Weapons & planes don't mix, so what could you use to take back a Hijacked flight?


March 6, 2009, 10:39 PM
I'm new to THR, so feel free to move on if this thread is overdone. I travel quite a bit. Prior to 9/11, I always carried a knife on the plane & really cannot stand to be weaponless when traveling. What legal, everyday items would you consider for defense on a plane? Are sharp, ruggedly made pens legal? Sharp plastic combs?

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March 6, 2009, 10:47 PM
Laptops could make good projectiles. seat cushions are removable, could be used as a shield to protect against sharp objects the assailants may be using to hijack. Could be used to shield your person while charging the assailant. IDK, just some ideas. Some people will no doubt find flaws.

March 6, 2009, 11:05 PM
Lawdog has suggested in the past to use your belt with a combination lock on the buckle. Almost anything can be a weapon. On an aircraft, your best option is to get up at the same time a a dozen or forty other passengers and beat the hijacker to death with your bare hands.

Unless you are the hijacker. In that case, you better just sit down and shut up, because if I have to stop you I am bringing all of my buddies and an ass whoopin' with me. ;)

All jokes aside, your tools on an aircraft are limited. Your finest weapon - your mind - will always be with you. When in doubt just headbutt someone.

March 6, 2009, 11:12 PM
Canes or pens would probably be pretty useful, but if I had nothing else, I'd probably grab a fire extinguisher off the bulkhead and feed it to someone; not too many people can shake something like that off (the several-pound chunk of metal in the face, I mean).

March 6, 2009, 11:18 PM
agree with everyone else. most hijackings, like 9/11, the hijjakers had what, boxcutters? Not a very effective weapon. Like Jdude has said, beat them to death with your hands and hope they really dont have a bomb onboard. I read a fictional book where the character used fruit to take down hijackers, an apple i think, sounds very fictional but who knows it might work.

March 6, 2009, 11:18 PM
shoes, belts (the lock thing is pretty good), a sock full of quarters:cuss:(or any change for that matter) big jawbreaker in a sock (that is creative)...

thats just about all I've got.. will think on it some more...

March 6, 2009, 11:28 PM

We've discussed this very topic repeatedly here, as well as focusing on other areas where your typical carry weapons are not allowed.

We recently had a discussion of pens that were best suited to a SD role.

We've discussed water bottles/containers and their role.

Canes, belts, tools, keys, carabiners, etc.

As the venerable SM is known to say, "Software, not hardware".

Lee Lapin's sig is "Tool Set, Skill Set, Mind Set".

Others say, "The gun/knife/stick is the tool. Your mind is the weapon."

They all mean the same thing. Think, explore, observe and be aware of your surroundings and the people in them and look to what is at hand to apply.

Regardless, lots of reading here about what might serve as an intentional improvised weapon.

March 6, 2009, 11:29 PM
A plain old lead pencil held between the knuckles is a formidable punch weapon. Anything heavy placed in a sock becomes a literal "black jack" and can be used effectively. With your bare hands you can gouge eyes, teeth can take out jugulars/windpipes, and several determined people can take down most any assailant. wc

March 6, 2009, 11:35 PM
I travel quite a bit on business. This is what I carry on a plane:


Combining a couple of these items give you an effective "blackjack" and restraint devices.

Both of the bracelets in the first pic are made of 8' to 10' of 550 Lb test paracord. A 2' section combined with the SwissTech multi-tool from the keychain might make a functional defensive weapon if you use some imagination. As would the cable lock.

Pens are legal. So are soda cans, some knitting needles, chop sticks, keys, screwdrivers (check the TSA website for length limits) blunt scissors, and CD's.

With a little imagination, any can be used to harm an individual bent on taking a plane.

Personally, I think 9/11 ruined it for any would-be hijacker. Try to take over an aircraft today and most of the passengers would believe death is eminent. They'd do anything and everything to keep from being flown into a building. I think you'd have the support and cooperation of the entire flight when it comes to administering a thorough beat down on the first person to step out of line.

They're already PO'd at the "cattle car" treatment they received at check in, security and boarding. Then all the over-head bins are full. The guy next to you has some strange skin disease and won't shut up. A terrorist looking for an arse whupin' would be just the thing to break up the monotony. Especially if you have the middle seat near the rest room where the 350 Lb guy from row 6 just couldn't finish the 2 hour flight without stinking up the whole plane. :evil: He might end up with some collateral damage.

March 6, 2009, 11:36 PM
Surefire with a crenelated bezel, put a filter cap on it to cover the edge. Haven't heard of flashlight restrictions.

March 6, 2009, 11:54 PM
What about throwing what just about EVERYONE has on their person, your cell phones! It would be like 0000000 buckshot.
Definately want to go for the head shot.

March 7, 2009, 12:27 AM

Hans Esker
March 7, 2009, 10:08 PM
Just looking at Rupetriss' picture:
Multiple fistloads, Garrote, rolled up magazine for striking tool, interrogation tool, bola, flail, and those are just off the top of my head. I cant figure what to do with the liquid from the batteries however, but it does have possibilities

Hans Esker
March 7, 2009, 10:27 PM
Fiskars has certainly taken Gerber in some odd directions

March 7, 2009, 11:16 PM
I am 400 pounds of all man, so honestly, I would just use my enormous mass. If I run at someone and hit them, they are going to go down and it is going to hurt. It would need to be a pretty bad situation for me to do that, but that would be what I would do.

March 7, 2009, 11:21 PM
I don't fly much anymore. I have wondered about how hard it would be to cut off a seat belt and use the belt and clasp as a weapon.

March 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
I have wondered about how hard it would be to cut off a seat belt and use the belt and clasp as a weapon

Well, I guess my response to this pondering is this: If you had a knife or scissors that you could use to cut the seatbelt, why wouldn't you just use that as a weapon as opposed to the seatbelt and buckle combo?

Of course, that answer ignores the fact that you can't take a knife or scissors on board with you anymore, so I don't know what you could use to cut it anyway.

March 8, 2009, 01:20 AM
Drink cart or some interesting stainless trays on food carts, you just need 200 pounds + of American push behind their edges.

March 8, 2009, 03:42 AM
I nlike a line from Mas Ayoob: "Mr. Atta, I'll see your box-cutter and raise you three feet of American hardwood."

Age or a limp can sometimes have their uses...:evil:

March 8, 2009, 04:04 AM

Not going to make it on a plane...

Anything and every thing you can think of is a weapon.

March 8, 2009, 08:11 AM
I try to carry a metal pen and pencil set.

March 8, 2009, 09:54 AM
I fly couple times a year and always try to think about this situation. Sometimes you get a seatmate you can rely on, some times not. Either way, observe, think, plan and hope you do not have to act.

Carl Levitian
May 27, 2009, 03:48 AM
Canes and pens would still be the best bet. On a crowded plane there will be no room to swing flexable weapons, but a cane will still block and lunge well.

May 27, 2009, 01:48 PM
I don't fly much anymore. I have wondered about how hard it would be to cut off a seat belt and use the belt and clasp as a weapon.

I guess you could ask for a seatbelt extension. This gives you a good 18-24 inches of belt connected to a heavy ends.


May 27, 2009, 10:06 PM

pen that doubles as a kubotan...tsa has no idea....have flown thousands of miles with it.....

but forget the weaon it is the mindset....AND training....

want a knife onboard....

take a cc....cut it on a diagonal....sand the edges....sharp as a knife...hide it in your wallet....

May 29, 2009, 11:08 AM
Usama Hadji is going to have to figure out how to keep me from strangling him with my belt before he is going to have to worry about hijacking the plane.

Hungry Seagull
May 29, 2009, 11:12 AM
If the passengers work as one unit everyone in thier specific areas with a offense element and a defensive protecting those who cannot fight... 120 people should be able to bring down 5 highjackers.

I for one have a taste for very close combat if I can find something to get ahold of. A busted coffee pot comes to mind. Easy to get to where I usually sit. A long time ago someone taught me how to intercept guns and knives with my belt. It's going to get me carved up but if I get through and make it stick he aint going anywhere.

But people are going to be killed, hurt and possibly the entire plane lost. So be it. The problem is the other 120 strangers may have not have the clarity and peace that comes with a total commitment to victory at any cost including one's own life to save another.

I suppose 180 thousand pounds of plane isnt too much to handle, but it will be different than 40 tons or 1500 pounds of Skyhawk.

The big problem is simple. Is everyone in the cabin resolved to fight? Or am I going to be the first one shot and killed for trying to start a party to take em down so the rest of the sheep will quietly sit there and accept thier fate without fighting.

Nah, I dont worry about all of that. I just eat big meal and away we go to the big sky.

May 29, 2009, 02:31 PM
Could use one of those rolling food carts as a battering ram.

May 29, 2009, 03:58 PM
Ever strike someone with the hard end of a tightly rolled up megazine.Will at least make his eyes water.

May 29, 2009, 04:31 PM
Ever strike someone with the hard end of a tightly rolled up megazine.Will at least make his eyes water.

Did more than that to the bozo I hit with one.

May 29, 2009, 04:47 PM
Why do you think they put those idiotic "Skymall" catalogs in every seatback?

Furious Kang
May 30, 2009, 12:09 PM
Since 9/11 I flew a few times and felt naked. I've studied martial arts for a while but none of them would work well in a narrow airplane aisle, at least for me. So I began a self study of improvised weapons. Now I look at everything to see it's use as a weapon. I flew to Fla about a year ago. I was able w/o any questions by TSA carry a metal pen, a minimag flashlight, my belt, and my car keys on a two foot home made paracord lanyard. I also brought a nice thick hardback book. Anyone see Bourne Ultimatum? I didn't feel naked this time.

May 30, 2009, 12:55 PM
In 2003 I flew on a civilian plane to Japan with about fifty other marines, in plain cloths. We had a good laugh at what would have happend if some jack ass with a box cutter had tried to take that plane. Never under estimate the power of an unarmed group against an armed indvidual. Especialy when the group is trained, has the same mind set, is in great shape, knows to use everything as a weapon. Locate, close with, and destroy the enemy! The flight attendents said they never felt so safe.

Flew to Iraq a couple times on a civy plane with an M-16 laying under my seat, made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. No rounds but Stoner made a good club while he was trying to make a rifle.

Aka Zero
May 31, 2009, 06:18 AM
I think a pen, or a chopstick make a great little toy.

Bought a steel body Zebra brand pen, $7 at a walmart. Would hurt a lot.
Can put a regular bamboo chopstick into a 2x4 so that it stays. So skin would be no match for it.

Or just take a nice thick reading book. thin enough you can grab the spine, hardcover. Could disarm someone with a hand weapon quite easy. And if you stand up, with a book in hand, you are not really a threat, until you act.

May 31, 2009, 07:22 AM
I would create a fake arm cast made out of epoxy resin and carbon fiber that would be absolutely realistic but would also be a very effective tool as a club. Being cast with epoxy and carbon fiber it would be immensely strong and lightweight.

May 31, 2009, 09:54 PM
A rolled up airline magazine and a Spork from your $19.99 value snack-pack.

June 1, 2009, 01:03 AM

I'm speechless!

I'm glad I don't fly much anymore... ;)

Furious Kang
June 3, 2009, 03:02 PM
Countycomm.com makes a Superspork from hard polymer that is nearly indestructible, would make a great weapon. A Stanley Tools FatMax marker is as stout as a Cold Steel Sharkie/Pocketshark IMHO. The afore mentioned minimaglite or an AlphaInnovations stylus kubotan. Working in medicine I scored three all steel physicians/drug reps pens. A ball cap can be used to slap with the back and jab with the curled bill into soft targets, eyes, throat, groin. Your car keys on a length of paracord. A stout tooth brush from your local Walgreens makes a fine kubotan they come with tapered pointed ends, blunt ends, even with rubber inserts for a good grip. Hell, prisoners have been using them (albeit modified or sharpened) as shanks for ages. When you look for the weapons potential in all things, then all things become weapons.

June 3, 2009, 03:58 PM
I always travel with a flashlight, wife gives me a bad time, until the power went out at our hotel one night, then flashlights were like gold. Anyhow, I recently picked up a Mag lite (3) AA led flashlight, I really like it, nice and bright. I don't know if there are any TSA regs against flashlights in general, but I know this one would make a great tool for hitting, aluminum and (3) AA batteries gives it enough weight to be effective. But as I said, not sure if some overly aggressive TSA agent might not allow it.

I know that since 9/11 I feel naked with out my usual knife on me.

But as had been said, your best weapon is between your ears, think and you will be more dangerous.

My humble opinion.


June 3, 2009, 07:27 PM
...We had a good laugh at what would have happend if some wise ass with a box cutter tried to take over the plane. we looked just like every one else besides the hair cut... locat close with and destroy the enemy. The flight attendents said they never felt so safe on a trans pac flight. The power of an unarmed group over an armed individule is amazing if the group has the same mindset and training.

I pretty-much fly for my job, domestically and internationally.

I have spent far too much time thinking over this and I do carry many items for SD while traveling, but I think that the best response to future airline hijackers will be a determined rush by all the passengers because eventually someone will be able to take-down the BGs.

We all know with certainty what Wahabi hijackers will do with a plane, so it is better to die trying to stop them than wait to crash. On 9/11/2001, determined passengers aboard Flight 93 prevented its attack on the Capitol by storming the cockpit. Since that event, other attempts (most notably the shoebomber) and disruptive passengers have all been stopped with the aid of passengers who have stepped-up to help the flight crew.

BTW, there are metal oxygen canisters in the overhead compartments located near flight attendant seating for emergency use. They are roughly the size and weight as home fire-extinguishers... Normally I wouldn't share this type of information, but anyone thinking that they could easily access these to cause trouble may find themselves facing an armed flight crew as well as armed Air Marshals, so beware...

June 3, 2009, 10:27 PM
I'll be flying for the first time in about six months in about a fortnight. Defending yourself in such a situation isn't about weapons it's about mindset.

That being said, at five eleven and sixteen and a half stone, any abdul who causes problems on my flight is going to get the aluminum stem of my old Falcon pipe shoved somewhere he don't want it.

June 3, 2009, 10:37 PM
Come on, if you're only looking for someone named Abdul or Usama Hadji you're going to miss real threats. I know lots of terrorists are Arab, etc, but I strongly doubt that lightning will strike in the same place twice. The next attack will be in a totally different form. So grow up and enough with the adolescent fantasies of strangling or beating some dude with an Arab name. Not high road.

June 9, 2009, 05:04 PM
I would think that given the chances of a hijack vs the chances of a crash, I'd be figuring out how to take a parachute on board and where to jump from rather than what to use as a weapon.

June 9, 2009, 05:11 PM
Hickory cane.

June 9, 2009, 09:54 PM
feed, that would be too rational...then we'd also have to start worrying about drinking less, smoking less, and our cholesterol rather than "which rifle for urban survival?" :neener:

Dr. Snubnose
June 10, 2009, 11:34 PM
Take a roll of quarters with you (not illegal) roll them up inside the airline flight magazine... seal off the ends....see the airlines provides you with the weapon....;) Doc:D

June 12, 2009, 10:43 PM
Just duck down while I shoot him with my HK P2000.:evil:

June 12, 2009, 11:58 PM
I always carry a couple of hard fists on the plane with me...they always make it past the security checkpoints.

June 13, 2009, 10:04 PM
Cold Steel CIA letter opener side it into your neck tie since it is metal free it is on problem unless every one is getting padded down.

Furious Kang
June 20, 2009, 01:37 PM
While I don't disagree that it makes a fine weapon, carrying that onto an aircraft is begging to spend time in Federal Penetiary. You can explain a pen, belt etc, not a plastic knife supposedly designed for the CIA.

June 20, 2009, 02:21 PM
old Steel CIA letter opener side it into your neck tie since it is metal free it is on problem unless every one is getting padded down.

Uh... this is a horrible, horrible idea. Not from the perspective of concealibility, but if they do happen to grab your tie (and they might) you are going to be in a whole heck of a lot of trouble. I think people on the web go way to far with the whole "plausible deniability" thing sometimes, but even I think that this is a good way to end up in the joint.

June 21, 2009, 08:40 PM
Bought a pair of Quicksilver boardshorts once and in the pocket was a hard plastic boardwax comb with 2.5 inches of extremely sharp teeth. The tanto shape allows perfect grip and a reference point for my index finger. Quick slashes to face and throat would disable anyone. Passes through security and would cut a seat belt easily to give me a longer range weapon with the hard buckle.

Think about carrying two HP pencils, one for each hand. As you ice-pick stab, snap off whatever is in the opponent and repeat till you have nothing left... just a thought.

junior geezer
June 22, 2009, 01:33 AM
almost too easy: a tightly-rolled magazine. very available on any flight and makes for a GREAT kubaton! will crush a throat-windpipe very easily. not my idea... fairbairn's.

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