A Question of Scruples.

Situation: You are the pilot of a commercial airliner. You are flying a plane in the wake of the World Trade Centre attack, and as such, your cockpit’s door is now 3 inches of solid steel. Nothing is getting through this door. Suddenly, on the intercom, a flight attendent informs you that a man holding a gun is threatening to kill everyone on board unless you let them into the cockpit. Do you let them in?

In wake of the airplane hijackings, much has been made about the in-the-air security as it exists right now. Many people have wondered whether this could have been averted if the terrorists could not have gained access to the cockpits. Personally, I don’t see any way to stop a determined terrorist from getting to the cockpit. Very few pilots would be willing to sacrifice everyone on the plane to stop a terrorist from gaining access to their cockpits, I would think.

There has also been much made of the allowing of knives on planes. Yet when flying first or business class, if you order a steak, you are given a steak knife.

Clearly, the world aviation industry has a lot to think about right now.

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