A United Airlines pilot was arrested at Edinburgh Airport for having a Taser in his checked baggage, causing the cancelation of the flight. Airlines have considered pilots carrying defensive weapons since 9/11 and United Airlines started training pilots with CED-style stun guns in the early 2000s. The Taser can generate over 50,000 volts of electricity, but once it makes contact with a person, the voltage drops to 1,500 to neutralize the threat. United Airlines has trained pilots to possess handguns as part of the “Federal Flight Deck Officer” program established after the September 11, 2001 attacks. This program authorizes qualified pilots and others to carry firearms as a defense against violent criminal activity.
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“THE TROUBLING INCIDENT AT EDINBURGH AIRPORT”
At 09:00 local time on January 20, 2024, a United Airlines pilot was arrested at Edinburgh Airport after a Taser was allegedly found in his checked baggage. The incident led to the cancellation of UAL37, a daily Boeing 757-200 service bound for Newark Liberty International Airport. According to reports, the pilot was removed from service pending investigation.
United Airlines was quick to respond to the situation, but passengers were left stranded with their travel plans disrupted. The airline and airport are cooperating fully with the authorities.
Meanwhile, the swift response by local police and reassurance from Edinburgh News reported immediate action on the security threat. The spokesperson for Police Scotland confirmed the pilot was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday, January 22, 2024. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.
TASERS AND PILOT DEFENSE TRAINING
Tasers are Conductive Energy Devices (CEDs) capable of generating over 50,000 volts of electricity. Although such devices may seem alarming, the idea of pilots having defensive weapons is not new. Following the 9/11 attacks, airlines explored the concept of providing pilots with defensive tools to prevent hijackings.
In fact, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines both implemented strategies involving CED-style stun guns and handguns for cockpit staff in response to heightened security measures. This reiterates the importance of safety and security measures in the aviation industry.
– The “Federal Flight Deck Officer” program allows qualified aircraft personnel to carry firearms for the defense of the aircraft and passengers.
– Tasers are designed to deliver a temporary shock to immobilize potential threats.
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