Aviation Security

TSA: Airline pilots sane to fly; too crazy to be armed

At Pajamas Media, Annie Jacobsen writes that an Oklahoma doctor contracted by the Transportation Security Administration is disqualifying airline pilots from flying armed under the Federal Flight Deck Officer’s program.

I asked Dr. Hogan to speak about subjecting pilots — who are routinely drug-tested, by the way — to the Hogan Test. “There is a distinction between technical talent and emotional maturity. You can fly a plane and be crazy — or at least be a complete hot-head — which is what we find all the time,” Hogan said.

Captain Mackett cited an example from the written part of the psyche test — since changed — that asked: “Would you like to be a fighter pilot?” Considering that many commercial pilots are and have been fighter pilots it’s natural that many would answer that question with a “Yes.” According to Mackett, the TSA concluded that these pilots “had overly aggressive personalities and disqualified them from the program.”

Thanks to this doctor and the loony leadership at the TSA, otherwise qualified pilots — who are licensed, trained, and willing to carry firearms — are allowed to fly yet denied the means to aggressively defend their passengers and planes.

Inexperienced airport screeners becoming air marshals

Not long ago, The Aviation Nation’s Annie Jacobsen reported the Transportation Security Administration had experienced an 120% turnover in personnel in a mere five years of existence. Not all was lost, however; some of those disgruntled employees are now protecting passengers in-flight:

CNN’s Drew Griffen interviewed air marshals who said screeners with “no college, no law-enforcement no military background” are becoming air marshals. “It’s an embarrassment. I know I wouldn’t want them on my flight, I wouldn’t want them as my partner,” one air marshal said.

“Trust me, you do not want to mess with those guys,” [TSA chief Kip] Hawley said. “Anybody who messes with a flight having a TSO on it who is now an air marshal will be dead.”

Trust him? He has to be kidding.