Saturday, January 24, 2009

Like the FMS, For Example

One of the blogs I read is Schneier on Security, a blog about the security mindset, and security issues in and out of aviation. Bruce Schneier is a security consultant who has decided to bash his head against the wall in a public forum. The blog gets a little repetitive, because it's mainly driven by news stories, which themselves are repetitive because people don't learn from previous mistakes.

Comments on a recent discussion of the indiscretions of US sky marshals included the not-new suggestion that the cockpit be completely separated from the cabin, with separate food, water and washroom facilities for the pilots.

Meanwhile someone else raised the also not-new suggestion that "Then the only possible target for the pilot to shoot will be the co-pilot. Which, if you arm them all and wait long enough, is sure to happen."

I stopped reading and got the best laugh at a follow up comment, "If you were to survey current pilots, you'll find that there are several pieces of equipment more likely to be shot before the co-pilot."

9 comments:

Daniel said...

Hey what do you have against the FMS? I love it! :D
Well... a friend told me the Airbus MCDU freezes up a bit, that must be strange. One day a CRJ captain invited me to a round-trip flight in the jump seat. While the FO was doing the preflight inspection, he told me to program the FMC. It was great! Too bad the airline closed few months ago.
Have good landings and good luck!

Ward said...

Schneier isn't just a "security consultant," he's the guy who literally wrote the book on cryptography:

http://www.schneier.com/book-applied.html

Jim said...

I work in the [computer] security industry.

One of Schneier's many contributions to the security sphere is the concept of security theatre, which is essentially going through the motions of doing something which perhaps increases security - when in reality it is likely a somewhat (or very) expensive show which has little ROI, but allows the executive suits (a) avoid the really big problems, (b) avoid the hard decisions, (c) demonstrate that they are doing something, no matter how ineffective, and (d) provide a butt-covering "out" should something significant happen.

Especially when it comes to aviation, and US aviation in particular, much of the security theatre can be filed under the heading of "closing the barn door after the horse has left".

Aluwings said...

Jim - thanks for introducing me to that term "security theatre." That's what so much of it's about!

I think I may have to read more by Mr. Schneier

Aluwings said...

P.S. If aviatrix will permit me - I humbly offer my previous insights into airport security at this blog entry.

Syrad said...

Hmmm. On my airplane it would probably be the weather radar. I maintain that my aircraft's pilots are able to maintain their ability to read clouds thanks to the inability of our weather radar to give us any real information unless it's clear and a million - then it will tell us there's no weather out there.

Lord Hutton said...

So much airport security is for show. Witness the confiscation of Cheese, for god's sake

Aviatrix said...

If Aviatrix will permit me ...

You're all welcome to link to relevant entries from your own blogs, or to anything on the web when it fosters discussion.

I appreciate it when you use the proper anchor tags for the link, as Aluwings did. Instructions are at the right.

Scott Johnson said...

Bitching Betty has been asking for it. :)