Shoot down our own plane or let terrorists take it down?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
This has probably been discussed a long time ago, but I was jsut thinking the other day about what would have happened if we had had the chance to and shot down one of the 9/11 planes. Right now, we have thousands complaining about we could have down this and that, but if we had taken down a plane to stop the attacks, then there would have been an uproar over liberties and all this crap. I for one think we should do whatever loses the least amount of life, even if it means shooting our planes down (this is obviously a worst case scenario and not a first option). People would be pissed, and they would probably be to stubborn to see the big picture, but that's to be expected. So anyways... your thoughts?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    johnrpjohnrp Posts: 357member
    I am under the impression that one was shot down (heading for the capitol or white house), and was immediatly covered up for the very reason that you have started this poll.



    It sure is a tough question and one which is sure to divide peoples views.



    Good Poll



    j.



    \
  • Reply 2 of 23
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    Take it down. What is to think about? The people on the plain are dead. If you let it go there will be more dead. Less dead = better.



    If I were on a plain I would try to get all the guys to rush the terrorists. Yeah there will be casualties, but no way a guy with a box cutter is taking 10 guys. Some guys will get cut up, maybe even some die, but more people will live in the end.



    Only problem is you don't know if your hostage, or if your a flying kamikaze.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.



    But hopefully there is a decent amount of time given to determine if it truly is a hijacking.



    And remember, as bad as it gets it's al Qaeda's fault for changing the rules about "what is a hijacking for". Before it was toget transportation to a far off place, or to hold hostages to get a list of demands met. Now it merely is to plow the whole thing into buildings.



    Remember that the next time you're on a plane and it gets hijacked: there is no bomb - the plane is the bomb.



    Then go rip the fuckers eyes out with your thumbs.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    It all depends on where the plane is, and where it is heading. The history of planes being used as bombs is a "blip" or short spike in the annals of hijacking and has (apparently) happened on just one date (Japanese kamikaze pilots of WW2 were not hijackers). ([i]if anyone knows of an ocasion where hijackers have used a plane as a bomb, lets hear it['i]. The vast majority of hijackings have ended up with the plane landing safely on a runway, with the passengers released unharmed, albeit not at the airport listed by the airline as the destination.



    Each hijacking is a unique situation and has to be constantly evaluated minute by minute by the FAA and the military, assuming it happens over US territory). For sure, ever since 9-11, the notion of "suicide pilots" has been planted firmly in everybody's consciousness, whether real or not, and that extreme possibility must be taken seriously, but that does NOT mean that (the next (extremely rare) incident of a plane hijacking these days will be conducted by some lunatic religious extremist, (whether real or fictitious), crashing the hijacked airliner into a landmark.



    Incidentally, "Flight 93" which crashed in PA on 9-11 could easily have been downed by a missile. Large parts of that plane landed in a lake, more than six miles from the main impact area, on a calm sunny morning.



    Edited...My mistake...I mixed up the flight numbers..."Flight 77" hit the Pentagon, and "Flight 93" came down in PA.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,122member
    Most of governements will choose to shoot down a plane since 9/11. It's the case in France, if a plane for example is heading on Paris and refuse to change of direction, the fighting planes will recieve the order to shoot it down.



    Unluckily it won't do any difference for the poor people in it : they will die anyway.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    wilwil Posts: 170member
    One thing to consider,before shooting down a plane especially a Jumbo,the military will have to think long and hard on where he shoots down the plane.If a pilot shoots a plane down above any urban areas,casualties from the ground will add to the death toll.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    Most of governements will choose to shoot down a plane since 9/11. It's the case in France, if a plane for example is heading on Paris and refuse to change of direction, the fighting planes will recieve the order to shoot it down.



    Unluckily it won't do any difference for the poor people in it : they will die anyway.




    Because of the magnitude of the 9-11 disaster, we now automatically assume that every future hijacking will have suicidal intent.



    When a plane is hijacked, those responsible are almost always after something in this world, not the next! They do not want to die! The record speaks for itself! Historically, there are constant communications between plane and ground and only when it is obvious that a plane is either not complying with instructions, or not heading for a "conventional landing", should the order be given to down it with a missile.



    The is a SOP in the military for dealing with rogue planes. Those procedures on 9-11 were either ignored through rank incompetence, or deliberately bypassed, which constitutes something far worse than that.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wil

    One thing to consider,before shooting down a plane especially a Jumbo,the military will have to think long and hard on where he shoots down the plane.If a pilot shoots a plane down above any urban areas,casualties from the ground will add to the death toll.



    And...imagine (that is, thinking in terms of a "suicide mission") if the "hijackers" somehow smuggled a chemical, biological or radiological WMD on board? Shooting the plane down would have the most horrendous consequences on the ground, especially if near a large city......I
  • Reply 9 of 23
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sammi jo

    Because of the magnitude of the 9-11 disaster, we now automatically assume that every future hijacking will have suicidal intent.



    When a plane is hijacked, those responsible are almost always after something in this world, not the next! They do not want to die! The record speaks for itself! Historically, there are constant communications between plane and ground and only when it is obvious that a plane is either not complying with instructions, or not heading for a "conventional landing", should the order be given to down it with a missile.



    The is a SOP in the military for dealing with rogue planes. Those procedures on 9-11 were either ignored through rank incompetence, or deliberately bypassed, which constitutes something far worse than that.




    What I referred to, was the case where the plane refuse to change his heading (if it's heading are heavy density live aeras). Normally there is communication, even in case of Hijacking, because hijackers have always something to ask, except in case of suicide hijacking.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Can we afford to wait and see if a hijacking does not have a suicidal intent? I think the world, including terrorists pretty much concluded that in-air hijackings that weren't suicidal went out of fashion on 9/11. At this time, if anyone were stupid enough to think that someone will wait to let them land, nevermind hear them out, well, they have a big surprise in store.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by sammi jo

    And...imagine (that is, thinking in terms of a "suicide mission") if the "hijackers" somehow smuggled a chemical, biological or radiological WMD on board?



    If it were to crash into something, it would also serve terrible consequences. 6 of one, half dozen of another really.



    Of course if the plane is over a populated area, the choice isn't so clear about whether or not to shoot the thing down. How would you shoot it down, or how would you decide where it could be shot down or not? Flight 93 was "fortunate" enough to have crashed in a fairly remote area. If it were over Pittsburgh or already over Washington, it would sort of be too late, or at least not yet.



    I don't think anyone finds any scenario of this a good solution, let alone an easy one. There are a lot of gray areas, obviously, that Flight 93 doesn't bring to mind immediately. I will say that in any scenario, the passengers and crew are pretty well screwed.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    rageousrageous Posts: 2,170member
    Without question: blow it out of the sky.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    rageousrageous Posts: 2,170member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sammi jo

    And...imagine (that is, thinking in terms of a "suicide mission") if the "hijackers" somehow smuggled a chemical, biological or radiological WMD on board? Shooting the plane down would have the most horrendous consequences on the ground, especially if near a large city......I



    So you're argument then is that if these hijackers have such weapons, wether we know it or not, we should let them keep control of an airliner and see what happens?



    Thanks, but I don't need that kind of uncertainty.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Remember: The plane that went down before getting anywhere crashed in rural pennsylvania, quite a ways from anywhere the government might worry about.



    There was also a rugby team aboard that plane. So, the moral of this story is that airline should let rugby teams fly for free, since they manage to survive even when marooned in the himalayas, and most likely physically overwhelmed the terrorists on that flight.



    I wouldn't shoot down a plane. There's always a chance that there will be a rugby team with a player who knows how to fly on it.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    If the plane is headed right into Manhattan or NYC or another such place and is flying low . . . then shoot.



    Weigh the situation, but command should give the fighter-pilot the option, with instruction to try and save maximum amount of lives . . .



    . . . perhaps even consider tipping wings to bring the plane down but not explode it.



    BTW: apparently it comes out that Cheney had actually given the order to shoot down planes . . . but the command never worked its way to the fighters.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    I'm with the evaluate case-by-case crowd.



    I suspect that in such situations, even if we figured out rather quickly what was going on, we would not have enough time to ascertain where the hijacker was headed unless there was something completely obvious within 15 or 20 minutes flying time (like the Super Bowl or something). In the end, if there is a very dense population or large gathering of people nearby, and the plane was currently over a low density area, I would opt (and want if I were on board) to be shot down.



    As for the worry about shooting down a plane carrying a biological or chemical weapon of some kind:



    A) Almost impossible to get something like that on a plane, and in sufficient quantity to do serious damage in terms of it being dispersed by a mid-air explosion.



    B) A mid-air explosion caused by a missile would almost certainly ignite all the fuel on board, which would pretty much sterilize / anihilate any such agents (along with everything and everyone else inside the plane).



    C) They'd be much more likely to use that some other way. Dirty bomb, released from private airplane, etc. They wouldn't try to take onto an airliner. If they could get that far, they'd just release it in the airport (maybe without anyone knowing) and let people carry it all over the country....



    The only scenario I can think of where I might not opt to shoot it down was if the plane was in the middle of nowhere when we found out it was hijacked, and we were able to make contact with the hijacker / maybe talk him down somehow. But as soon as the plane gets near a large population, forget it. Don't give the scumbags the satsifaction.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    rageousrageous Posts: 2,170member
    I would hope we all agree it's a case by case thing. That's pretty much a given. Anyone who says "shoot immediately" or "never ever ever shoot" doesn't see the big picture.



    What I assumed this discussion to be about is what to do when it seems all else has failed. Do we pull the trigger or keep trying?
  • Reply 17 of 23
    It obviously has to be a case by case basis but I'd lean towards blowing it out of the sky. I've always assumed that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was shot down and they made that "Let's Roll" story to make the world feel a bit nicer about the whole thing. Of all the horrid things the Bush administration has done, I would not hold it against them if it came out that they had in fact shot that one down.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    common mancommon man Posts: 522member
    I think you have to shoot it down, as horrible as that seems. Many indeed do think that the 4th plane wsa shot dowm over Pensyl.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Common Man

    I think you have to shoot it down, as horrible as that seems. Many indeed do think that the 4th plane wsa shot dowm over Pensyl.



    There is plenty of interesting material on this website, with eyewitness accounts, reports from local media, etc etc



    http://www.flight93crash.com/



    There is also this story about another airplane seen in the area doing some unusual maneuvers at the time of the crash. Probably because of the sheer quantity of incidents and stories associated with the attacks, this piece escaped attention, but the plane in question was seen by so many people.....



    Quote:

    DATELINE: SHANKSVILLE, Pa.



    BODY: As investigators continued to search for clues to the crash of United Flight 93, people in this Allegheny Mountains hamlet were talking about a parallel mystery that one man called "the damndest darn thing" he'd ever seen.



    In separate interviews Thursday, five residents who live and work less than four miles from the crash site said they saw a second plane flying erratically within minutes of the crash of the Boeing 757 that took off from Newark two hours earlier Tuesday morning.



    Susan Mcelwain of Stonycreek Township said a small white jet with rear engines and no discernible markings swooped low over her minivan near an intersection and disappeared over a hilltop, nearly clipping the tops of trees lining the ridge.



    It was less than a minute later, Mcelwain said, that the ground shook and a white plume of smoke appeared over the ridge. "It was so close to me I ducked," Mcelwain said. "I heard it hit and saw the smoke. All I could think of was how close I came to dying. " About a mile north on Buckstown Road, Dennis Decker and Rick Chaney were at work making wooden pallets when they heard an explosion and came running outside to watch a large mushroom cloud spreading over the ridge.



    "As soon as we looked up, we saw a midsized jet flying low and fast," Decker said. "It appeared to make a loop or part of a circle, and then it turned fast and headed out. " Decker and Chaney described the plane as a Lear-jet type, with engines mounted near the tail and painted white with no identifying markings.



    "If you were here to see it, you'd have no doubt," Decker said. "It was a jet plane, and it had to be flying real close when that 757 went down. If I was the FBI, I'd find out who was driving that plane. " Late Thursday afternoon, federal agents who spoke to reporters at the crash site said "there was no evidence as of yet" that a second plane was nearby when Flight 93 plunged into a strip mine.



    Earlier Thursday, FBI Special Agent William Crowley said investigators could not rule out that a second plane was nearby during the crash. He later said he had misspoken. He dismissed rumors that a U.S. military jet had intercepted the plane before it could strike a target in Washington, D.C. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, President Bush's nominee for chairman of the joint chiefs of staff rejected rumors that the military had shot down the hijacked plane.



    "The armed forces did not shoot down any aircraft," Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said.



    An official at the Cleveland Air Traffic Control Center in Overland, Ohio, which tracked Flight 93 as it turned in the sky and tracked eastward from the Cleveland area, said "no comment" when asked if there was any record of a second plane over the crash site.



    "That's something that the FBI is working on and I cannot talk about," said Richard Kettel, head of tower operations at the Cleveland center. He spoke shortly before the FBI announced it had no evidence of a second jet.



    About 16 miles north of the crash site, at the Cambria County Airport near Johnstown, officials said they had seen neither Flight 93 nor a second plane Tuesday morning despite perfect visibility.



    Tower Chief Dennis Fritz said he began searching the horizon for any signs of the 757 around 9:20 a.m. when the Cleveland Control Center radioed that Flight 93 was headed in their direction and was apparently out of control. Fritz says Cleveland control was urging him to evacuate the tower.



    "On the first call from Cleveland, they said a 757 was heading in our direction at about 6,000 feet and descending," Fritz said. "They were repeatedly trying to raise the pilot on the radio, but there was no answer. " Within minutes, Fritz said, he began to move people from the tower but hesitated to abandon it completely because he felt the incoming plane might be in distress and need to make an emergency landing.



    Shortly after 10 a.m., Fritz said, Cleveland control called back and said the 757 had veered sharply south and was no longer headed for the Cambria airport. Because the airport has no radar, Fritz said, he could not track the movements of Flight 93.



    Around Shanksville, news that investigators found the flight data recorder -- one of two black boxes aboard the plane -- did little to abate a growing sense of mystery over the sighting of a second jet.



    Susan Custer said she saw a small white jet streaking overhead.



    "Then I heard the boom and saw the mushroom cloud. " Robin Doppstadt was working inside her family food-and-supply store when she heard the crash. When she went outside, she said, she saw a small white jet that looked like it was making a single circle over the crash site.



    "Then it climbed very quickly and took off. " "It's the damndest darn thing," said Dale Browning, a farmer.



    "Everybody's seen this thing in the sky, but no one can tell us what it is. " Meanwhile, at least one New Jersey family that lost a loved on in the crash traveled Thursday to a resort about 30 miles from the crash site.



    About 80 staff members of United Airlines and 30 Red Cross volunteers are at the Seven Springs resort to assist the families.



    "We'll be the shoulder to cry on, the hand to hold," said Jill Bode of the American Red Cross¬ local chapter.



    Staff Writer Pete Caldera contributed to this article, which contains material from news service reports.



  • Reply 20 of 23
    common mancommon man Posts: 522member
    I remember reports in the mainstream media about another plane in the area. Those reports were not discussed much after 9/11 though. Very suspicious.
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