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$10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Passionario » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:04 am

Why do terrorists try to carry weapons and explosives on board? To force the pilots to divert the plane elsewhere (be it a sympathetic Third World country or a major American landmark). By using the threat of violence, they can gain control over the plane's course.

The most efficient solution, therefore, is to remove their ability to influence the decisions of the pilots altogether, by separating the cabin from the passenger section with an impenetrable and soundproof barrier. If the terrorists can neither communicate with the pilots nor force their way into the cabin, they won't be able to influence their decisions and steal the plane.

After all, if you want to protect your computer against malicious attacks, you don't ask all the world's ISPs to monitor and control all data traffic; you just install a good firewall and antivirus on the computer in question. If you want to protect your house against burglars, you don't perform strip searches on all people who wander within a 10-mile radius of your home; you just put locks and alarms on the doors and windows. Similarly, the protection of the planes against terrorists should focus on the most vulnerable point: the pilot cabin.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Lightbeard » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:06 am

Amirya wrote:I am amazed that people think it's ok to demand that a stranger be allowed to touch your genitalia for any length of time (I understand that it's extremely brief), .


Do you not get physical's or check-ups anymore? Or is the procedure doctors do different in your country.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:35 am

Doctors don't exactly count as "strangers".
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Euphoria » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:49 am

It's also something you consent to when you go to a doctor. If you prefer the doctor doesn't touch you there are other (albeit less effective) methods he/she can employ to diagnose you. In addition, if the situation is uncomfortable for you then a simple, "Please stop" will work.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:36 am

Fivelives wrote:They should have police or military experience, since that's the job they're performing. Hell, they should at LEAST be out of their teen years.

I was in the military and that experience and training are not the least bit useful for me to become a TSA security officer. I expect them to be trained on the job, just like police and military members are.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Candiru » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:49 am

Passionario wrote:Why do terrorists try to carry weapons and explosives on board? To force the pilots to divert the plane elsewhere (be it a sympathetic Third World country or a major American landmark). By using the threat of violence, they can gain control over the plane's course.

The most efficient solution, therefore, is to remove their ability to influence the decisions of the pilots altogether, by separating the cabin from the passenger section with an impenetrable and soundproof barrier. If the terrorists can neither communicate with the pilots nor force their way into the cabin, they won't be able to influence their decisions and steal the plane.


While in theory sound, this would kill more people than the current terrorist kill rate per year. The frequency of occasions where both pilot and co-pilot are incapacitated due to some combination of heart attacks, food poisoning, mental breakdown, being drunk etc is higher than the frequency of terrorists hijacking planes. Without the capability for a steward / passenger to enter the cockpit and take control being talked down by the ground control staff the planes would be out of control, since current designs of auto-pilot are incapable of landing a plane without human intervention. (Even if it is simply closing the throttle at the appropriate time.)

Now, if you completely redesigned planes to have the pilot/co pilot separate from the rest of the plane (with their own toilet and food facilities) and with a different auto-pilot functionality allowing the plane to land itself completely autonomously then perhaps that would be better. The moral of the story though, is that terrorism is a pretty rare event, and whatever security measures you implement are unlikely to be useful. Unless you have Israeli style checkpoints where people advance one at a time with a gun pointed at their head, strip naked, then carry on when they have been cleared to have no weapons, you will never prevent an attack on the security checkpoint itself where many people are queuing anyway...
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:54 am

Candiru wrote:Unless you have Israeli style checkpoints where people advance one at a time with a gun pointed at their head, strip naked, then carry on when they have been cleared to have no weapons, you will never prevent an attack on the security checkpoint itself where many people are queuing anyway...

My understanding is that Israeli airline security is nothing of the sort, in fact it's much less invasive than the US's, but they profile and do other background type checking. Can't say I've experienced it first hand, but I know a few people who have, and they all said basically that same thing.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Shoju » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:05 am

Flex wrote:
fuzzygeek wrote:
Flex wrote:I know I'm slow and all but I'm failing to see the issue here.


Low requirements bringin' in the dregs, is what Shoju is getting at, I think.


Got it. People without a college education trying to make an honest living are to be looked down upon.



Nope. not what I'm getting at. Considering I didn't graduate college until I was 28, that would be pretty damn hypocritical of me. I worked for 10+ years after graduating high school before I had a College Degree.

It is the fact that you don't even need a high school education or GED. You can bypass that part of it.
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Sorry, you don't get to be an Xray tech without at LEAST a GED and some formal training. Aviation Screener carries a requirement for a GED/High School diploma and a specialized training course. But, I'm pretty sure that you can be a Neanderthal thug of a mall security cop (especially in smaller areas) just by being the big stupid ox. Hmm.... I wonder who that part is trying to recruit

TSA has been scraping the bottom of the employee barrel for a while because they want yes men. Rude... I mean assertive, scary, intimidating yes men. This has led to a public relations nightmare for the TSA, and it is getting worse, and FAST. Woman are filing complaints that they are singled out and made to feel uncomfortable while the TSA agents perform the backscatter scan. People are complaining that the patdown is invasive, traumatic, and fondling.

This is a real problem, and with the head of the TSA on capitol hill this week, I have a feeling that things are going to get pretty interesting really soon.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:10 am

Shoju wrote:Sorry, you don't get to be an Xray tech without at LEAST a GED and some formal training. Aviation Screener carries a requirement for a GED/High School diploma and a specialized training course. But, I'm pretty sure that you can be a Neanderthal thug of a mall security cop (especially in smaller areas) just by being the big stupid ox. Hmm.... I wonder who that part is trying to recruit

TSA has been scraping the bottom of the employee barrel for a while because they want yes men. Rude... I mean assertive, scary, intimidating yes men. This has led to a public relations nightmare for the TSA, and it is getting worse, and FAST. Woman are filing complaints that they are singled out and made to feel uncomfortable while the TSA agents perform the backscatter scan. People are complaining that the patdown is invasive, traumatic, and fondling.

This is a real problem, and with the head of the TSA on capitol hill this week, I have a feeling that things are going to get pretty interesting really soon.

I know I'm sounding like a broken record here, but you get formal training on the job. The real problem is not with the people on the front lines, they are following instructions, and college education or not, that won't change. The instructions and the process is the problem. That's not to say there haven't been incidents with the front line workers, but I don't see how raising the job requirements will change that much.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:12 am

The only thing autopilot can't do when landing a plane is apply reverse thrust to aid in braking. It's still fully capable of landing modern planes on its own, when it's absolutely necessary.

If both pilot and co-pilot (and on larger planes, the navigator) are incapacitated, then contrary to popular belief, the stewards can not land the plane. It's also a myth that flight controllers will talk a passenger through the landing sequence. You'll also frequently have other pilots flying by "hot seat" in the cockpit that can take over in the case of catastrophic incapacitation.

Pilots that are drinking do not fly. Recent regulatory changes require breathalyzer tests and bi-monthly urinalysis of all commercial airline pilots. Ever since that one pilot (I forget his name) who was visibly drunk and belligerent tried to take command of his aircraft.

They also aren't allowed to both eat the same meal when meal service comes around on longer flights. Pilots will usually also either bring their own meal, eat at a restaurant before the flight, or just not eat in flight for whatever reason.

The odds of both pilot and co-pilot being incapacitated by a heart attack or other sudden illness are astronomical at best - especially considering that they have to have flight physicals every 6 months. Those aren't your typical doctor's visits either, trust me.

I'm licensed to fly both rotary and fixed wing aircraft (propeller and jet), and I'm intimately familiar with their operation and the regulations that pilots have to abide by. I work for an air ambulance company and have to maintain my pilot's licenses in good standing in order to remain employed.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby djlar » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:29 am

But if TSA decides to be a requirement to have a college degree for the job and they pay you only $25K a year, I doubt they will get many applicants and if they need to raise the salaries they'll go broke..
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Dorvan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:30 am

I agree that both pilots being incapacitated is extremely unlikely, but the suggestion still isn't feasible. There are any number of reasons the communication between the cabin and the cockpit can be important. The first one that comes to mind is medical emergencies aboard the aircraft.

Securing the cockpit is of course very important to airline safety (by far a more important reform than anything related to the screening process), but that's already been implemented.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Fivelives » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:39 am

The cockpits on commercial aircraft are already reinforced and locked for the entire flight. They're pretty soundproof too.

Medical emergencies in the cabin shouldn't be brought up with the crew; there's nothing they can do except call the destination airport to let them know that they're coming in with an emergency. The cabin crew can do that just fine, too.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Dorvan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:45 am

Fivelives wrote:The cockpits on commercial aircraft are already reinforced and locked for the entire flight. They're pretty soundproof too.

Medical emergencies in the cabin shouldn't be brought up with the crew; there's nothing they can do except call the destination airport to let them know that they're coming in with an emergency. The cabin crew can do that just fine, too.


Sure there's something to be done: change the destination. If you're an hour into a transcontinental flight and the situation isn't stable, you're not going to go to your scheduled destination.
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Re: $10,000+ fine for deciding not to fly after all?

Postby Shoju » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:45 am

Fridmarr wrote:
Shoju wrote:Sorry, you don't get to be an Xray tech without at LEAST a GED and some formal training. Aviation Screener carries a requirement for a GED/High School diploma and a specialized training course. But, I'm pretty sure that you can be a Neanderthal thug of a mall security cop (especially in smaller areas) just by being the big stupid ox. Hmm.... I wonder who that part is trying to recruit

TSA has been scraping the bottom of the employee barrel for a while because they want yes men. Rude... I mean assertive, scary, intimidating yes men. This has led to a public relations nightmare for the TSA, and it is getting worse, and FAST. Woman are filing complaints that they are singled out and made to feel uncomfortable while the TSA agents perform the backscatter scan. People are complaining that the patdown is invasive, traumatic, and fondling.

This is a real problem, and with the head of the TSA on capitol hill this week, I have a feeling that things are going to get pretty interesting really soon.

I know I'm sounding like a broken record here, but you get formal training on the job. The real problem is not with the people on the front lines, they are following instructions, and college education or not, that won't change. The instructions and the process is the problem. That's not to say there haven't been incidents with the front line workers, but I don't see how raising the job requirements will change that much.


The problem is, that there isn't a lot of "on the job training" that is happening. people ARE experiencing different rules/regulations in the same airport on different days. If there is training, it isn't standardized.

As far as on the job training, to be an Xray Tech - You don't get to go to the hospital and say "AY! I want to be an XRAY tech!" and they pay for it, At least not in ohio. that takes at least an Associates Degree in Radiology here in Ohio.

By increasing your job requirements, you aren't going to make things "better" unless you add more formal training. That is true. But, you will weed out some of the complete whackjobs that are currently employed by the TSA. Some of these people are abusing their "power" and being

1.) creepy
2.) unlawful

Either or, sometimes both.
  • Was the supervisor just following orders when he put an employee in the backscatter machine, and then made fun of his small manhood? Were the employees just following orders when they continued to pick on him about it? Is anyone surprised that after dealing with the taunting he finally beat one of them?
  • Was the kid in Philly who played the same Cocaine joke on 2 different passengers (planting drugs on them for humors sake) just following orders?
  • Were the TSA agents who were busted using illegal drugs at LAX just following orders? (screaming I AM GOD, I AM IN CHARGE)
  • Are TSA agents just following orders when they viciously pat down a 3 year old bringing the kid to tears/screaming/hysterics?
  • Was the TSA agents in Atlanta that seperated mother from Son (a clear violation of TSA regulations) just following orders? The TSA information tells you:

    “We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.”

  • Was the TSA agent in Newark New Jersey who was Arrested for stealing electronics equipment while working the Baggage and luggage section? He was caught after stealing a $48k camera from an HBO crew. None of the 100+ items he had swiped before had drawn attention.
  • What about the Supervisor in Seattle who swiped 20K plus and was only found out because he came forth and admitted it?
  • Or how about The TSA agent who refused to let a 4 year old boy through a security checkpoint while wearing OBVIOUSLY needed medical legbraces? What makes it worse, is that the boy was then forced to WALK ON HIS OWN, no help from his parents.
  • What about the TSA agent who left a note in a suitcase containing an anti war sign in San Diego?
  • From July 2007 to July 2010, 24 TSA agents have been arrested and charged with Theft.

And this is just the stuff that I found on the web from credible sources. i didn't include blogs, This is all from CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX news and their affiliates. If you go deeper into the blogosphere you will find personal accounts of the horrendous behavior, bullying, and borderline sexual groping that has been occuring at TSA checkpoints around the nation.

This is the type of thing that you attract when you scrape the bottom of the employee barrel and put those people in a position of power.
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