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May 01, 2002
I think the key issue being left out of the armed pilots debate has to be the air to air missiles. If another high-jacking occurs, there WILL be a pair of F-15s, F-16s, or F-18s armed with heat seeking missiles pointed at your plane a thumb twitch away. Don't you want to have one more line of defense short of a missile in the GE engine?
My cousin who now flies for Fedex used to talk about the compact 45's they issued all Air Force pilots that flew high-jackable aircraft, though the general public is/wasn't supposed to know. Something like 90% of the commercial pilots are all ex military and all of them are pistol trained and specifically hijacking pistol trained. I'd argue that they may be better than Marshals when it gets down to the final seconds between a highjack and an American fighter jet downing an airliner.
Posted by hoffmang | May 01, 2002 10:42 PM