imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

HOMELAND INSECURITY Armed pilots banned 2 months before 9-11

by C/O Diogenes Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 12:03 AM

A 40-year-old Federal Aviation Administration rule that allowed commercial airline pilots to be armed was inexplicably rescinded two months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leading aviation security experts to lay at least some of the blame for the tragedy at the feet of airlines, none of which took advantage of the privilege while it was in effect.

This is a WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.

To view this item online, visit

Thursday, May 16, 2002



HOMELAND INSECURITY Armed pilots banned 2 months before 9-11

FAA rescinded rule allowing guns in cockpits just before terror attacks


Posted: May 16, 2002

1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty


© 2002

A 40-year-old Federal Aviation Administration rule that allowed commercial airline pilots to be armed was inexplicably rescinded two months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leading aviation security experts to lay at least some of the blame for the tragedy at the feet of airlines, none of which took advantage of the privilege while it was in effect.

The FAA adopted the armed pilot rule shortly after the Cuban missile crisis of 1961 to help prevent hijackings of American airliners. It remained in effect for four decades.

But in July 2001 – just two months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks – the rule was rescinded.

According to FAA officials, the rule required airlines to apply to the agency for their pilots to carry guns in cockpits and for the airlines to put pilots through an agency-approved firearms training course.

The aviation agency said, however, that throughout the life of the rule not a single U.S. air carrier took advantage of it, effectively rendering it "moot," according to one agency official.

"In the past, FAA regulations permitted pilots to carry firearms in the cockpit provided they completed an FAA-approved training program and were trained properly by the airlines," FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto told WND in a voice-mail message. "That was never put into effect because no requests for those training programs were ever made. …"

Takemoto said the newly created Transportation Security Administration is now responsible for deciding whether pilots can be armed. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act signed into law by President Bush Nov. 19, 2001, has a provision allowing pilots to be armed, but the law does not mandate that the right be granted.

The FAA failed to return numerous follow-up phone calls requesting to know why the rule was rescinded, who was responsible for the decision, whether a particular incident spurred the decision and whether the aviation agency believes the airlines share some culpability for never taking advantage of it in the first place.

Some security experts speculate that had airlines taken advantage of the rule, it likely would not have been rescinded by the FAA. And if it had been implemented by the airlines, they say, the Sept. 11 hijackings – which led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. – may never have occurred.

"It's hard to say," said Capt. Robert Lambert, a commercial airline pilot and founding board member of the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance. But in lieu of the attacks, he said he can't understand why airlines still refuse to support arming their pilots.

"We're convinced there was a myriad of reasons why the airlines refused to allow pilots to be armed" before the attacks, said Lambert. He said the airlines were likely concerned about liability issues, but "of course, they have a lot of liabilities after Sept. 11, too," he added.

"For airlines not to trust us [with a gun in the cockpit] is totally ludicrous," he said.

Other pilot advocacy groups have said arming pilots as a "last line of defense" against terrorist hijackings is a better option – even if some innocent passengers are inadvertently harmed – than having Air Force fighters blow entire airliners out of the sky, assuredly killing all aboard.

Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the TSA, said his agency wasn't aware of the FAA's former rule. But when asked if it could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks, he refused to speculate, saying, "I won't go there."

Melendez also refused to say when or whether the agency would sanction arming pilots. "That will be announced in due time," he told WND.

Airlines mum

None of the airlines WND attempted to contact for this story returned inquiries asking whether they believed they shared some culpability for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Bill Mellon, a spokesman for Northwest Airlines, initially responded but, after repeatedly declining to answer pointed questions as to why his company never applied for the FAA program, referred further inquiries to an airline industry group.

"Those are industry questions," he told WorldNetDaily in an e-mail response, "not Northwest Airline questions," referring the newssite to the Air Transport Association, or ATA, the industry's primary trade group.

But the ATA, along with America West, American Airlines and United Airlines, also failed to respond to numerous requests for comment.

APSA's Lambert said the ATA, which purports to speak for the entire airline industry, has "historically been against arming pilots," a position he said was "hard to understand."

According to published statements, the ATA said it has traditionally supported "more federal air marshals" instead.

Congressional help?

Some lawmakers are working to implement new legislation that would require federal officials to "deputize" airline pilots and allow them to be armed.

The House Transportation Committee is considering H.R. 4635, called the "Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act," which would make volunteer pilots Federal Flight Deck Officers, according to a published summary.

The bill would mandate – not simply ask – the "Under Secretary of Transportation for Security to … deputize qualified volunteer pilots as federal law enforcement officers to defend the cockpits of commercial aircraft in flight against acts of criminal violence or air piracy."

The program would go into effect 90 days after it is signed into law, and would be implemented in conjunction with the federal air marshal program.

The head of the Center for the Study of Crime, Randall N. Herrst – an attorney by trade who said his arguments have been used successfully in anti-gun control cases – disagrees with the government's intention of placing sky marshals on each flight. He says arming pilots would be a better, more cost-effective and faster plan to implement.

"At 35,000 flights a day, even if some marshals can cover two round trips per day on short routes, we will still need 90,000 sky marshals if we want at least two on each flight," taking into account days off, vacations and sick days, he said.

He agreed that "there are no guarantees" armed pilots would have prevented the Sept. 11 hijackings. But he added: "That is the only course of action that could have stopped the attacks."

Herrst said arming pilots would amount to a military principle known as "defense in depth."

"If you have a choice," he says, "you never depend on a single line of defense – you always have a second, third and fourth line as well."

He is also suspicious that despite Sept. 11, lawmakers, bureaucrats and the White House are still dragging their feet over arming pilots.

"The reasons must be purely political," he told WND. "[But] if there is another major round of hijackings, it will probably bankrupt the entire U.S. airline industry."

"People are so obsessed with banning guns that they are willing to sacrifice human lives and a huge portion of our economy to political correctness," he added.

Related stories:

20,000 pilots demand firearms in cockpits

Pilots' group petitions to arm air crews

Pilot groups unified on arming air crews

Senator calls for arming pilots

Ridge comment on arming pilots out of step

Pilots' group wants crews to be armed

Expert: 'No substitute' for firearms on aircraft

FAA seeks input on arming pilots

Bill would ensure pilots' right to be armed

Reform Party: Pilots should be armed

Boot camp for pilots?

Pilots offered free firearms training

Captains to FAA: Focus on cockpits

Related Special Offers:

'The 7 Myths of Gun Control'

Get the ultimate answer book on Second Amendment rights

'On the Firing Line'

Larry Pratt's provocative analysis of 2nd Amendment


Jon E. Dougherty is a staff reporter and columnist for WorldNetDaily.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Very... Diogenes Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 12:04 AM
Coincidence I think Rational Normal Person Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 12:29 AM
I think a valid sore point shared by many... Sheepdog Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 2:06 AM
The Tree of Liberty... Diogenes Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 2:10 AM
You know... Sheepdog Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 2:24 AM
I agree... Diogenes Tuesday, Jun. 24, 2003 at 1:06 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy