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Feds may reduce funding for armed pilots?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by David, Mar 24, 2012.

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  1. David

    David Member

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  2. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Of course they may... Because this is what is seen as waste in today's budget.:banghead:
    I love the notion that no one on the flight really knows whether and can therefore expect that a crew member or three are armed. That and sky marshals give me a greater sense of security than having our shoes and crotches glommed by TSA officials.
     
  3. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    My brother is a captain for a major airline. A few years back he told me about this program and we discussed possible sidearms for him (he's a hard core lefty.) There was a major gun manufacturer offering discounts to flight crew members if they wanted to purchase one.
    But he never pursued it further.
     
  4. David

    David Member

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  5. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    Here's my response I posted on foxnews.com :

    So, we could trust the T SA 100% and take pilots tools away. OR let them keep their tools in case there's a lethal threat onboard, just in case the TS A agent had a bad day, or took too long making a nursing mother dump all her pumped milk out and let a bad guy get by unnoticed.

    If we take pilot's life saving tools away, the only other option is scrambling F16s to follow the plane in duress and escort it back to an airport or take it out of the sky. In financial terms: $100,000+ in jet fuel, $100,000+ per missile fired. OR $15 per flight (as the interviewee said) for having an armed captain (who was going to be there anyway) plus $0.50 - $1 for each round he fires at said threat.
     
  6. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Do the booger-eating-morons in the TSA still mandate a padlock through the trigger guard for onboard storage? (no, I'm not joking)
    [​IMG]
    looks like a HK USP compact or tactical to me
     
  7. HARV6

    HARV6 Member

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    When the program started after 9/11 a pilot who volunteered was flown out to a training facility in the SW US. There they were issued a Springfield xd40, and for a week each individual was trained by multiple instructors. Each trainee burned through 2-3k Speer gold dots and shipped back home with a pretty decent supply. Can't see how that is very cost effective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  8. Laetus1

    Laetus1 Member

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    A very good friend of mine is a pilot who has been trained through this program. Yes, he has been issued an h&k usp .40. I have talked extensively with him about his training and have witnessed his abilities in person since the training. Since I assume he is representative of the program, I must say I feel much safer knowing that guys like that are in the cockpit. There will be NO more cockpit invasions with guys like him in there! Yes, there is expense involved in issuing him a handgun, but he pays for his own training and recertification. He gets no extra pay for what he does. This program costs a pittance compared to the value it brings, and eliminating this program does almost nothing to the deficit problem. Though there is no way to prove it, I suspect there is more going on here than a very serious worry about lowering the deficit.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
     
  9. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    I agree with that, they could've used a cheaper practice round for the majority of their training while doing quals with the gold dots. Perhaps the program was funded with too much money to begin with.
     
  10. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Just one more way this administration wants everyone dependent on the federal government.
     
  11. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    If they wanted to...

    The feds could define a curriculum and a course of fire. The curriculum (and test) could be online, and the course of fire supervised by any LE or state-certified instructor. That would leave the feds to foot the bill for the background check (in case airline pilots--who even without a gun can take down the entire plane pretty darn quickly anyway--haven't been checked enough)...and print the ID.

    But, I guess THAT type of cost-savings wouldn't work. :rolleyes:
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Considering that the cabin is now behind an armored door that terrorists or hijackers can't get through to seize the controls of the plane and that the Federal Air Marshal service was greatly expanded after 9/11 so that many more flights have undercover armed security aboard them I'm not surprised that this program would be a prime target for cuts.
     
  13. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    armored door - slows down an unprepared hijacker, maybe
    more air marshals - yeah, sure, whatever you say, I'm calling security theater

    On the generic subject of airplane security, the FFDO program is the only federal program I'm aware of that isn't security theater or simple stupidity.
    The TSA is a joke, if someone wanted to terrorize the public, the TSA has moved the target from the plane to the unsecure area of the airport, by making big crowds at the checkpoint. The TSA makes us LESS SAFE by bunching everyone up on the wrong side of the checkpoint.
     
  14. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    Airline pilots who become FFDOs have to find their own way to and from training (Uncle Sugar doesn't cover that), in addition to other out-of-pocket expenses.

    The screening process also isn't exactly what one might call "relaxed".
     
  15. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Why isn't it? I'm not being sarcastic. I don't want to go into details, but is there substantial doubt that a pilot wanting to down his plane will have any trouble doing that? Or that commerical pilots are already screened for psychiatric disease, criminal background, drug use, etc.?

    Or is the thought that he will use the weapon to "neutralize" the other flight crew (including other FFDOs), and then have unopposed control of the plane?

    Just seems like more "the gun will turn him evil" voodoo-thinking.
     
  16. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I was just on a 5 hour flight out of San Francisco. During the flight, the pilots opened the armored, locked door at least twice. Once was to go to the bathroom, and once was to get coffee.
     
  17. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    maybe they give out a badge AND a gun, that tends to make monsters out of bullies sometimes.
     
  18. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    Cutting the budget for the federal flight deck officer program might have no impact on the number of trained pilots. Think about it. When the program was first started they had to certify thousands of people since they were starting from zero. Now that the program has been in operation for years, the number of new pilots getting certified each year is much lower.
     
  19. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    Yes, any crewmember sitting in the cockpit could easily down an aircraft or use it for nefarious acts without needing a firearm to do so. See: Egyptair 990, FedEx 705.

    That does not change the fact that federal law enforcement and the FAA are very, VERY leery about allowing loaded firearms on airliners by non-LEOs, especially crew members, even with world-class training by FAMs.

    FFDO screening includes (among other things) a computerized personality test and a psych eval by an approved psychiatrist and one has to clear all hurdles before being permitted to attend training. There is also a time limit between when the application process starts and when you must complete training; this limit is what caused me to stop the process when I flew for the airlines because I moved halfway across the country for the job and FFDO training fell to the very bottom of my priority list.

    Believe me when I say more pilots would be FFDOs if the government made the process even the slightest bit easier.
     
  20. HARV6

    HARV6 Member

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    Once certified the pilots are in fact licensed federal law enforcement. That's why they are issued weapons and ammo, and must give them back if they drop out. The screening program isn't relaxed because each govt agency is required to do its own screening from scratch. It doesn't matter what back ground checks you've been through with different entities.
     
  21. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I have heard this proposed cut is being considered because airline security is "risk-based" and arming a pilot does not address the most likely security breach scenarios (given the locking and reinforced cockpit doors that are already in place).

    OK, so fondling old ladies and toddlers does address the most likely security breach scenarios?
     
  22. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    We already have a crash ax in every cockpit, in addition to the halon, O2 bottle, pbe, goggles etc which we glance at during the preflight.
    If we tell a TSA agent about the ax, most give me a blank stare, or are skeptical.

    During FFDO tng near Albuquerque, the per diem doesn't quite cover all of the expenses involved by guys who have done the program, and it is on their days off.
    An FFDO had his HK in a "crash pad" near ATL Airport (Eastpoint), and when a guy kicked in a door late at night, the intruder was killed.

    An LEO in College Park told me this outside Ruby Tuesday's on Thursday night.
     
  23. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    Federal Air Marshals .... less than 1/100th of 1% of all commercial flights.

    Oh ya, I feel safer already.

    One of those things that sound good in practice, but in reality amount to diddley squat.

    The Feds will be quick to point out to you that NO flight with an air marshal on board has ever been hijacked ... and that is true. What they fail to tell you is that NO hijacking has ever been foiled by an air marshal ... and that 267 aircraft HAVE been hijacked since the inception of the air marshal program.
     
  24. David

    David Member

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  25. mrvco

    mrvco Member

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    These guns will be repurposed for the TSA and we'll spend exponentially more money training TSA agents (soon to be "federal officers") to use a retention holster without removing their belt first.
     
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