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TSA strikes again

 
 
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      12-09-2005
Well, going through the San Francisco airport today, it seems
like TSA found something terrible in my bag. As I went through
security, they found a problem. The x-ray line was stopped and
my bag was put through again. Uh-OH! They think there is
something terrible in there. They take it all apart, desperately
searching for something "hidden" in the bag. Take things
out. Put them in trays. Put the trays through x-ray. Can't
find it. Search some more. About 20 minutes, it seemed,
and they finally say what they are searching for: "Do you
have allen wrenches?" Gee, I don't think so, only computer
equipment, I said. The search continued. They finally found
the allen wrench, about 2 mm in diameter. It is in a plastic
bag with spare screws for my camera quick release wimberly
plates. I must have put it in the wrong backpack on my photo
trip to New Mexico last week. "I thought those were OK now"
I said. The TSA guy said "We've seen the news reports on TV,
but we have not received guidance, so these are still banned.
Lesson: the terrorists will send advance people armed with
tiny allen wrenches to divert attention from the real stuff.

Roger
 
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cjcampbell
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      12-09-2005
I wonder just how helpless the American public has to be before we are
'safe' for, er, from terrorists?

Maybe it would be better if TSA just issued baseball bats to all
airline passengers.

But, speaking as a pilot, there will never be another hijacking where a
plane is deliberately flown into a building. 9/11 happened in the
context of pilots complying with whatever hijackers asked of them.
Nowadays, a pilot will take whatever measures are necessary to render a
hijacker helpless, no matter who or what the terrorist takes hostage.
Roll the airplane, violent maneuvers, depressurize the cabin, fly into
the ground, call for the Air Force to shoot you down -- no matter what,
the terrorist does not get the airplane.

The most practical method for preventing hijackings has yet to be
implemented: take out the first few rows of seats and paint a yellow
line on the floor. Give an armed uniformed officer a seat by the
pilots' door. If anyone, no matter who, crosses the yellow line while
the plane is in flight, he dies. Hijackers can only come up the center
aisle single file, and then only slowly.

Those measures leave blowing up the airplane as the terrorists' only
alternative. Somehow I don't think confiscating Allen wrenches and
naiil clippers will prevent that. Other measures must be used.

 
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This old Bob
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      12-09-2005

"Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
message news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Well, going through the San Francisco airport today, it seems
> like TSA found something terrible in my bag. As I went through
> security, they found a problem. The x-ray line was stopped and
> my bag was put through again. Uh-OH! They think there is
> something terrible in there. They take it all apart, desperately
> searching for something "hidden" in the bag. Take things
> out. Put them in trays. Put the trays through x-ray. Can't
> find it. Search some more. About 20 minutes, it seemed,
> and they finally say what they are searching for: "Do you
> have allen wrenches?" Gee, I don't think so, only computer
> equipment, I said. The search continued. They finally found
> the allen wrench, about 2 mm in diameter. It is in a plastic
> bag with spare screws for my camera quick release wimberly
> plates. I must have put it in the wrong backpack on my photo
> trip to New Mexico last week. "I thought those were OK now"
> I said. The TSA guy said "We've seen the news reports on TV,
> but we have not received guidance, so these are still banned.
> Lesson: the terrorists will send advance people armed with
> tiny allen wrenches to divert attention from the real stuff.
>



It could be used to put something else together as well as used to take
something apart.

In any event, thanks for the heads up.


 
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Paul Rubin
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      12-09-2005
"cjcampbell" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> The most practical method for preventing hijackings has yet to be
> implemented: take out the first few rows of seats and paint a yellow
> line on the floor. Give an armed uniformed officer a seat by the
> pilots' door. If anyone, no matter who, crosses the yellow line while
> the plane is in flight, he dies. Hijackers can only come up the center
> aisle single file, and then only slowly.


A much more practical scheme is used by airlines like El Al which care
about actual security rather than just inconveniencing passengers for
show or for intimidation. El Al simply has a reinforced door closing
off the cockpit, which is locked on the ground before takeoff and
can't be unlocked except by ground personnel after the plane lands.
No amount of mayhem or hostage taking in the passenger compartment can
possibly get the pilots to unlock the cockpit, because they're not
able to.

The downside is that the cockpit section needs its own washroom and
possibly its own emergency exit, since the pilots can't use the the
regular ones in the passenger cabin. This stuff takes space on the
plane, requiring removing a few seats and decreasing revenue. That
seems to be why US airlines haven't been willing to use that simple
measure.
 
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c
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      12-09-2005

"Paul Rubin" <http://(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "cjcampbell" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> > The most practical method for preventing hijackings has yet to be
> > implemented: take out the first few rows of seats and paint a yellow
> > line on the floor. Give an armed uniformed officer a seat by the
> > pilots' door. If anyone, no matter who, crosses the yellow line while
> > the plane is in flight, he dies. Hijackers can only come up the center
> > aisle single file, and then only slowly.

>
> A much more practical scheme is used by airlines like El Al which care
> about actual security rather than just inconveniencing passengers for
> show or for intimidation. El Al simply has a reinforced door closing
> off the cockpit, which is locked on the ground before takeoff and
> can't be unlocked except by ground personnel after the plane lands.
> No amount of mayhem or hostage taking in the passenger compartment can
> possibly get the pilots to unlock the cockpit, because they're not
> able to.
>
> The downside is that the cockpit section needs its own washroom and
> possibly its own emergency exit, since the pilots can't use the the
> regular ones in the passenger cabin. This stuff takes space on the
> plane, requiring removing a few seats and decreasing revenue. That
> seems to be why US airlines haven't been willing to use that simple
> measure.


Or maybe we're simply not bright enough to implement something that works,
even though it was someone else's idea. I wonder how much revenue is lost
due to the security measures taken at US airports. Think of the cost of the
security equipment, the labor, and the unknown number of people that no
longer fly on shorter trips because of the hassles and the increased time of
getting through the airport.

This thread interests me because I am flying to the Philippines next month
along with a friend of mine. He requires an IPAP? machine, and I wonder how
that will affect us. I am bringing my camera of course, and would like to
bring my laptop as well, but I'm thinking this is going to be a big hassle.
It might just be easier to buy a couple extra memory cards and leave the PC
at home.

Chris


 
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Paul Rubin
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      12-09-2005
"c" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> This thread interests me because I am flying to the Philippines next
> month along with a friend of mine. He requires an IPAP? machine, and
> I wonder how that will affect us. I am bringing my camera of course,
> and would like to bring my laptop as well, but I'm thinking this is
> going to be a big hassle. It might just be easier to buy a couple
> extra memory cards and leave the PC at home.


Flying with a laptop is no big deal. They make you take it out of your
bag and send it through the x-ray on a tray, and then they swab it with
something that's supposed to detect explosives, but it's a routine thing,
no worse hassle than the other hassles they already put you through.

I don't expect the CPAP (I think that's what you meant) to cause any
problem, but just to be sure, your friend should bring his doctor's
prescription for it along, and maybe its operating manual that
explains what it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPAP

mentions some issues of travelling with CPAP machines, especially if
your friend has to use the machine on the plane.
 
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RobG
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      12-09-2005
"This old Bob" <(E-Mail Removed)>
>
>
> It could be used to put something else together as well as used to
> take something apart.
>
> In any event, thanks for the heads up.
>
>
>


Yeah... and I know an ex-SAS chap who can kill you about 100 different
ways, mostly silent, mostly without anything anyone would recognise as a
'weapon'. If you want extreme pain without actually getting too close to
being dead, he's your man for that too.

This whole anti-terror thing s***s me to tears.

RobG
 
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c
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      12-09-2005

"Paul Rubin" <http://(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "c" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> > This thread interests me because I am flying to the Philippines next
> > month along with a friend of mine. He requires an IPAP? machine, and
> > I wonder how that will affect us. I am bringing my camera of course,
> > and would like to bring my laptop as well, but I'm thinking this is
> > going to be a big hassle. It might just be easier to buy a couple
> > extra memory cards and leave the PC at home.

>
> Flying with a laptop is no big deal. They make you take it out of your
> bag and send it through the x-ray on a tray, and then they swab it with
> something that's supposed to detect explosives, but it's a routine thing,
> no worse hassle than the other hassles they already put you through.
>
> I don't expect the CPAP (I think that's what you meant) to cause any
> problem, but just to be sure, your friend should bring his doctor's
> prescription for it along, and maybe its operating manual that
> explains what it is.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPAP
>
> mentions some issues of travelling with CPAP machines, especially if
> your friend has to use the machine on the plane.


Actually, I was wrong, it is a BiPAP machine. The difference being CPAP is
constant pressure and BiPAP changes pressure for inhaling and exhaling.

Chris


 
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Paul Rubin
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      12-09-2005
"c" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> > mentions some issues of travelling with CPAP machines, especially if
> > your friend has to use the machine on the plane.

>
> Actually, I was wrong, it is a BiPAP machine. The difference being CPAP is
> constant pressure and BiPAP changes pressure for inhaling and exhaling.


I expect the travel issues are about the same.
 
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Bucky
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      12-09-2005
Paul Rubin wrote:
> El Al simply has a reinforced door closing
> off the cockpit, which is locked on the ground before takeoff and
> can't be unlocked except by ground personnel after the plane lands.
> No amount of mayhem or hostage taking in the passenger compartment can
> possibly get the pilots to unlock the cockpit, because they're not
> able to.


Very interesting, thanks for sharing this piece of info.

> This stuff takes space on the
> plane, requiring removing a few seats and decreasing revenue. That
> seems to be why US airlines haven't been willing to use that simple
> measure.


That can't be the real reason (I hope). Much more money is being spent
on staff, equipment, etc. than lost revenue from a few seats. They
could just use the security fee to subsidize the seat revenue.

 
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