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.