Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Straight thoughts 78

September 11th, 2001

Our thoughts go first to the victims of today's tragedy. We pray for their families and for the souls of the dead.

It is appalling that after decades of plane hijacking, including the incident in the nineties in France, where terrorists were going to fly a plane into the Eiffel tower, the FAA and the world were caught unprepared against kamikaze terrorists.
By hijacking a plane, armed with ordinary knifes or small weapons, terrorists can enter the cockpit and transform planes into giant flying molotov bombs.

One simple solution is to completely and securely isolate the cockpit from the cabin with a reinforced wall including a gun-proof steel mesh. The pilots would only be able to enter the cockpit through a separate external entrance when the plane is in the tarmac. Although such a solution might imply a change in airplane design, just the knowledge of such a security measure would be a deterrent against cockpit invasions. We might still have to deal with hostage-taking situations, but today's tragedy would not have even been attempted.