AA and Fin Air held after landing at JFK (9/17)

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by viguera, Sep 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    Apparently two planes were held after landing this afternoon because of a bomb threat.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=8813926

    An interesting exchange between the AA pilot and the tower though...

    Is that procedure though? Can the pilot unilaterally decide that he's fed up that he didn't get any information and decide to evacuate the plane? I can understand that he's ultimately responsible for the plane, but to be giving ultimatums like that seems... unreasonable.
     
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Between the tower and the captain, I thought the latter was more than reasonable. He gets the visual clues that there are suspected explosives in the wheel wells, yet is left stranded without an explanation. The captain must assume it's a real threat rather than theater, and protect the passengers & crew.
     
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  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Yep. Either you trust the pilot or you don't... and he's responsible for the plane and its occupants. Sounds reasonable to me!
     
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  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah but you could argue that at the end of the day he didn't know all the facts... could very well be that nobody did, and you could actually make the mistake of acting without knowing and actually making things worse.

    I think if the tower tells you to stay put, and you can't get confirmation that there's imminent danger by doing so (like the plane being on fire or some crazy thing like that), then it's probably safer to just do what you're told.

    Not that it doesn't suck that you don't know all the facts, but maybe it's better not to move around to much because of that.
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Being told to stop on the ground and being surrounded by emergency vehicles and not being given any reason why suggests imminent danger. It's reminiscent of the stupid TSA Bravo Drills.
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Agreed... but my argument is that if you don't know all the facts, you could actually make things worse by taking matters into your own hands.

    Sensationalizing of course, but what if there was actually something going on and it was to be triggered by the door, or the slide? By him not knowing but making the decision to evacuate, he might actually make things worse.
     
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  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    If you don't know ANY of the facts you're in much, much worse danger. Everything you do, or don't do, could potentially be wrong. No information is worse than some... up to the point of analysis paralysis. Ideally, you give the captain clear, concise instructions without saying "there's a bomb attached to your door" for fear of someone listening and using a secondary detonation mechanism.

    Then again, from an emergency services perspective, driving all those emergency vehicles up to a possible rolling fuel bomb isn't actually the best strategy, either. Always, always, always consider the secondary. In this case, the secondary was quite possibly the other plane put in the same area.

    Not well thought out in terms of response and communication, IMO as an emergency responder.
     
  8. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Putting two potential bombs right next to each other is a stupid thing to do. That, to me, is the first sign that this was a complete Keystone Kops operation (if the penetration into JFK's highly touted security system by a jet-skier wasn't proof enough) by ATC and PANYNJ.

    We have to face facts in that we are not prepared for everything. Throwing federal grant money at everything and anything might look sexy for headlines and political stump speeches, but it does not make us 100% safe. There is NOTHING out there, including the TSA's kabuki theater, that leaves us 100% safe.
     
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  9. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Although I agree, I'm gonna say that only partially... :)

    Two potential bombs next to each other are bad, but spreading two potentially large bombs to different locations, within the confined spaces of an airport, is still a bad idea.

    Say the two planes do blow up together in some remote area of the airport -- and I know that sentence is throwing all kinds of flags over at the NSA -- but you've basically confined the damage to that area. Plus if something does happen, you have all your resources nearby to handle the mess.

    If instead you move plane A and plane B to separate sides of the airport, now you're dealing with two scenes, splitting your resources to handle them and increasing the affected area.
     
  10. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I don't disagree with your resources statement, I still think we are ALL kidding ourselves if we think we are 100% protected from everything. In some ways, I think we are LESS protected at airports than we are elsewhere, but that's starting to drift off-topic.
     

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