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As a ditch pilot flying 20-30 passengers a day from all around the world for hours on end that all have unchecked baggage with them in the aircraft cabin I've always had the underlying curiosity of what would go down in the event of some sort of hijacking.

 

Virtually zero security screening of passengers or baggage from check-in to boarding. I'd like to hear your thoughts on what you think you'd do. Of course there are countless possibilities and scenarios, but for this matter lets say you're inbound for KLAS and someone flashes a gun and tells you to land near a terminal or somewhere in the city.

 

Do you guys think squawking 7500 in the event of hijack is essentially a death sentence for everyone? I mean with Nellis AFB right there and everything. I assume tower would verify you have the correct code in which the pilot would simply reply yes. From what I've researched ATC will only ask you to verify once, then will not mention it again.

 

 

Pop the doors and flying like a mad man until you could control crash somewhere and bail?

 

Squawk and go with the flow and meet the hijackers demands until you find out what happens?

 

Carry a big ol' knife and hope you're within reach?

 

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How many of the pax are bad guys?

 

If only one, and there are 19 other big ruff tuff guys on board, how about they mash the baddie and toss him out the door?

 

If the baddie is standing between the pilot seats, dump the collective, pull up again and roll - he should fall over before you have a mast bump and rotor separation.

 

And if he had half a brain, he wouldn't let you change the txpdr, and he would pull your headset cord out of the socket.

Edited by Eric Hunt

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When I say 20-30pax that's total for the day. I fly 6-7 pax at a time on the helo side.

I agree, if they've done any research at all you're pretty screwed on using the transponder or radios.

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I've heard of a helicopter hijacking in which it was an R44 hired to give tours. The hijackers simply directed the pilot at gun point to fly to a prison and pick their buddy up, then the hijackers simply had the pilot land in a field and they ran away, to get caught a few days later.

 

In fact this seems so hilariously common that wikipedia keeps a list of the incidents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_escapes

 

Honestly it sounds like a fun time barring the violence and coercion. Not every day will you get to be a vital part of a prison break and fly into a prison with an iron clad defense that you were simply "held at gun point". They won't shoot at you too.

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So someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to fly where "they" want to go. Is that really all that different from a normal day at work?

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Pick an inanimate object and plow into it. f**k 'em. If you're South Rim I guess the rim would do. If you're Vegas maybe the Hoover Dam.

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Pick an inanimate object and plow into it. f*ck 'em. If you're South Rim I guess the rim would do. If you're Vegas maybe the Hoover Dam.

 

 

I feel like if I got the hint they wanted to use the helicopter to hit a building or a populated area and I didn't think I could get down alive then I'd elect to just take out a lonesome mountain. If they just wanted to take the helicopter down and kill everyone I assume said bad people would just take out the pilot anyway while sitting behind.

 

I don't know, just a topic I've bounced around in my head every once in awhile when you get those creepy people on board or the drunks who slip through the very loose cracks.

 

 

So someone puts a gun to your head and tells you to fly where "they" want to go. Is that really all that different from a normal day at work?

 

It's Stockholm syndrome, pilot edition. I've adapted to love not having free time or a comma in my bank account.

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First of all, if you're flying passengers under Part 135, you're required to have security training, and should have no question whatsoever about handling the scenario in question. None.

 

Second, it's not something that the employee of a certificate holder should discuss on an open forum.

 

Third, it's a goddamn helicopter...not really a fearsome terrorist weapon. Run it into the Capitol building and it bounces off and slides to the ground. It's not fast, it's not heavy, it carries very little fuel.

 

Fourth, if you're hijacked in a helicopter, feel free to laugh. You've been hijacked by an idiot.

 

Fifth, there is zero chance your hijacker will tell you to fly him to Lybia. In fact, you won't be taking him very far. Hijacking a helicopter for much other than the previously mentioned prison break, is stupid. Your hijacker is starting the exercise with the mental acumen of a rock.

 

Sixth, you have an obligation to prevent the misuse of your aircraft by one with criminal intent. See comment #1. OpSec.

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The idiot in Oz, Lucy Dudko, forced my mate Tim to land in Silverwater Prison - in a Bell 47 - to help John Killick escape.

 

Once outside the prison walls, on a windy day, they saw that the cars were going faster than the chopper, so they made Tim land, tied him up with his headset cord, and stole a car.

 

The odd thing is, I fielded a call a few days earlier from a woman wanting to hire a B206 for a scenic of the Olympic site, but she didn't like the price. Could'a been me. And the next weird thing was, I was talking to Tim on the chatter freq (we were both flopping around the site at the same time) when she pulled out the AK47 from her duffle bag, and ripped out his headset cord so he couldn't make a radio call.

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None of these experts are going to be there with you. In other words, you're on your own- completely.

 

If your high jacker is it at all rational, you might point out that you have no gun, are no danger, whereas shooting you kills everybody on board without accomplishing... whatever. Keeping that from happening with your pax aboard, and hopefully getting everybody home safe is your objective. Being calm, rational and conversational but not confrontational with the high jacker helps.

 

Do whatever you need to do, 7500, etc. The high jacker must be assumed to be prepared to use the weapon and/or die. You're not Bond, James Bond, and you're not going to successfully attack the baddie in flight. Get everybody safely on the ground. Let LE do their thing.

 

Suicide vests, bombs are a different issue altogether...

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First of all, if you're flying passengers under Part 135, you're required to have security training, and should have no question whatsoever about handling the scenario in question. None.

 

Second, it's not something that the employee of a certificate holder should discuss on an open forum.

 

Third, it's a goddamn helicopter...not really a fearsome terrorist weapon. Run it into the Capitol building and it bounces off and slides to the ground. It's not fast, it's not heavy, it carries very little fuel.

 

Fourth, if you're hijacked in a helicopter, feel free to laugh. You've been hijacked by an idiot.

 

Fifth, there is zero chance your hijacker will tell you to fly him to Lybia. In fact, you won't be taking him very far. Hijacking a helicopter for much other than the previously mentioned prison break, is stupid. Your hijacker is starting the exercise with the mental acumen of a rock.

 

Sixth, you have an obligation to prevent the misuse of your aircraft by one with criminal intent. See comment #1. OpSec.

 

 

1. Good joke, wonderful 10min powerpoint isn't it. See something say something got it bam I have no question whatsoever about handling this hypothetical situation with unlimited possible scenarios attached to it. NONE!

 

2. Hmm I see your point, I hope bad people don't know about the internet. If admins agree feel free to delete?

 

3. I agree yet again, however I'm more interested in the subject of what you guys think the real world response would be to squawking near a large base or city. Not if a helicopter is smart choice.

 

4. I assume they're all idiots what's your point.

 

5. He might, after all he/she's an idiot. I obviously know how far they'd get if distance was their goal.

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You'd better know how far they'd get. You're the pilot, brightspark. Do you not know what the range of your helicopter is?

 

If you don't know what to do with a hijacking, and you're operating under 135 or other such associated operating parts, then you've no business taking passengers in the air or working under your employers operating certificate.

 

Your mission, if hijacked, is decidedly, absolutely NOT to get the aircraft and passengers back to the ground safely.

 

There was a time when the proper response was to acquiesce to the hijackers demands and allow law enforcement to do their job. That policy ended a long time ago and is definitely not current policy for any operator, anywhere in the United States.

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avbug, the highjack expert! Probably been highjacked a half a dozens times or more, though. Probably had a couple engine failures at the same time, even.

 

Hell, I didn't even know there was any policy at all, let alone there was one that ended. So what's the new policy? Don't get the aircraft and passengers back on the ground safely? Oh yeah, were not supposed to talk about it on a public forum. Seems it's so top secret, most of us working pilots don't even know what it is!

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First of all, if you're flying passengers under Part 135, you're required to have security training, and should have no question whatsoever about handling the scenario in question. None.

 

 

Not the dumbest thing avbug has ever uttered on here, but I would say it's in the top 10 for sure.

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You'd better know how far they'd get. You're the pilot, brightspark. Do you not know what the range of your helicopter is?

 

If you don't know what to do with a hijacking, and you're operating under 135 or other such associated operating parts, then you've no business taking passengers in the air or working under your employers operating certificate.

 

Your mission, if hijacked, is decidedly, absolutely NOT to get the aircraft and passengers back to the ground safely.

 

There was a time when the proper response was to acquiesce to the hijackers demands and allow law enforcement to do their job. That policy ended a long time ago and is definitely not current policy for any operator, anywhere in the United States.

 

 

1. You said I won't be taking them very far. To which I replied I am aware, I am a pilot. Show me where I said I didn't know how far a helicopter could fly...brightspark.

 

2. I've been with 5 different 135 operators, same 10 minute powerpoint with all of them. If you were given some amazing hands on anti-terrorism or hijack training please enlighten us on it and where to find the material. Not a single other pilot I've spoken with has been given formal training nor believes their company has an official response they're supposed to follow. Not a single one. Damn no one must be qualified!

 

3. §91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(B) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

© Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (B) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.

Ah, the most famous part in the FAR's most of us have memorized. My mission is whatever I say it is at that point. If you disagree go ahead and reread it, just slower.

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I've heard of a helicopter hijacking in which it was an R44 hired to give tours. The hijackers simply directed the pilot at gun point to fly to a prison and pick their buddy up, then the hijackers simply had the pilot land in a field and they ran away, to get caught a few days later.

 

In fact this seems so hilariously common that wikipedia keeps a list of the incidents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_helicopter_prison_escapes

 

Honestly it sounds like a fun time barring the violence and coercion. Not every day will you get to be a vital part of a prison break and fly into a prison with an iron clad defense that you were simply "held at gun point". They won't shoot at you too.

 

 

That was a crazy read. Good find thanks!

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2. I've been with 5 different 135 operators, same 10 minute powerpoint with all of them. If you were given some amazing hands on anti-terrorism or hijack training please enlighten us on it and where to find the material. Not a single other pilot I've spoken with has been given formal training nor believes their company has an official response they're supposed to follow. Not a single one. Damn no one must be qualified!

 

 

 

Please enlighten you? I have never been with a 135 or 121 employer (and I have been with a number of them, including my current employer) that did not cover this. I returned Sunday from two months of training, and we spent several days discussing the topic, observing videos, and discussed everything from handling the situation in flight to on the ground, to where to place a suspected explosive device to minimize damage, and no, that material is not subject to posting on a public forum.

 

If you're working or 135 operators who do not cover this material, then you're working for piss poor operators. If you don't know what your responsibilities are for passenger briefing, screening, who has access to flight controls, etc, which are all part of the same subject, then you are at fault, and your employer is at fault. Your employer for failing to provide you with this information, and you for failing to get it. You just invoked PIC regulation; as the PIC you're also responsible for obtaining ALL information relating to the conduct of that flight before you begin, and that applies to every single flight.

 

As an employee of a certificate holder, you have a responsibility not only to the certificate holder, not only to the passengers on board, but also to those on the ground and the property or persons that may become a target of your aircraft should it be appropriated in flight. When hijacked, you have an obligation to prevent, at all costs, this misuse of that aircraft by the hijackers. That includes placing a higher premium in preventing the misuse of the aircraft at the cost of your life, the safety of the aircraft, or the safety of the passengers. If you do not understand this, you have failed and your employer has failed to drill this point in, which has been protocol since 09/11.

 

Prior to 09/11, protocol was to allow hijackers to do what they needed to do, with a number of specific conditions incumbent on you as the pilot, if possible, during the course of the hijacking. Again, this is NOT information to be covered on a public forum, and it is operational security.

 

No, your mission is not whatever you say it is. Your lack of understanding on education of the matter is a function of ignorance on your part, and a failing on the part of your employer. That you've managed to go through five 135 operators thus far and still fail to understand or know this information, doesn't speak well of you, or your choice of employers.

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You want me to fly where? Look pal I make $12 bucks an hour, tell ya what, give me a 20 and you can put the gun away and I'll fly you anywhere you want and the cops never have to know about it.

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Your lack of understanding on education of the matter is a function of ignorance on your part, and a failing on the part of your employer. That you've managed to go through five 135 operators thus far and still fail to understand or know this information, doesn't speak well of you, or your choice of employers.

 

...and the gold medal for having the absolute highest horse, from which to look down on mere mortals, goes to.......The Bug!

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Eric,

 

Understanding the requirement, and a willingness to die if necessary, to prevent the misuse of an aircraft by hijackers/terrorists is not arrogance. Except perhaps in your world.

 

In the real world, it's a professional requirement and an extreme necessity applicable to an extreme situation in which we all hope to never find ourselves.

 

As for the question of what the response is to squawking 7500; this is well established and given, and everyone from student pilot on up has an obligation to know it, regardless of whether employed for a certificate holder.

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If it looks like they're going to use it to hit something I'm just going to cut the fuel. Voila, the target is now whatever spot of ground is 1,000 feet in front of us. Even if the hijacker knows how to fly I've taken away his options. If he knows how to start and take off in the bird then why didn't he just steal it?

 

Anyways, until it reaches that point I'm doing whatever the hijacker tells me to. You know, to survive.

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So what we have learned via a public forum is Avbug has publicly admitted he is suicidal and may or may not be fit for further flight when passengers become rather demanding in nature.

 

I missed the part in my last 22 days of training about the self destruct mode if hijacked...but leave that to Flight Safety, maybe they missed the Government memo to include this in the power point presentation.

 

I did learn though about the FAA cheat codes. These are pretty helpful in case you may have thought they meant something else.

 

7500, fly in formation with F-16's

7600, ATC radio silence for when you just need to have a moment of silence.

7700, Priority landing, Like TSA precheck for pilots on final

 

:)

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7500, fly in formation with F-16's

 

:)

F-16's,...?!

 

HEY GUYS WAIT UP,...! :o

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