RE: A friend's return flight

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 16:11:20 MDT

jeff davis wrote,
> I can't vouch for the authenticity of the followin,
> but I choose to believe it genuine, as it reinforces
> my experience that people have a deep wellspring of
> courage, common sense, and compassion.

This sounds like an urban legend to me. I choose not to believe this. Any
pilot that says this stuff would be instantly fired.

A pilot would never scare passengers by reminding them that flying is
dangerous or telling them that they can't get any help from outside. There
are rules against discussing bombs and weapons, even in the hypothetical.
This just scares the passengers.

A pilot would never say that there were no new security rules for inside the
plane after the doors closed. There are tons of new rules both inside and
outside the plane. A passenger making up this story might not know that,
but a pilot would never be so uninformed.

A pilot would never talk about a hypothetical bomb threat, would never say
that it is not possible to fight back against a bomb, and would never say
that once the doors closed they could not get security help. Not only does
this scare the passengers, but it implies that security is not going to be
able to help them. Talking about how helpless security procedures are is
not a good security procedure.

Finally, a pilot would never give up their authority in advance by telling
passengers to take matters into their own hands if the flight is threatened.
Even in a terrorist situation, a pilot wants the crew to handle things.
They do not want random passengers trying random acts. The details about
how to use pillows to block knives, how to hold a blanket over the
terrorists' head, and specifically the idea that passengers would have to
hold down the terrorists by themselves while the pilots land the plane is
even more absurd.

This is a nice story, but it is clearly written from a passenger's point of
view. Pilots don't think like this. The details are wrong in ways that a
passenger might mistake, but a pilot wouldn't. The plans of how to deal
with the terrorists, with the passengers saving the crew who does nothing,
is a passenger's fantasy but a pilot's nightmare. No pilot would tell
passengers to get ready to risk their lives because the crew won't protect
them. This nice story just doesn't make sense from the pilot's point of

Harvey Newstrom <> <>

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