Questions tagged [security]

Security refers to protecting aircraft, passengers and crew from deliberate attacks or sabotage

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106
votes
7answers
39k views

Can a fighter jet be stolen?

What (if any) sort of pilot authentication systems do fighter jets have? Could anyone with the required skills simply take the aircraft or is a key or authorization code required?
76
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4answers
13k views

How do civilian pilots and ATC verify that other people on the radio are who they claim to be?

I am interested in authentication - how identity is verified - in civilian aviation radio transmissions. I know that when someone is speaking on the radio he tells his call sign. But is there any ...
54
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9answers
53k views

Do planes have keys?

One thing I've always wondered is: do airplanes have keys that you put in the ignition to start? And on the outside doors? Otherwise how are they secured and started? I'm interested to know about a ...
52
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5answers
19k views

Locked out of private jet - how do you get in?

Ok I'm not a jet owner, I'm a novel writer. I wanted to get my airplane facts right for the story. Say my character has a mid-size (can go overseas) private jet. Has a door lock on the outside door ...
43
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10answers
16k views

What stops planes from being stolen?

Related question: do planes have keys? Let's say I happen to spot a fine-looking plane at my local airport and decide the owner probably wouldn't mind if I borrowed her for a little while - what ...
36
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2answers
6k views

What are the security measures preventing someone from chartering a 747 and using it to commit a terrorist attack?

While most travelers are well familiar with the security measures imposed by conventional airlines, it is unclear how they apply to private aircraft. Is it possible for a private individual to ...
33
votes
4answers
4k views

What precautions prevent 'insiders' from stealing a large aircraft, as in the Horizon Air Q400 incident?

For those who haven't heard it yet, a ground worker stole a Q400 at SeaTac this week, performing an unauthorized takeoff and going for a joyride before eventually crashing into an island. The plane ...
32
votes
3answers
9k views

Would a random passenger be allowed to fix a problem with a commercial aircraft?

I just read an article about a man (who is alledgedly an airplane mechanic) who was a passenger on an airplane that had some mechanical issues. Because there were no 'local' mechanics around, he ...
32
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6answers
61k views

How does security and baggage checking work in regards to a private jet?

I was told recently that if you are flying on your own private jet, you can drive your car directly on to the runway, park next to your plane and board without any security checks. This can't be true ...
30
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1answer
5k views

Why are commercial flights not (publicly) trackable in some locations?

Flying BA15 from London to Sydney, I noticed that the flight is not tracked over Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, except for a short ping. Is this for security reasons? Do planes disable their ADS-B, or ...
30
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5answers
14k views

Can a Boeing 777 be hacked?

All this confusion over flight 370 has me wondering if it would be possible to hack into an airplane and control the autopilot or other on-board systems in a way that the pilots couldn't regain ...
28
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5answers
8k views

Can a few random interaction with cockpit controls result in a crash?

Lets say a monkey / snake interacts with 3 random controls inside the cockpit within less than 3 seconds until the PIC / SIC can take control of the aircraft again. Could such interactions result in a ...
28
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10answers
19k views

Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming?

Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming? By "civilian aircraft," I mean planes that were not equipped with flares that fire when rockets approach or any similar anti-missile systems. If ...
23
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1answer
7k views

Is it possible to drive into Gibraltar Airport's runway?

The runway of Gibraltar Airport crosses an active 4 lane highway Example Video. My question is are there any security measures which prevent normal traffic from entering the airport through the ...
22
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1answer
2k views

How does aviation deal with satellite and Moon laser ranging, and other scientific lasers in the sky?

It seems there are many scientific laser ranging stations around the globe and some are mobile. Scientists Bounce Laser Off Soviet Lunar Rover Lost On Moon Decades Ago. Source Questions How ...
22
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1answer
3k views

What happens when you call 866-GA-SECURE in the US?

I live in the US, near a fairly dangerous road, and I've called 911 a few times to report car accidents outside my home. It's a lot like giving a PIREP - you give the necessary information and the ...
22
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1answer
2k views

Is it allowed to mount fake missiles on a civilian aircraft?

In this answer to a question asking to identify an aircraft, we can see a picture of a Aero L-39 Albatros with some missiles hanging from the wings: (flickr.com) N915WE. Supposedly, this is a ...
21
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5answers
26k views

How are credit cards processed during flight?

If telephones/smartphones/tablets are not allowed on planes, how comes when you buy duty free items from the cabin crew and pay by cc they will use the card reader? I suppose that in order to remove ...
21
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4answers
5k views

Is ATC connected to the Internet & why?

I've just read an article from SkyNews just here where they said it's expected that one day air traffic control will be the target of cyber attacks. So my question is "Is ATC connected to the ...
20
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4answers
8k views

Are two people required in cockpit at all times on large commercial aircraft?

It would seem reasonable on large commercial airlines to require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times. For example when the pilot goes to the toilet a member of the cabin crew must ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Are commercial aircraft designed with a shared data network?

In modern airliners, do systems like the in-flight entertainment system (IFE) share the same physical and/or logical network as the flight management systems (FMS)? Is there any communication between ...
19
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3answers
7k views

Are pilots armed?

Are pilots armed to defend themselves in event of a terrorist attack? It seems that in view of terrorist attacks and hijackings since 9/11 they would be.
18
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1answer
3k views

What are the details of opening a cockpit door from the outside?

Can one pilot lock the other out of the cockpit? It is mentioned in the answer to the question I linked that a person inside the cockpit can stop a person outside from opening the door by "canceling ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

Can flight data recorders be hacked?

In the event of a plane crash such as MH17, and the flight data recorders (FDR, a.k.a. "black boxes") are potentially in the "wrong hands", is it theoretically possible to: open the FDR and close it ...
14
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3answers
109k views

Are air marshals on every flight?

These guys say (in the discussion) that they were the only three passengers on board. Does that mean that there was no Air Marshal on board (or one of them was?). Aren't air marshals present on ...
14
votes
1answer
688 views

Would a pilot know that one of their crew is armed?

The Federal Flight Deck Officer page on Wikipedia says this: Under the FFDO program, flight crew members are authorized to use firearms. A flight crew member may be a pilot, flight engineer or ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Why don't airliners carry radar jamming technology or missile counter measures?

Why is it that commercial passenger aircraft that fly through dangerous areas don't carry some sort of electronic counter measure to defend themselves from missiles? Between terrorism and the various ...
13
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3answers
2k views

How are avionics updates delivered?

I'm idly curious to know what type of physical storage medium (e.g. is it a "mini-CD", USB key, a little hard drive, maybe a tape) is used for delivering avionics updates, for an as-recent-as-possible ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Are there any accident reports that mention hacked/compromised avionics as a factor?

Does anyone know of any documented examples of airline accidents caused by hacked or otherwise deliberately compromised avionics?
12
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1answer
725 views

Are US pilots permitted to carry & use their firearm in countries where guns are illegal?

On the question of Are pilots armed?, one thing this made me think is: for the few that are armed, are they allowed to bring their weapon into, for example, the UK? What is the procedure? Does the ...
11
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5answers
3k views

How can ADS-B be secure when it is based on self-reporting?

By all reports, ADS-B is the future of air navigation and ATC. In the simplest definition, ADS-B is aircraft self-reporting GPS position to benefit everyone. How is this secure? Seems like someone ...
10
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8answers
3k views

What prevents a passenger from hijacking a private jet?

I was reading another question on this site when I saw this answer. As you can see in the photo I copied below, this private jet has no cockpit door. On commercial aircraft the bullet-proof cockpit ...
10
votes
1answer
984 views

How safe are commercial airliners from gallium infiltration?

I recently saw a video on gallium infiltration on YouTube. Gallium is a metal with a melting point somewhere between standard room temperature and human body temperature, meaning if you pick up a ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How realistic is the plane scene in Captain America: The First Avenger?

In Captain America: The First Avenger, there's a scene in which Captain America gets into the villain's plane by holding onto the landing gear as it's taking off and waiting for it to be retracted. ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why are Israeli planes followed by an armored police truck at ZRH?

While I was actively traveling to Zürich (for three years before Covid pandemic), I noticed that the Israeli airplane is always being followed by an armored police car with a machine gun turret on top....
9
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1answer
1k views

What is “airside inspection”?

Today, I flew on a commercial airline European flight. Upon arrival, as I was walking from the airplane to the arrivals gate (across tarmac, no jetways), a yellow car labelled "Airside inspection" ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What security regulations apply to US private airstrips?

What kind of security regulations govern the 15,000 private airstrips in the U.S.? Do they fall under TSA jurisdiction? I'm a freelance writer working on a story and wondering how senior Al Qaeda ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Are CO2 cartridges not considered explosive?

I've recently starting riding a push bike to work and got myself a CO2 pump and some cartridges (like this), which I promptly forgot about. As a result, when going on work trips and holidays, I had a ...
8
votes
2answers
324 views

What has been done to provide security for remote wireless updating of in-aircraft software components?

Is it true that in the latest generation of Boeing aircraft some software components / Electronic Flight Bag data can be pushed to the flight remotely via a Wireless link? If so, what sort of ...
7
votes
2answers
291 views

What safety requirements are there when designing an electronic device to go inside the cabin of an airliner?

I am considering designing and building an automatic air-sampling unit that can be placed in the cabin of an airliner and left unattended for an extended period of time. The device will use an ...
7
votes
1answer
713 views

Someone's shooting at my plane out of the blue! What do I do?

Let us assume that you are in cruise flight in normal, civil-accessible airspace (i.e. not any sort of restricted, prohibited, warning, controlled firing, or other specialized airspace area used for ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Can a GPS signal sent to a plane be spoofed?

Related to What effect would an air-to-air GPS jamming system have?, I'm wondering whether it is possible for a terrorist (or likewise, law enforcement) to manipulate GPS signals received by a jet, re-...
7
votes
2answers
594 views

How does a Secondary Surveilliance Radar send data?

When aircraft are detected by radar and their transponders 'ping' back to the radar site, this data is passed over data network cables to the air traffic controllers. Is there typically any ...
7
votes
1answer
628 views

What effect would an air-to-air GPS jamming system have?

I just noticed an interesting AIC: NOTIFICATION OF GPS JAMMING EXERCISE – HEBRIDES RANGES DURING PERIOD 21 JULY - 1 AUGUST 2014. PDF available on Eurocontrol (official) or Scribd (mirror). The ...
6
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1answer
4k views

Can diplomats be allowed on the flight deck of a commercial European airline?

If a diplomat were to request access to the flight deck with proper identification, would he/she be allowed to visit the cockpit of a commercial airliner during flight?
6
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2answers
2k views

Why offload bags for missing passengers when flights are allowed to carry unaccompanied non-PAX air-cargo in holds?

Several times, my flight has been delayed when passengers don't make it to the gate in time and then (after a long wait) the baggage-handlers have to go into the holds and manually find the bags to ...
6
votes
2answers
435 views

Do pilots have the ability to bypass customs when utilizing jump-seat privileges?

I wonder if anyone can help with a hypothetical question. Its for a novel I am researching All passengers with a ticket for a flight will pass through normal passport controls but I am told that ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is a new type of TSA pre-approval required before commencing flight training?

A friend of mine owns a flight school in the states. A Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) has informed his staff that a new TSA regulation will require all new prospective flight students to meet with a ...
6
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3answers
928 views

Airport Security Pre-1970-s?

I just accidentally discovered a few pictures on the web, that seem to imply, that there were some sort of airport security checks on passengers all the way back in the 1960-s. It was always my ...
6
votes
1answer
214 views

Are municipal airports in the U.S. treated differently than most public places in regards to legal, holstered, loaded firearm carry?

Is a municipal airport treated like a normal public place which requires signage or registration with a no-carry list to ban firearms from being carried on the premises, or... ... is a municipal ...