- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Flight attendants trained to cooperate
Question of the Day
Flight attendants on commercial airlines are still being trained to cooperate with hijackers and be victims rather than fight back, despite the attcks of September 11.
“Their wrists were bound, their throats slashed,” Patricia Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee yesterday.
The September 11 panel revealed that hijackers “beat the last line of defense on the four flights, because the professionals had been trained to cooperate with hijackers, not fight them,” Miss Friend said.
“Unfortunately, I am here to report to you that nothing has changed since that horrible day. We are no better prepared today to handle a situation like that which occurred on September 11th and our training is still woefully inadequate.”
The AFA, which represents 46,000 flight attendants, wants Congress to legislate training guidelines to teach attendants to help protect the aircraft during a terrorist attack. Currently, training methods vary from airline to airline.
Attendants are trained to fight fires in the air, administer first aid and evacuate a plane in case of an accident, but instruction on dealing with hijackings advises flight attendants to remain complacent, Miss Friend said.
“Our skies are not safe and they will not be safe until flight attendants receive the training necessary to protect our passengers from another September 11,” she said.
Tape recordings of the September 11 hijackings reveal that the terrorists first killed the 25 flight attendants on board the four planes to gain entry to the cockpits. One passenger who tried to intervene and save the flight attendants also was murdered.
Most passengers did not witness the fatal attacks because curtains blocked the view between first class and coach. Flight attendants have successfully lobbied to have those curtains removed so they can have a complete view of all passengers.
Additionally, air marshals and pilots are told that if necessary to “shoot through” attendants, and air marshals are being trained to do so during training simulations.
“Doesn’t it make more sense to train that flight attendant to assist in a crisis rather than to be a human shield?” Miss Friend said.
The hearing was immediately adjourned without comment from the panel after Miss Friend’s testimony owing to the Senate’s voting schedule, said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and the committee’s chairman.
However, last week, Republicans and Democrats led by the committee’s ranking member Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, South Carolina Democrat, wrote David Stone, Transportation Security Administration administrator, reminding the agency that Congress has instructed it three times to develop “comprehensive, mandatory and industrywide standards” for training.
“We find it unacceptable, as flight attendants are the only part of this security team that are guaranteed to be in the cabin 100 percent of all flights and it is absolutely critical that they receive adequate security training,” wrote 36 lawmakers.
“We cannot ignore the urgent need for flight attendant security training as it has become clear that Al Qaeda is still targeting U.S. aircraft and that the General Accounting Office has reported that weapons are still making it onboard the aircraft.”
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq