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#14267 - 03/26/03 08:21 PM Re: airline?
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
Personally, I don't consider it a huge priority; I guess that makes me a bit of an exception (in this crowd, at least).

Flying on a commercial airliner is extremely safe; if you boarded an airliner at random every day from the time you were born until your 100th birthday, your chance of being in a fatal accident would be less than 4% and even then, you'd probably survive.

Still, (stuff) happens. There was a crash of an Airbus in the French Alps some years ago. Some genius of an engineer decided that one of the aircraft instruments would serve double duty - if it was in one mode, it allowed the pilot to enter a rate of descent in feet per minute; in the other mode, the pilot entered the angle of descent in degrees. The pilots entered an angle of descent of 3.000 degrees; the aircraft instead went into a 3000 foot per minute descent. With dozens (perhaps hundreds) of instruments to look at, the pilots had virtually no chance of spotting that the decimal point on one single display was missing. So much for taking the human out of the loop. <img src="images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

The plane slammed into the ground and broke apart; there were quite a few survivors, but it took something like 5 hours for authorities to locate the wreckage. In fact, it was a news reporter and camera crew who found the crash site and directed the authorities.

So, how inconvenient is it for me to stick an Altoids tin in my jacket pocket? The main inconvenience is going through the security check. It's a personal decision as to whether the inconvenience of explaining why you need 15 feet of snare wire and a mag-flint block to a skeptical security guard is worth it to you. For many on this forum, it is. YMMV <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#14268 - 03/26/03 08:52 PM Re: no, i'm not kidding

Being paranoid about safety is not an unsafe practice.

I didn't mean to say that it was. It is however, stupid. And I have a real problem with stupidity.

Considering how many people die on US roads every year, I think driving for 8 hours because you're PO'ed at the airline is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Perhaps, but there are other advantages to driving... I can stop when I want to stop. I can eat when I want to eat. IF I smoked, I could certainly do that. I'm not limited on what I carry, be it my gun, my scuba tank or the Mr. Wizard Junior chemistry set I bought for my son. I'm not limited on the amount I carry except for the capacity of my car's trunk/cabin. I can leave and come back on my time schedule. Its cheaper!

AND when I get there, I don't have to rent a car/get a cab/call someone to pick me up... and I don't have to worry about whether my luggage will make it with me!

I also don't see how sitting behind a steering wheel for 8 hours is any more comfortable than sitting at the airport for 2.

Given that the recommendation is now 2 hours prior to the flight, you're assuming that the flight leaves on time. That seems to be a pretty big assumption based on the last few times I've flown. You're also not counting the travel time between your home and the airport... for me, that's a good hour. If you say "4" instead of "2" then I can agree with this part of your comment. I drive a Buick LeSabre, I can assure you that its quite comfortable and the sound system rocks! I do however have to bring my own can of coke and bag of peanuts, but I manage.

I'll fly, thanks.

Have a nice flight. Godspeed! <img src="images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

#14269 - 03/27/03 08:16 PM Re: no, i'm not kidding
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
I too avoid the airlines. Didn't like flying before. Sure don't now. The airlines have no shame. They reduce service and jack up rates. Deregulation was the worst thing. I was hoping they'd be regulated again, but that hope faded quickly.

#14270 - 03/27/03 09:10 PM Re: no, i'm not kidding

Thanks Craig,

Its nice to know someone agrees with me on this subject. I've brought it up a few times before (here and elsewhere) and I was beginning to feel like the Lone Ranger.

I just don't care for the Gestapo tactics, even if it is being done in the name of safety... and I don't understand how commandeering nail clippers and pocket knifes is going to curtail terrorism. Didn't some of those guys use plastic knives, seems to me they still have no defense against that!

They're just guaranteeing that the rest of us that are trying to follow the rules will be unarmed if/when the next attack comes! That's just real helpful! <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

#14271 - 03/28/03 07:02 AM Re: no, i'm not kidding
amper Offline

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 187
Loc: US
The original question has certainly been answered well here, but I'm going to add my 0.02USD anyway...

1) If the plane makes and unscheduled landing, I plan on walking away from it. I also plan on surviving the environment in which said landing takes place.

2) If someone tries to hijack the plane, I plan on doing something about it. If more people had this attitude the events of 20010911 would likely have been less severe.

3) I'm a citizen of the United States of America. It's my right to bear weapons. Period.

4) Luggage gets lost, sometimes.

I much preferred the days prior to 20010911. The days when I could just give my knife to the stews, who put it in the pilot's lockbox for safekeeping. Of course, my knife in my pocket would have been even better, but at least it was preferable to the lunacy that passes for "security measures" nowadays.

When I went on my honeymoon to Italy last year, I got hassled by the "security" drones at EWR about my Brunton Helios lighter, after having passed through the security check with it three times while waiting for my flight, even though I was clearly going outside for a smoke. God, they even asked me if my pen was actually a pen! Not that they pulled the cap off and checked, they just took my word for it. You call that security?! Then it was my carabiner, which many travel resources recommend you use to clip your bags together to prevent airport theft. It was claimed that I could use it as "brass knuckles". They eventually let me keep everything, but only did a cursory check of my carry-on, which was loaded with all sorts of odd things, like two Snow Peak Titanium Sporks, a shortwave radio, a couple of more cigarette lighters, a Storm whistle, a Black Diamond ATB rappelling device, lots of cord, some 9mm rope, etc, etc.

What really irks me is that although walking canes are specifically allowed by reg.'s, I'm sure that if I walked up to the gate with Cold Steel City Stick, with it's stainless steel head (which won't pass the metal detectors) and it's fiberglass shaft, being a healthy 34 year old who doesn't walk with a limp or generally wear a top hat and tails, I'd likely get thrown out of the airport, or worse.

Want to stop terrorism? Arm the populace and make sure they know the responsible use of their weapons. Our current society is more disposed to turning out ranks of sheep who are so afraid of violence and/or their own inability to control their own behavior that they would rather willing give their lives over to people of questionable motives--like policemen, politicians, and terrorists.

Okay, rant over...

If you think carrying a PSK on a plane is unnecessary, I hope you never find a need to use the sorts of things one generally contains.

One of the best mottos I've ever heard is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America--Be Prepared. That just about covers everything in life, doesn't it?
Gemma Seymour @gcvrsa

#14272 - 03/28/03 01:14 PM Re: no, i'm not kidding
Craig Offline

Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
The airlines got caught with their pants down in a major way and people died because of it. Now it's a case of closing the barn door and nailing it shut long after rustlers walked in and shot your cows. It's called CYA.

The rest of my family says how else are you going to travel. So they fly. They say the airlines are safer than ever before. They submit to degrading and ineffective procedures. So will I whenever I fly again. I will have to, because my wife wants to travel, and you really can't travel in this country because the USA has invested in air travel. Not train travel or bus travel. Me, I'd much prefer train travel.

Before 9/11, we were debating going to Las Vegas for a vacation. By air you can be there in hours. By train it would take about a week. ONE FREAKING WEEK. That's totally unacceptable.

#14273 - 03/29/03 07:00 AM Re: no, i'm not kidding
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
Well, you probably haven't read my other postings on this topic, because by and large, we seem to be agreeing furiously. I won't repeat my arguments, because for some strange reason, pointing out how security could be improved seems to irritate people. <img src="images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> But you can always do a search if you're desperately curious.

The only two places we may disagree are:

1. I disagree that the airlines are at fault (at least, not entirely). They're trying to run a business; most of them are losing millions and the last thing they want to do is drive away customers. If they're to blame at all, it's because (like most businesses, even today) they refused to consider security an important issue until it was too late. I've posted several times how security could be improved, but the reality is, no airline could adopt those alternative measures without government support, nor could they simply choose to abolish the onerous screening measures currently in place.

2. I won't put myself at added risk out of personal spite or misplaced fear. (I can't say for sure whether you agree or disagree with this position, though.) Besides, the last time I drove to England, it took 17 days, it was a [censored] trying to find a hotel once I got past Newfoundland, I ran out of gas south of Iceland, and when I got out to hitchhike I stepped in the Atlantic and almost drowned. ;-)

(yes, that's sarcasm, in case anyone was wondering) <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

And my apologies for aiding and abetting the thread drift <img src="images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#14274 - 03/29/03 08:37 PM Hey, Amper....

>>> If the plane makes an unscheduled landing, I plan on walking away from it.

Good for you! As we all know, a positive attitude is probably 95% of survival anyway.

>>>I also plan on surviving the environment in which said landing takes place.

Also great. I haven't checked the water temperature lately south of Iceland on my route to Amsterdam (flying 777's out of Washington DC), but I imagine it's still pretty nippy. Actually, it's ALWAYS nippy. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

>>>If someone tries to hijack the plane, I plan on doing something about it.

Good on ya. You'll join the other 247 passengers + 16 crewmembers in the fray. The good news is that everyone is of this same mindset now.

>>>>If more people had this attitude the events of 20010911 would likely have been less severe.

Well, yeah....no major detective work required on that issue. The heroic passengers on UAL Flight 93 were doing just that. 9/11 produced a paradigm shift in the way hijackings were viewed by airlines. Previously, all of our training (pilots) was aimed at cooperate and graduate -- placate the hijacker, go on to Cuba. Obviously, those days are gone forever. Until we get OUR guns, we have to make do with that nice little titanium-edged cockpit axe and the fortress door.


Ummm, just curious as to your method of writing 9/11. Any reason why you do it this way?

>>>I'm a citizen of the United States of America. It's my right to bear weapons. Period.

You betcha it is! As long as it's not on MY airplane.

>>>>The days when I could just give my knife to the stews, who put it in the pilot's lockbox for safekeeping.

There's really no lockbox on the plane, at least not in the cockpit.

>>>walking canes are specifically allowed by reg.'s,

As long as there's no stiletto embedded in it.

And hey, have you seen those totally plastic guns that pass right through security? And how about those SAMs waiting for us on final approach into London Heathrow?

Air travel is soooo much fun these days.

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