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Taser Ua to Give Pilots Access 2001

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Dallll, TX
DaB..- FIJI! WlJI!h - ArIII1l1I011
Mil An.



IS. 2001

P51 sa

access to s
1\irline to provide
training; devices will be
stored in lockboxes

United Airlines wants to becom~ the first major U.S. air


er to allow pilots access to stun
guns in planes' cockpits.
If the plan is approved by the
federal government, United


United Airlines said Thursday that It will provide advanced Taser stun guns for Its
pilots. The M26 fires two probes that disable an attacker with a 26-watt chalge.


1'wo barbed probes fire up to 21
feet to deliver the charge via
thin, insulated wires. The charge
can be deUvered through 2
inches of clothing.

would begin installing advanced

Taser guns in electronically coded
lockboxes in the cockpits of its
more than 500 planes.
The weapons fire an electronic
charge that disables an attacker
for five seconds or more. Pilots
will be trained to use the devices.
"United and its pilots believe
Thsers are an important addition
t~hanced cockpit security. 'JiIs..,
ers will incapacitate an attacker
without endangering the airOperates on eight AA batteries In the
plane," said Andrew Studdert,
weapon's g)ip.
chief operating officer and executive . vice president of United,
SOURCES: laser Intematlonal; Dallas Publk: Safety Supply; Dallas MominJ! News reseamh
based in Elk Grove Village, III.
United pilot Herb Hunter, a
Staff Gl'Dphic
spokesman for the Air Line Pilots
Association, endorsed the stun- September 25th, and that's still stun guns. Several other carriers
gun plan as "agood first step."
on our list," ALPA spokesman have held discussions with Thser
Soon after the Sept. 11 hijack- John Mazor said Thursday. International Inc. of ScottSdale,
iogs of four jetliners, the idea of "That's not in lieu or a substitute Ariz., the manufacturer of the
voluntarily arming pilots with ... we want both."
stun guns.firearms received widespread atAirlines have been moving to
"I believe stun guns rather ,
tention and was being pushed by shore up security since the terror- than handguns offer additional '
the Air Lines Pilots Association, ist attacks - sometimes on gov_ security in our skies with less of a
ernment orders, but often ot) safety risk to innocent passengers
But Congressional support for their own.
and the structure of the plane, if
such a measure was mixed in the'
Most have already strength- the stun guns are operated propweeks after, and President Bush 'eoed cockpit doors, well before erly by trained pilots and flight
said he did not support authoriz~ the Department of Transporta- attendants," said Rep. Carolyn
ing such a measure.
tion's Dec. 31 deadline.
McCarthy, D-NewYork
Federal Aviation AdministraUnit:E:d and others have done
United also said Thursday it
tion regulations prohibit weap- so with iron bars, while JetBlue will start, pending government
ons in an airplane, but the avia- Airways lined the fortified cock- approval, a special training protionsecuritybill that isto bevoted pit doors ofits jets with K.evlar- gram for flight attendants, aimed
on Friday would allow pilots with the material inside bulletproof at self-protection and assisting
proper training to carry firearms vests.
passengers. The company did not
in the cockpit, said House MajoriMesa Air Group, which oper- release more specific informaty Leader Dick Armey, R-Flower ates America West Express and tion, citing security concerns.
US Airways Express, last month
Having access to stun guns became the first u.s. airline comThe Aasociated Press contrib·
"was on our list when we testified pany to say its pilots would use uted to this report.