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Qantas pilot suspended after refusing shoe search in Philippines

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Yada Yada

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International Herald Tribune said:
Qantas pilot suspended after refusing shoe search in Philippines, airline says

The Associated Press
Published: September 14, 2006


MANILA, Philippines A Qantas Airways flight to Australia was delayed after two of its pilots refused to remove their shoes as part of Manila airport's anti-terrorism measures, prompting the airline to suspend one of them, officials said Thursday.

The pilots on the Manila-Sydney flight late Tuesday refused to comply with the security regulation, said Chief Superintendent Andres Caro, head of the police Aviation Security Group.

"They were arguing that they were the pilots of the plane and they are not a threat. But who knows the face of a terrorist?" Caro said. "We are implementing what is being implemented consistently for everybody."

He said the pilots later relented when security officers insisted on the check.


Full Story...
Hard to understand why they'd dig their heels in about that.
 

Gazza

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UMMMM

Aren’t the pilots already in charge of the aircraft and locked in against unwelcome intruders?

If they want to take the plane down, they can and will (happened on a trans-Atlantic Egypt Air flight a few years ago). What they do (or don’t) have in their shoes is bloody irrelevant.

Why is common sense so rare?

Gazza
 

roysta

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You would think flight crews more than anyone would get the idea on security issues would you not?
Obviously there are some slow learners working for Qantas.
 

bigjobs

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like i said elsewhere ... this is a load of crap. if you are checking pilot/tech crews at the point where they get on the plane the whole security system has missed the point.

tech crews do not need any outside assistance to bring a plane down. a fully loaded plane is already a bomb.

the stupid airport wasted everyone's time and their security has been shown to be a joke ...
 

TonyB

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bigjobs said:
like i said elsewhere ... this is a load of crap. if you are checking pilot/tech crews at the point where they get on the plane the whole security system has missed the point.

tech crews do not need any outside assistance to bring a plane down. a fully loaded plane is already a bomb.

the stupid airport wasted everyone's time and their security has been shown to be a joke ...

Are you suggesting they should not screen people that board an aircraft or just that they should not screen airline staff?
 

SeatBackForward

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Its good to know that our airports are guarded by complete idiots. Imagine the truoble Maxwell Smart would have getting on a plane these days.. a shoe AND a phone in one.
 

ozstamps

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Gazza said:
UMMMM

Aren’t the pilots already in charge of the aircraft and locked in against unwelcome intruders?

If they want to take the plane down, they can and will (happened on a trans-Atlantic Egypt Air flight a few years ago). What they do (or don’t) have in their shoes is bloody irrelevant.

Why is common sense so rare?

Gazza

Agree 100%. This is ridiculous. Cockpit crew should be exempt as a courtesy to their position on the plane.
 

ColinP

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TonyB said:
Are you suggesting they should not screen people that board an aircraft or just that they should not screen airline staff?
What's the point in harrassing airline staff. As has been pointed out, they don't need a bomb in their shoe to bring the aircraft down. Once they're locked in the cockpit they can do whatever they please, shoes or no shoes.
They're pilots. They have security clearance. That's what that tag is hanging around their necks. I say good on them for showing up the security gorillas for what they are ---Mindless morons who have no idea.

How is the pilot supposed to kick the tyres with no shoes on?:confused:

--------------
 

NM

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ozstamps said:
Agree 100%. This is ridiculous. Cockpit crew should be exempt as a courtesy to their position on the plane.
Perhaps you should explain that to the captain and first officer from the Fed Ex DC10 that almost crashed when a flight engineer tried to down the aircraft back in 1994. Now in that case the Flight Engineer (also known as Second Officer on Fed Ex flights) was off-duty and travelling as staff, but that was only because his schedule had a last minute change due to operating hours the day before. He had planned to take his action as the on-duty second officer.
 

maninblack

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If the report is correct then these pilots behaved foolishly and set a bad example. As silly as it may seem to check the pilots, the pilots should have shown courtesy and then raised the issue with Qantas who would have explored it through proper channels.
 

Yada Yada

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I think they should have popped their shoes off quickly and be done with it. Really, how difficult is that? :-|

I accept that in general, it seems farcical to be subjecting pilots to such thorough security checks (although NM makes a bloody good point!), but to stand their dig and thereby cause a delay, a problem with the security staff, a widely publicised new story and possible disciplinary action by QF does not really seem worth it to me. If QF management has suspended the pilot then it seems that pilots are expected to go through the motions in whatever country they are in.
 

ozstamps

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NM said:
Perhaps you should explain that to the captain and first officer from the Fed Ex DC10 that almost crashed when a flight engineer tried to down the aircraft back in 1994. Now in that case the Flight Engineer (also known as Second Officer on Fed Ex flights) was off-duty and travelling as staff, but that was only because his schedule had a last minute change due to operating hours the day before. He had planned to take his action as the on-duty second officer.

Which has WHAT to do with screening his/their shoes?

ANY member of any flight deck crew can choose to down a plane whenever they wish, pretty much.

What they have in their shoes is totally irrelevant to that end result. :idea:
 

Mal

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Anyone can forge a pass that looks like a crew pass.

There have been cases of airline uniforms being stolen.

Someone who presents themselves at security claiming to be a pilot/attendant/etc needs to be screened just as much as the next person.

These pilots were wrong. If I was on that plane, I would be fuming.
 
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sammy

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If a pilot or other member of the cockpit crew wanted to deliberately crash their plane, one would hope the other members of the cockpit crew would (at least try to) intervene. Do you remember the SQ/Silkair crash in '97 or '98? The rogue pilot had to dispose of his co-pilot with an axe before he could set about flying his plane into the sea.
Since many cockpits contain three crew, I don't agree that it would be that easy for one of them to just fly the plane into the ground.
They could, however, easily blow up the cockpit with a small bomb in their shoe (or anywhere, really). Once the cockpit is gone, or even damaged, thats it for the whole plane...
So I say check their shoes, you never know....
 

simongr

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To be honest I am very disappointed that a couple of early posts commenting that the aircrew should have complied have disappeared.

The point is not whether aircrew can or can not bring down a plane. Its the fact that someone who is dependent on the security checks of someone shows disdain for that same person.

Aircrew get the benefit of aircrew immigration - a massive saving at Sydney. Given that aircrew on long haul cant do a return flight immediately (I assume that having flown 9 hours you arent allowed to fly another 9 without a rest) they are in fact under less time pressure than the PAX.

I would happily sack a pilot who argued with security to make it very clear that the most important thing to the airline is safety. Frankly a pilot who is above that is a w*****.
 

NM

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ozstamps said:
Which has WHAT to do with screening his/their shoes?
Not specifically to do with shoes, but everything to do with your comment to which it was addressed. Just as a reminder, my post was in relation to this comment (as it was quoted in my previous post in this thread)
ozstamps said:
Cockpit crew should be exempt as a courtesy to their position on the plane.
So I provided a real example of why cockpit crew should not be exempt from security screening. In that example, the rogue second officer did carry on board some items that would now not be permitted through most airport's security screening.
ozstamps said:
ANY member of any flight deck crew can choose to down a plane whenever they wish, pretty much.

What they have in their shoes is totally irrelevant to that end result. :idea:
The Fed Ex second Officer did not succeed. He tried very hard, and nearly killed the captain, first officer and on-duty second officer.

It is my opinion that everyone passing the security checkpoint should be subjected to the same screening procedure. And if that means removing shoes, then everyone should do so whether they are tech crew, flight attendants, cleaners or passengers. If pilots are to be exempt, then who else should also qualify for the exemption?

The issue is not shoes. Its the concept that tech crew should be exempt from the security screening procedures.
 

flyer4703

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Mal said:
Anyone can forge a pass that looks like a crew pass.

There have been cases of airline uniforms being stolen.

Someone who presents themselves at security claiming to be a pilot/attendant/etc needs to be screened just as much as the next person.

These pilots were wrong. If I was on that plane, I would be fuming.

I agree with you Mal. If terrorists became aware that pilots were subject to lower level screening they would be trying to exploit that by passing themselves off as crew.

Pilots more than anyone should be aware of the need for increased security. The pilots concerned deserved to be stood down.
 

jakeseven7

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maninblack said:
If the report is correct then these pilots behaved foolishly and set a bad example.


If the report is correct. I'm sure there is alot more to this story, so I don't feel like doing a Naomi and drawing my own conclusions. However if they were stood down then I trust that the circumstances they were put under, yet not elaborated on further in any report, were not enough to warrant them refusing the security scan.
 

bigjobs

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NM said:
Perhaps you should explain that to the captain and first officer from the Fed Ex DC10 that almost crashed when a flight engineer tried to down the aircraft back in 1994. Now in that case the Flight Engineer (also known as Second Officer on Fed Ex flights) was off-duty and travelling as staff, but that was only because his schedule had a last minute change due to operating hours the day before. He had planned to take his action as the on-duty second officer.

this is different to scanning for bombs, devices and being a security risk based on groups that you belong to etc.

a security check at an airport cannot cater for psychological instability as was the case with the Fed Ex case.
 

NM

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bigjobs said:
this is different to scanning for bombs, devices and being a security risk based on groups that you belong to etc.

a security check at an airport cannot cater for psychological instability as was the case with the Fed Ex case.
But in the context it was posted, I believe it does show that the statement that "Cockpit crew should be exempt as a courtesy to their position on the plane" is not one which is justified. In the Fed Ex example, the rogue second officer did carry "weapons" onto the aircraft hidden in his carry-on bag. These may not have been in his shoes, but if a rogue tech crew member knew he would be exempt from part or all of the screening process, they may make use of that exemption to support their chosen path.

It may be a rare situation to have a rogue tech crew member, but statistically so are bomb carrying passengers yet we expect all passengers to be screened.
 
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