air was nowhere near powerful enough to suck Buster out of the hole.

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Old August 24, 2005, 11:39 AM   #21
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Law Enforcement on Commercial Airliners.

You'd be suprised how many commercial flights have some sort of law enforcement on them.

I have a friend who is an armed non-military DoD investigator. He recently flew from the east coast to vacation back home and visit me. He said the usual procedure is to board him and other federal LE onto the plant about 15 minutes before anybody else and he will proceed to the cockpit to introduce himself to the crew and other armed agents there. Then they can go over seating assignments, familiarizing themselves with each of their capabilities and the proper procedures in case of any emergencies. On his outbound flight, there were 2 air marshalls, a few FBI, a DEA agent, a few other armed miscellaneous federal LE (ATF, US Postal Inspector(!), Secret Service.) The said there were almost a dozen armed feds on board that flight!

You just never know...

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Old August 24, 2005, 11:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
US Postal Inspector(!)
I feel safer already knowing that an armed postman might be on an airplane...

I knew there was a reason why I choose to drive.
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Old August 24, 2005, 08:38 PM   #23
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What makes some guy wearing a costume (airline pilot) or a piece of tin on his shirt so trustworthy and incapable of doing wrong thereby granting him some special priviledge to carry a gun inside an aircraft?
Umm... If he's not trustworthy, he can already kill everyone on board anyway--AND make it look like an accident.
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What if the bad guys are the only ones carrying? What if there aren't enough good guys carrying? What if there is a shoot out and a bunch of people get killed, including the good guys?
We already know what happens then. The hijackers take control of the plane and do whatever they want. Except they don't need guns--little knives were enough. And good guys get killed whether they're on an airplane or not and whether firearms are used to do it or not. People were obviously killed in 911 even though none of the terrorists had firearms.
Quote:
What if the terrorist then take control of the airplane and then ram it into another building FULL of people.
After 911, hijacking doctrine is for the military to shoot down an airplane that appears to be hijacked (deviates from flight pattern toward possible targets and won't respond to HINTS to behave.)

When the government says that their intended response to a hijacking is to shoot down the plane, killing everyone aboard, I fail to see what could happen INSIDE the airplane that could be worse than that. If the hijackers win, the plane gets shot down and everyone dies. If the good guys win and overcome the hijackers, you've come out ahead if even one passenger survives.
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Old August 24, 2005, 11:25 PM   #24
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What makes some guy wearing a costume (airline pilot) or a piece of tin on his shirt so trustworthy and incapable of doing wrong thereby granting him some special priviledge to carry a gun inside an aircraft?
First of all I think a little respect is due not only to the men and women that fly those machines and have the lives of hundreds of people every day in their hands as well as the men and women that make a living putting their lives on the line to protect you and your family so they can wear that little piece of tin. But that's just me..


The pilot and copilot should be allowed to defend themselves in the cabin. The safety of the flight deck is by far the most important factor. An air marshall is typically a federal agent with a good amount of training. How many typical CCW holders know how to handle a standoff in a crowded, enclosed space with hundreds of innocent civilians? Unless one is trained in dealing with a situation like that I'd much rather not have them flying with a gun.

See I have no problem with people being able to carry in public, but a plane is private property. A school is government property and that's the major failing to me in the first place; the point is a private school would be able to keep a proper security force. Truth be told I have my doubts about anything that Utah allows.

How many teachers across the nation are qualified to carry guns? Think about all the teachers that you went through...how many of them could easily be overpowered and disarmed? No, I'd rather keep guns away from children directly and indirectly. The problems with school shootings is not that teachers aren't armed; every single school shooting can be blamed on ****ty parents, simple as that.

If someone can describe how allowing guns on school property can help then I'd like to hear it. Truth be told if I owned a business I would certainly forbid any customer/client to enter while carrying.
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Old August 24, 2005, 11:31 PM   #25
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