Airline Crew Self-Defense Training

From terrorists, to drunken and disorderly passengers, to simply the unruly – air crews continue to face threats to the safety of themselves and their passengers. With the ultimate responsibility of the safety of everyone on a plane, I’d like to see airline crew-members regularly trained in combative self-defense and defensive tactics.

I am aware that some training is done, and airline crews carry handcuffs and other restraints and have training in how to use them.  I do believe that regular training is necessary to update skills as well as to keep them in muscle memory.

Here are some of my recommendations for the makeup of this training:

  • A full range of force from restraint to lethal and crippling tactics
  • Use of improvised weapons with objects available in all air cabins
  • Group tactics – for cooperative self defense with other crew members
  • Practice in a simulated cabin  – since space and terrain will dictate tactics
  • Defense against weapons – edged, impact, firearms, and thrown
  • Arrest and come-along techniques to remove passengers from seats and escort them safely to different locations
  • Concept and principle based training with focus on most statistically likely self defense scenarios.

Again, the most important element is regular and consistent training to ensure a high skill level. Single seminars are just not enough for the level of threat involved.

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