Every airline story for the next week will be headline news. I hope no one so much as lets a loud fart out, because it will panic the whole plane.
I believe our government TWA800 when they say EgyptAir 990 that this incident was ‘non-serious’.
foxnews.com/politics/2009/12 … ect-plane/
From Nate Silver’s blog, 538.
fivethirtyeight.com/2009/12/ … error.html
Not going to do any editorializing here; just going to do some non-fancy math. James Joyner asks:
There have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft. All of them clownishly inept and easily thwarted by the passengers. How many tens of thousands of flights have been incident free?
Let’s expand Joyner’s scope out to the past decade. Over the past decade, there have been, by my count, six attempted terrorist incidents on board a commercial airliner than landed in or departed from the United States: the four planes that were hijacked on 9/11, the shoe bomber incident in December 2001, and the NWA flight 253 incident on Christmas.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides a wealth of statistical information on air traffic. For this exercise, I will look at both domestic flights within the US, and international flights whose origin or destination was within the United States. I will not look at flights that transported cargo and crew only. I will look at flights spanning the decade from October 1999 through September 2009 inclusive (the BTS does not yet have data available for the past couple of months).
Over the past decade, according to BTS, there have been 99,320,309 commercial airline departures that either originated or landed within the United States. Dividing by six, we get one terrorist incident per 16,553,385 departures.
These departures flew a collective 69,415,786,000 miles. That means there has been one terrorist incident per 11,569,297,667 mles flown. This distance is equivalent to 1,459,664 trips around the diameter of the Earth, 24,218 round trips to the Moon, or two round trips to Neptune.
Assuming an average airborne speed of 425 miles per hour, these airplanes were aloft for a total of 163,331,261 hours. Therefore, there has been one terrorist incident per 27,221,877 hours airborne. This can also be expressed as one incident per 1,134,245 days airborne, or one incident per 3,105 years airborne.
There were a total of 674 passengers, not counting crew or the terrorists themselves, on the flights on which these incidents occurred. By contrast, there have been 7,015,630,000 passenger enplanements over the past decade. Therefore, the odds of being on given departure which is the subject of a terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in 500,000. This means that you could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be struck by lightning.
Again, no editorializing (for now). These are just the numbers.
The thing most people never hear, is that most of these terrorists are rather inept. Even the 9/11 attack, although successful, almost didn’t work. The FBI already had tabs on several of the hijackers, they had been spotted on a dry run just a week earlier, and one even was bragging to a coworker what he was going to do. The problem we have is law enforcement’s hands are tied most times. Our justice system will not allow, or least didn’t used to, law enforcement to detain a suspect over suspicians that they might do something. Until the crime is committed, often law enforcement can’t do anything.
You just stated the problem. We have law enforcement, FBI, Big Sis, TSA et al trying to prosecute the acts of a war. Net result, law abiding US Citizens are punished while enemy combatants committing acts of war against US Citizens within the United States are provided rights guaranteed to us under the US Constitution. As for the inept terrorists, they only have to get lucky once.
Another ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, businessinsider.com/henry-bl … ts-2009-12
from the same guys that posted what size wires go undetected on the internet
talkairline.com/aviation_pic … /photo/456
The fact that the inept terrorist had the explosive in his underwear seems to be overlooked.
I don’t see how making people sit in their seats is going to make a flight safer. I don’t see how not being able to hold something in your lap is going to make a flight safer.
The Thousands Standing Around and being Terminally Stupid Assholes should be requiring people to check their underwear and not carry it on the plane.
Yea, I know that’s absurd. It’s just as absurd as the new rules issued by the TSA.
As the author of that last article pointed out, what is so special about the last hour of the flight? That just happened to be when this last guy tried something. He could have done it two hours before landing, or maybe an hour after taking off. That is the problem with our security system today, too many knee-jerk reactions become new regulations, usually at the insistence of some idiot politician.
No need to be redundant. Politician=idiot.
I agree. In fact, the first hour would probably be even more spectacular because the aircraft would have a full fuel load.
Its time to throw all of this PC stuff out of the window. We need to start profiling, plain and simple. This does not mean just racial, but also behavioral as well. The sad fact reamins, the only thing that stopped this from being successful was that it appers that the devise malfunctioned. I am grateful to know that odds are I have pax in the rear that will defend my aircraft but it should never come to that in the first place.
El Al has a great system. I know they have less than 40 aricraft but I think we can implement some of their system(s).
But yet in THIS interview at 1:20 she says that the “system worked…”.
And then she backtracks her statements in THIS interview
The woman is just another double-talking idiot politician.
But of course, I harbor resentment towards her to begin with because of the way screwed the state of AZ as Governor…putting us on a path to bankruptcy. No wonder she was so eager to cut-and-run when she was offered her current position.
There is a reason that the Israeli’s security works so well despite the sheer number of attacks aimed at them. They profile! They have plain clothes people at the airport whose soul purpose is to profile people and screen people by body language. It might not be PC, but it works, and you don’t hear too many complaints.
I was watching a trailer for Up in the Air and I heard this quote, I think it applies here.
“I’m like my mother, I stereotype, it’s faster”
I don’t want to be racist but unfortunately, a lot of terrorists have the same qualities.
My point exactly. I remeber reading that El Al actualy had the “shoe bomber” fly on one of their flights. He was interviewed and then was escorted the whole flight by an Israeli security team.
It’s NOT being racist to profile. It’s called common sense, something that is sorely lacking in the idiots that run this country. (It’s also sorely lacking in the people who keep reelecting these idiots to office.)
The sad thing is the system worked just fine. The problem is, the system isn’t even trying to detect semtex in your underwear. The “system” worked, but the “system” sucks.
Profiling by race is by definition racist. That doesn’t mean it can’t have benefits though. And it doesn’t make you a klan member.
No, it is NOT racist. I’m getting so tired of any and every thing that is based on race being called racist if you don’t like it.
Profiling is a legitimate tool. Yes, race is used. But if you don’t use race then it’s like saying be on the look out for a bank robber and not giving the race of the bank robber as part of the description. It’s just plain stupid.