I was flying as copilot for Ian MacPhail in a Bell 412EP over the Arabian Gulf one bright and sunny day at 300 feet en route to an oil rig, when keyed the floor mic button and asked him, “Ian, how would you describe a helicopter pilot’s personality?” …He took a moment to think about it, then looking over at me with a smile said, “Perpetual adolescence.”
It started as a routine charter flight. But when the business jet landed in Venezuela, armed men loaded 47 sacks of cocaine on board and forced the crew to fly the cargo back across the Atlantic. Since then, the German pilot has been living under an assumed identity.
After September 11, 2001 some airline pilots were granted the authority to carry guns while on duty in the cockpit. The pilots are trained on how to use the weapon in the unlikely event a person were to enter the cockpit and threaten the safety of the flight. Now a group representing the armed pilots wants to expand their authority so pilots who have the training can carry their hand guns while riding in the back of the airplane as well as in airport terminals.