[yshavurah] FW: Aboard Flight 564 -- words to live by


Friends and family,  the following is one of the most empowering things
anyone has sent in this whole mess.  Hope you find it so as well
Johanna

From: www.aero-news.net
20 Sep 01

Aboard Flight 564

By Peter Hannaford

As it was at most U.S. airports, last Saturday was the first
near-normal day at Denver International since the terrorist attacks.
On United's Flight 564 the door had just been locked and the plane
was about to pull out of the gate when the captain came on the public
address system.

"I want to thank you brave folks for coming out today. We don't have
any new instructions from the federal government, so from now on
we're on our own."

The passengers listened in total silence.

He explained that airport security measures had pretty much solved
the problem of firearms being carried aboard, but not weapons of the
type the terrorists apparently used, plastic knives or those
fashioned from wood or ceramics.

"Sometimes a potential hijacker will announce that he has a bomb.
There are no bombs on this aircraft and if someone were to get up and
make that claim, don't believe him.

"If someone were to stand up, brandish something and say 'This is a
hijacking' or words to that effect, here is what you should do: Every
one of you should stand up and immediately throw things at that
person -- pillows, books, magazines, eyeglasses, shoes -- anything
that will throw him off balance and distract his attention. If he has
a confederate or two, do the same with them. Most important: get a
blanket over him, then wrestle him to floor and keep him there. We'll
land the plane at the nearest airport and the authorities will take
it from there."

"Remember, there will be one of him and maybe a few confederates, but
there are 200 of you. You can overwhelm them.

"The Declaration of Independence [Well, it's the Constitution, but
never mind] says 'We, the people' and that's just what it is when
we're up in the air: We, the people, vs. would-be terrorists. I don't
think we are going to have any such problem today or tomorrow or for
a while, but some time down the road, it is going to happen again and
I want you to know what to do.

"Now, since we're a family for the new few hours, I'll ask you to
turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a
little about yourself and ask them to do the same."

The end of this remarkable speech brought sustained clapping from the
passengers. He had put the matter in perspective. If only the
passengers on those ill-fated flights last Tuesday had been given the
same talk, I thought, they might be alive today. One group on United
Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field, apparently rushed
the hijackers in an attempt to wrest control from them. While they
perished, they succeeded in preventing the terrorist from attacking
his intended goal, possibly the White House or the Capitol.

Procedures for dealing with hijackers were conceived in a time when
the hijackers were usually seeking the release of jailed comrades or
a large amount of money. Mass murder was not their goal. That short
talk last Saturday by the pilot of Flight 564 should set a new
standard of realism.

Every passenger should learn the simple -- but potentially
life-saving -- procedure he outlined. He showed his passengers that a
hijacking does not have to result in hopelessness and terror, but
victory over the perpetrators.

The Airline Pilots Association, the pilots' union, last week dropped
its opposition to stronger cockpit doors and is now calling for
retrofits. (Its opposition was based on pilot concerns about getting
out easily in emergency situations.) The scandal of easily penetrated
airport security will result in congressional calls for a federal
takeover of the security system.

Previous efforts to reform security procedures and raise standards
have been talked to death. This time, however, no lobbying efforts
must be allowed to prevent airport security from getting the reforms
that are needed: federal operation, rigorous training, decent pay and
no foreign nationals eligible for employment.

(Copyright © 2001 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with
permission of The Washington Times

--ANN Thanks the Times for being so cool about allowing us to share
this with our readers...-EIC)

FMI: http://www.washtimes.com


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