In a video blog I saw today on the net, an airline Captain said: "if a bomb is found on board in-flight, pilots are trained to relocate it someplace where it would do the least damage" without further details as to what place standard operating procedures suggest in this case.

Where should the pilot put the bomb to have the best chances of limiting the detonation damage and rescuing the plane ?

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    I am very relieved that you're not asking where to put a bomb so as to maximize damage. – Tanner Swett Nov 8 at 0:07
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    Maybe the centre of the cabin as it should be stronger because of the wing joint with the fuselage? But I am not, sure – Afe Nov 8 at 1:44
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    Have to go with out the window on this one. In a safe drop area of course. – Robert DiGiovanni Nov 8 at 1:45
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    @TannerSwett I'm sure the NSA is watching this thread now anyway – TomMcW Nov 8 at 18:21
up vote 15 down vote accepted

We covered that stuff during recurrent training and for the CRJ Regional Jets we were told to place it in the forward galley in front of the service door (opposite the main door) and cover with with as much weighty stuff as possible, wet blankets, heavy coats, and such.

You had the mass of the galley to protect the flight deck to some degree, and in theory the explosion would blow out the service door, hopefully leaving the structural frame surround intact, so that overall, it would have the least impact structurally for the fuselage as a load bearing tube with the peak stress just ahead and behind the wings.

In theory... nobody actually believed it would save the plane unless it was fairly small device, but as a calculated strategy to make the best of a hopeless situation, it made sense.

Don't know about other jets, but I would expect that the overall logic is similar.

  • thank you. There have actually been a number of incidents with small, improvised devices, so I do think that training might actually be helpful! – rainbowtableturner Nov 8 at 4:51
  • Why do not you throw it out of the plane after descending low enough to make possible to open something like window in the cockpit? – h22 Nov 8 at 10:04
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    That's actually not a crazy idea; if you descended to a safe altitude and depressurized, and slowed down to approach speed, you could remove an overwing escape hatch (impossible when pressurized), which comes off into the interior, and pitch it out. With tail engines, I would shut down the engine on that side as a precaution. You might even be able to get the hatch back in place. – John K Nov 8 at 13:44
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    If there were double doors as on a submarine it would not be necessary to depressurize the entire cabin. Maybe something could be built into the restroom of the next Boeing rendition. – Robert DiGiovanni Nov 8 at 20:41
  • @h22 -- it is indeed not a crazy idea, depending on your plane. Gulfstream's procedures for their bizjets use the baggage door for this consideration (as there are some special mission Gulfstreams that are designed to drop things out the baggage compartment door). – UnrecognizedFallingObject Nov 10 at 3:46

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