Would You Have Stormed The Cockpit?

The Federalist

Those tactile experiences from my youth and adolescence left me with heavy questions. Why would a man jump out the window? I wondered. Why would someone storm the cockpit?

It’s that second scenario, of the plane that didn’t strike the Twin Towers but went down in the middle of an empty field, that I think about most. Now that I’m older and can grasp the circumstances, I better understand why someone would storm the cockpit. The weightier question now is: Would I have? More

29 Comments on Would You Have Stormed The Cockpit?

  1. Not sure the parallels the author posits are the same. By the time Beamer and his fellow passengers knew of their impending doom, the choice was obvious.

    It’s like the time I was on the train trestle over the Truckee river and other kids were jumping into the water 20 feet below. I was too afraid of the rocks below the surface.

    But the train came and I couldn’t outrun it.

    Possible death from jumping or certain death by train. The choice became obvious.

    What we are dealing with now is tyrannical death by a million paper cuts. A little theft here. A civil right there. It’s all for your own good. And we are so far removed from the enemy that we can’t blast through the cockpit door with a serving cart.

  2. I don’t know. I would like to think I would, but I’m not sure. I’m a big guy, could’ve taken a few towel heads out. With the right Todd Beamer type to lead the way, I hope I would

  3. No matter what, I honor their heroism.

    A better outcome would have been like those old 1950’s shows where a novice takes the stick after the pilot goes down and he gets talked down by the tower.

  4. I have tremendous respect for civilians who find within themselves a definable streak of heroism. Unlike in the military or in LE where you train with these people, you develop a bond for these people so that when they are in danger, you go to “the sound of the guns” without hesitating. But these were just ordinary folks, no training, no expectation of danger in their lives, who stared evil in the face, and said ,”Nope, this will not stand”.

    It also is not surprising that Beamer was a Christian. We answer to a higher call, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Beamer couldn’t do anything else.

  5. You’d have a better chance surviving storming the cabin. I’m a go.

    I was suppose to be on a plane to visit a customer in Tucson on 9-12. It was for a pretty important (military program) and the customer insisted I get my tail out their as soon as we could fly again. Which I did. A Southwest out of Sac. Three of us onboard and man the flight crew was nervous. I walk on and when of the flight attendants says, you’re a big one, can we put you right up front here. I’m like sure, but there’s only three passengers on board and the cabin door is open and those are all white guys. The flight back I think might have had ten passengers on board.

  6. I DETEST the air mohammedans breathe. If one of those dirtballs were to look at me funny TODAY, I’d storm behind the counter of that 7-11 to get ’em right NOW. 😡

  7. Sure, I’d have fought back. And I probably would have had my own box-cutter. At the time, I was on the road a lot, doing install/deinstall of bank computer networks, and I carried my tools on the plane, no problem in any airport, except Indianapolis. No blades allowed there, but any other tool was cool. Indianapolis was also the only airport which had police dogs sniffing around in the concourses. Although I don’t know if they were looking for drugs or bombs.

  8. Ed357
    SEPTEMBER 12, 2021 AT 6:47 PM
    “Jumping out the window…..no…..”

    …never say never…fire is extreme, whole-body pain thats also an atavastic fear of men…I’ve seen people drown in their own bathtubs to escape it, peel off their fingernails and rip their fingers to the bone trying to claw througb concrete walls, run into death in a smoke filled house rather than endure an instant of flaming pain running through a burning doorway to life.

    Fire is scary.

    Fire is pain.

    Everyone has a breaking point, and no one thinks rationally when their clothes are on fire and the elastic of their shorts burns into their flesh as their belt buckle burns a tattoo into the flesh of their belly.

    I hope you never find out.

    But fire can definitely make you crazy.

  9. I’d of looked for some weapons first but, yes without a moment’s hesitation, I’d of stormed that cockpit.

    Would I have done so that day? Probably, but probably with a bit more hesitation.

  10. Things changed after 9/11.

    Remember, prior to 9/11 it was common knowledge that if there was a hijacking, you just kept your head down and mouth shut and the situation would be sorted out. Hijackers typically wanted either money or their buddies released from prison. Weaponizing a passenger jet was a whole new paradigm. Flight 93 passengers had received word from their loved ones that planes had been flown into the towers, so it made their decision and urgency much more clear. If we are to survive, we must take back the plane.
    Prior to 9/11, if you were to jump up and try to take on a dude who said he had a bomb, the other passengers would likely tackle YOU and get YOU to calm down.

    Flying home after 9/11, there was a significant change in strategy and there were very distinct and direct conversations between passengers about how you and other able bodied people would respond in the event of any shenanigans. For a long time, during boarding, there was strong eye contact and knowing nods amongst those who looked like they were vets, law enforcement or athletes.

    Remember the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber guys? Post 9/11, those dudes almost got killed by the passengers. And it continues today with people subduing and duct taping rowdy passengers. I have no doubt whatsoever, if some dude jumped up and rushed the cockpit door today, they would be lucky to survive it.

  11. “I can make a tightly rolled magazine into a weapon that will trump a boxcutter…”

    lol CC “SkyMall” becomes “SkyMaul”, I love it.

  12. Yes I would have. I was raised on knowing that my family ethics required running toward a fire and a fight and a crime. Running because it’s right not expected.

    Just like I hope to be able to shoot four or five of the fuckers who may come to give me a civic shot.

  13. As for guys with box cutters, I grew up having drunken knife fights, later trained generally in Tae Kwon Do to disarm, later still trained by LEO for specific disarming situations for my medic role which was good because there were two times I had to take a knife from somebody, and later than that I trained specifically in knife fighting just to get good and develop actual skill. I’ve been cut many times, so that part wouldn’t dissuade me.

    The part where it didn’t work was extracting the suicidally fanatical guy from behind the yoke of a very low flying plane in a destabilized configuration.

    In the end, they KNEW they were going to die anyway. Might as well take the path with a slim chance of life.

    I truly believe they overcame the muscle. There was just not enough air to do anything about the mad bastard holding the yoke.

    And at him they may have hestated too. I may have hesitated in the same situation.

    It’s not a difficult decision to kill a guy who’s trying to kill you, who’s cutting you as you try to strike him.

    But American men usually have a code of honor that could make them pause before attacking a man seated with his back to them that’s not openly fighting or threatening them.

    It may not be a long hesitation.

    But at that altitude, it wouldn’t NEED to be.

    HE had made up his mind to kill “infidels” before he ever got on that plane, as many as he possibly could. HE was not going to hesitate to do so.

    We’ll never know what went on in that cockpit, but I don’t believe for a moment that they were doomed by cowardice.

    There was just too little altitude and too little time.

    You never know what you’ll do in a crisis until you’re in one. Lord knows I’ve seen enough people in enough crises to prove THAT.

    But it’s not a video game.

    There isn’t always a way to “win”.

    But as humans, we should always at least TRY to.

    They did, and they died trying.

    But we will never know how many they saved by doing so…

  14. I have a very short fuse, it wouldn’t take much and less at this age and a good life that’s much behind me. It’s a go! What the hell you have to die of something and nursing homes…I’ve seen enough. Window jumping or death by fire anyone’s guess.

  15. I’d have stormed it with the intention of killing the musloids and trying to land the plane myself.
    What other options were there?

  16. Fight or flight – I have always been the stand and fight. I have already lived a full life so fight it would have to be. Dum spiro spero.

  17. I’d have intervened before they got to the cabin; we’re most likely already dead anyway, so make the effort …there was nothing to loose and everything to gain at that point in time.


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