It seems not that long ago that JetBlue was in the news because of a flight attendant who flicked off, ranted and raved, then then exited out the rear door, sliding down the emergency slide. Thankfully, the plane was on the ground. Had he opened that rear door at altitude, ugly things could have happened. Now in the news is a story about a JetBlue PILOT that started acting “off” in the cockpit and then, thanks to a quick thinking co-pilot, ended up locked out of the cockpit but in an even more bizarre fashion. His behavior was such that the passengers felt scared and, to some extent, threatened by his behavior. Thankfully, some of them took action to, um… get him under control. The article I read said that a passenger wrestled with the out-of-control pilot, eventually subduing him. I believe the passenger did a GREAT job, but may have exercised more restraint than is safe in today’s world and under such circumstances.Now please understand: I’m not being critical of the passenger(s). Anyone who stands up to a threat and quells it is good in my book. All I’m saying is that in today’s world we passengers don’t need to exercise restraint when we have to fight anyone on a plane. Why do I feel this way? Well, think about it…
If you’re a passenger on a bus and the driver loses his mind, he can crash the bus and injure or kill a bunch of folks. But there’s a far better chance that the bus passengers will live than if they were on a crashing passenger jet. If a terrorist takes over the bus, “hijacks” it, there’s a limit to what damage that terrorist can do unless he brought one hellaciously big bomb on the bus with him. Yes, some of the passengers may end up injured or killed but there’s a far better chance that the bus passengers will live than if they were on a crashing passenger jet. What’s my point? ANY risk that threatens the safety of the airplane and the crew that flies it is a LETHAL THREAT to every person on board. As such, I believe that ANY person on board can justify using lethal force to quell that threat if necessary.
If you accept that outlook/approach, then you can easily understand: you don’t wrestle with the guy. You hit him hard and fast and get him down and out QUICKLY. No fight; no muss; no fuss. Just wham, hog-tie him and someone big sit on him for the rest of the flight. The Air Marshals can deal with him (or her) when they carry the idiot/criminal/terrorist off the plane at the other end – once everyone is on the ground safely. What do you think?
Let me add another tidbit: as a retired police officer I can honestly say I don’t like flying without a gun. Of course, I can’t ever fly with one anymore either. That’s NOT to say, though, that I fly totally unarmed. Every person is born with nine natural weapons: one head, two elbows, two hands, two knees and two feet. Additionally, there is an assortment of improvised weapons you can either find on the plane or take with you. Also, there is now a kit that exists that contains two such defensive tools, flex-cuffs and a handy carry pouch.
Packaged and sold by WTGTactical.com, their Airline Safety Kit contains:
- (1) 5.11 Tactical ATAC A1 Flashlight
- (2) ASP Tri-Fold Flex-Cuffs
- (1) Tactical Pen
- (1) (Optional) Condor Kick Pouch to carry those items.
For those who have a clue, the flashlight and pen can be used defensively (read between the lines here) and the Flex-Cuffs serve the obvious purpose of restraining a “bad guy” as necessary. Priced at just over $100 for the whole kit (including the optional carry pouch) this kit provides a bit of “peace of mind” if you have to fly unarmed OR if you simply want to be better prepared to deal with the lunatic on the plane threatening every passenger’s life.
Make no mistake: if someone is aggressively attempting to disrupt the smooth operation of the aircraft by interrupting, attacking or distracting the pilot or other crew member, virtually every passenger’s life may be in danger. Act accordingly. Don’t hesitate. Don’t be polite. Act with speed and aggressive violence to immediately end the existing threat. Be able to explain your observations and fears / motivations afterward. Your actions still have to be justified and legal – which shouldn’t be too hard to articulate in light of the potential threat.
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