Boris Lvin (bbb) wrote,
Boris Lvin
bbb

911 - невыученные уроки

During a 1970 hijacking, the Israeli pilot refused to open the cockpit door, even as a hijacker with grenades tucked in her bra held a pistol to a flight attendant's head and demanded entry.

Warning his undercover security guards to hang on, the pilot, Uri Bar-Lev, sent the plane diving like a free-falling elevator, knocking the hijacker and her accomplice off their feet. One of the culprits was shot, and the woman was captured.


Вообще очень поучительная статья. Сохраняю.

линк

Israeli Pilot Says Air Threats Ignored

By Jason Keyser
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, September 29, 2001; 8:42 AM

JERUSALEM –– During a 1970 hijacking, the Israeli pilot refused to open the cockpit door, even as a hijacker with grenades tucked in her bra held a pistol to a flight attendant's head and demanded entry.

Warning his undercover security guards to hang on, the pilot, Uri Bar-Lev, sent the plane diving like a free-falling elevator, knocking the hijacker and her accomplice off their feet. One of the culprits was shot, and the woman was captured.

Three decades later, Bar-Lev says the world has yet to heed warnings about aviation terrorism and take steps to stop it, including locking cockpit doors, putting air marshals on flights and creating a resolve to fight terror.

"I didn't succeed because I was a better pilot," said Bar-Lev, a former Israeli air force captain. "It was only because of my attitude that we were not going to be hijacked. ... Our mindset is to fight terror."

President Bush has revealed a plan that envisions stationing 4,000 to 5,000 troops at the nation's 420 commercial airports for up to six months. Also, many more in-flight air marshals would be trained and a federal agency would be set up to oversee the screening of passengers and luggage.

"This nation will not live in fear," Bush said.

Bar-Lev, 70, said crews need to be trained as a last line of defense against hijackers.

Bar-Lev also said pilots and crews need to be granted legal authority to stop and, if necessary, kill hijackers. He said under existing laws in some countries pilots could be prosecuted for killing hijackers.

"The world had 30 years to learn," he said. "What happened? Nothing."

Israel's national airline, El Al, is known for its stringent security routines: aggressively interviewing and profiling passengers, X-raying luggage and hiring pistol packing guards as well as former air force pilots and former soldiers as crew.

In 1970, El Al was still learning. From 1968 to 1973, Bar-Lev said, there were 63 hijacking attempts, some of them on El Al flights.

On Sept. 6, 1970, Bar-Lev had ordered two suspicious passengers off his plane before taking off from Amsterdam. As the two, who claimed to be diplomats, boarded a Pan American Airways flight, bombs were found in their attache cases.

The Pan Am plane was evacuated and was engulfed in flames in a controlled explosion. Bar-Lev was also suspicious of a couple with South American passports, but after ordering crew members to check them, he took off for New York.

The pair were part of a brigade of Palestinian hijackers that commandeered four planes that day.

At 31,000 feet above Europe, a warning bell set off by a crew member sounded in the cockpit and through the door came a flight attendant's voice saying that a woman was holding a pistol to her head and demanding entry to the cockpit.

The woman was Leila Khaled, a Palestinian guerrilla who just a year earlier had hijacked a TWA plane to Damascus, Syria.

An image entered Bar-Lev's mind: Israeli air force pilots held hostage in Syria and tortured during the 1967 Mideast War.

"My first thought was that we are not going to be brought to Syria," Bar-Lev said.

He peered at the hijackers through a cockpit video monitor and watched as one of the flight attendants tackled the woman's accomplice and was shot five times in the chest. The flight attendant survived.

Still refusing to open the door, Bar-Lev sent the plane into a dive, descending 12,000 feet per minute. Khaled fell to the ground and fainted. A security guard shot dead the other hijacker.

The plane landed in London.

Khaled was later released in Britain in exchange for more than 300 passengers who had been hijacked and taken to the Middle East. The episode touched off the 1970 Black September war between Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization inside Jordan.

Thirty-one years later, the Sept. 11 suicide attacks in the United States made it apparent to Bar-Lev how little the world had learned.

"Nobody was ready or prepared to fight aviation terror," he said. "The problem is not whether to do this or that. It's the concept. First you have to decide to fight."
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