Terrorists struck at the heart of America with acts against civilian targets. How they smuggled weapons aboard an airline past security will receive scrutiny for years to come. How they got away with it will as well, but the loss of life will not soon be forgotten. No other single event in American history has seen the loss of more lives in one day — not Pearl Harbor, not D-day.
While the threats we face may likely come from different directions in the future, Flight 93 — the one on which passengers fought back — has taught us that YOU can do something about a hijacking attempt, now.
‘There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.’ John F. Kennedy
Remember: There are usually more “good” passengers on a typical flight than there are evil terrorists. If several passengers decided to work together, chances are that you could overpower the terrorists and take back the plane!
Not that any hijacking is good, but there are some signs that your hijackers may intend to use you as a flying bomb.
First — they will evict the pilot and co-pilot by any means, including the murder of cabin attendants and passengers, in order to get to the controls of the plane.
Second — they will try to assure the passengers that, through compliance, they will be treated kindly, and that everything will be all right.
Third — they will be loud, aggressive and forceful and threaten violence toward or attack anyone who does not comply with their direction.
Regardless of whether you see these signs or not, a person intent on forcefully taking control of an aircraft does not have your best interests in mind and does not deserve your compliance or respect.
In the event that any verbal contact is made with an aggressor prior to the flimsy cockpit door flying open, TAKE FAST ACTION! GO ON YOUR OXYGEN, THEN TURN OFF THE PASSENGER OXYGEN, AND DEPRESSURIZE THE CABIN TO AROUND 20,000 feet (if you control the passenger oxygen) or to 30,000 feet if you don’t. For the 20,000 foot option, try to do it slowly, so the terrorists don’t catch on. For the 30,000 foot option, dump it fast so they black out before they get to the masks that will drop. Once the terrorists are incapacitated, get them bound and under control, and repressurize the plane. Note: You may lose a passenger or three in this process and end up in court, but you will save the rest of the passengers and who knows how many people on the ground from a horrific fate.
If given the option, know that opening up the cockpit door is a death sentence for the entire plane. Stand your ground and, regardless of what is happening, take steps to keep that flimsy door shut, block it as well as you can, and head for the nearest airport. Jam your chart cases against it or anything else that you can muster. DECLARE AN EMERGENCY IMMEDIATELY!
The airlines say your seat cushion is a flotation device. The bottom of your seat cushion may also be easy to remove, and can provide you with a shield against box cutters and small knives. Several passengers, armed with these shields, could charge and push back the terrorists.
LOOK FOR OTHER WEAPONS — A non-collapsible umbrella can become a cheap sword; a metal pen can serve as a dagger; the door to the drink cart can become a shield or a club; even the cans of soft drinks can be used to pummel an assailant into submission if thrown with enough fury. EVEN IF IT IS CONNECTED TO THE PLANE, TRY TO USE IT. Can you pry something free without drawing attention? A toilet seat? A laptop computer? An overhead baggage cover? A heavy handbag? Anything you can use to your advantage is fair game! Develop a plan, use teamwork, protect yourself and ATTACK!
HOT COFFEE IS NICE ON A FLIGHT — It is also a hell of a weapon, if you have access to it. Turn the warmers up to the HIGHEST SETTING and, when you are ready, take the top off and go for it. Hot coffee in the face will distract anyone, but bring as many pots as you can, just to be sure. Once the coffee is done, the pot makes a great tool to beat the snot out of a terrorist — use it with vigor!
HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT -– S I N G
Solar plexus — Punch it as hard as you can, and the bum will be distracted.
Instep — If they are walking behind you, or are in front, drive your heel into their instep. Note: this works best with shoes that have hard heel material.
Nose — Poke ’em in the nose, hard. Use the flat of your hand, and drive upwards as hard as you can. The neck works well here too – a sharp jab to the Adam’s apple is a nice cheap shot to use.
Groin — You are kicking the winning field goal in football, good follow-through is important.
RETAKING THE PLANE WON’T BE EASY — Unless you act fast, one of the terrorists may be in the pilot’s seat. Once one of these criminals gets into the pilot seat, your survival potential drops so organize and attack early — not late.
Consider the alternative.
You don’t need to be an anti-terrorist expert to make a difference — the people of Flight 93 weren’t. They were normal people like you and me who became heroes by thinking freely and acting … like Americans do. Lets work together to keep these fanatics from ever being able to do something like this ever again!