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  1. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Gov response to a hijacking situation

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Anonym, Jun 7, 2010.

    So, let's say some bad guys hijack an airliner full of people, and alter the plane's course toward an imminent collision with the white house or somethin. 9/11 basically. However, the Government in this case learns of the situation soon enough to get fighter jets in place to intercept it.
    Anyone have any idea what the Gov (U.S. specifically) would do? Shoot the plane down? Try to board it somehow? Are there any real life or fictional instances of this? Specific policies?
    I've done some research but haven't come up with anything useful yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If it happened today, I think they would shoot the planes down, rather than risk a repeat of 9/11. And how would they board a plane in mid flight?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If fighter hets are scrambled in time, they will flank the airliner and order it to change course, by radio and by visual signals to the cockpit. If they cannot see flight crew in the cockpit or if the plane does not change course according to instructions, they will confirm with their commander and then blow the plane out of the sky. If the plane enters restricted airspace, it will be blown out of the sky.

    They will order the plane to follow instructions to land at a securable location, most likely a nearby military airfield. If the flight crew deviate from the assigned flight path, the escort fighter jets will blow it out of the sky.

    Ever since 9/11, the rules have been tightened about off course aiurcraft, especially approaching restricted airspace or population centers.

    There have been some cases in which aircraft have strayed close to restricted airspaces, and escort jets were preparing to shoot them down. So far, it has not yet been necessary to follow through, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Federal Aviation Administration deals with aircrafts in U.S. space, right? So then just google 'FAA hijacking policy', and you'll get what you need.
     
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  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    ...and probably the attention of Homeland Secutity as well. :)
     
  6. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Awesome, perfect. About exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks man :)

    I'll probably save that inquiry for the public library, lol.

    Although, whether the executive branch, the military or the FAA would have jurisdiction(?) is an interesting sub-point.
     
  7. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    God only knows how many times innocent questions have done that.. haha

    I can say with great certainty that they'd just shoot it out of the sky if it didn't respond to any sort of contact they try to make. If it goes into restricted air space it's toast. End of story. There is no room for hesitation in such situations. If you hesitate people die.
     
  8. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, the point isn't really about who is in charge of the issue, but rather the issue of researching the topic on the Internet. You said you'd done a lot of research to no avail... Sometimes just bits such as FAA will end up giving you what you need, such as the official government policy on handling aircraft hijacking in the U.S. [Sorry, my brain is still in heavy research mode for school, lol.]
     
  9. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Banzai: It seems like I saw it in a movie somewhere. thanks

    Terra: I was presuming everyone on the plane would die. 200-500 people. Not exactly an insignificant price. Good point tho. Thank you

    Marina: My exact inquiry was in regards to governmental proceedure, and more indirectly jurisdiction, as you brought up. Not 'the issue of researching the topic on the internet' so much. Research methodology is plenty interesting, but I was more so hoping for a relatively quick, concise answer from someone who knows more than me, as Cognito so generously obliged.
    You're right tho, it probably would have been easier to find what I was looking for if I had went from the top down. To be fair, I said I did 'some' research, not 'a lot' :p
    Luckily I didn't have to. Thanks again


    ...So there's basically no consideration for the loss of life if a plane violates a rather stringent set of proceedures for cooperation? That's what I'm getting from this, and was essentially what I was trying to find out.
     
  10. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, there is, which is why they try to get the plane to change course, etc., as Cog pointed out (and it's in our government's aircraft hijaking policy, too). I mean, they're going to have their basic guidelines, but in carrying them out, I'm sure they're not just going to go immediately shoot the down the plane after the first effort to get them to follow instructions from the government. I think some of that is just sort of common sense. Also, I'd bet this kind of situation has already been played out in some thriller movie.
     
  11. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    True, I hoped as much. I'm sure there's some room for judgement calls by pilots, but it does seem like an operation that would be relatively standardized, altho that's likely something that could only be evidenced through real life examples..
    When you put it like that, I guess I'm wondering if they'd open fire immediately after the 3rd effort - is there any alloted room for hesitation/common sense if the prescribed proceedure fails? How rigid is implimentation of said operations? That kind of thing
    I'm not actually asking. More so clarifying the nature of my curiosity.

    I'm pretty sure it has been done in a movie. That being why I mentioned the mid-flight boarding idea. Probably not the only one. This is only in regard to a of a short story exercise, fortunately. Nothing too serious.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They will undoubtedly hold back on destroying the plane as long as possible. But they WILL shoot it down when they can no longer assure the safety of ground targets.
     
  13. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Dead on, again. thank you. I kinda presumed there was some kind of proximity threshold - speed, trajectory and all considered.

    Do you imagine there would be much room for stalling by said terrorists, via distractions, minor concessions, ect? Or more like a "you cross this line, we fire" kind of thing?
    Pretty specific, but seems like the next logical avenue of investigation :/

    Thanks again, both of you and everyone. awesome response speed :)
     
  14. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    It isn't by any means. In situations like that you have to operate in favor of the greater good and not individuals. It's not pretty but it's true.
     
  15. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    Very true. I figured by the "people could die" remark that you might have overlooked somethin, but ya obviously didn't. thanks again
     
  16. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    No problem. :)
     
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  17. ToxicWaste
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    The US government doesn't really like to negotiate with terrorists or give them concessions since it, in the long run, shows that hijacking is an effective way to get demands met. Furthermore it gives terrorists a platform to spread their crazy ideas from. Though I'm sure policy differs if the hijackers are criminal or mentally unstable persons.
     

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