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“Weapon Onboard Aircraft” Training

Short (Certificate) Courses for Pilots-in-Service

Min. Academic & Professional Level

Intermediate & PPL,CPL, ATPL Holders & Flight Instructors

Course Designed for:

PPL,CPL, ATPL Holders, Airlines & GA Pilot-in-Service, Flight Instructors of Flying Clubs & Flight Simulators

An Overview:

Definition: “Weapon Onboard Training” for airline pilots, also known as “Armed Pilot Training,” is a specialized training program designed to prepare and train pilots to carry and use firearms as a means of self-defense in the event of a security threat or hijacking situation on board an aircraft. 

This training is part of the broader aviation security measures aimed at protecting passengers, crew, and aircraft from potential acts of terrorism and unlawful interference.

Here’s a detailed explanation of Weapon Onboard Training for airline pilots, including its objectives, components, procedures, and significance in aviation security:

Objectives of Weapon Onboard Training:

Security Preparedness: The primary objective of this training is to ensure that pilots are prepared to respond effectively to potential security threats, including attempts at hijacking or unlawful interference.

Deterrence: The presence of trained, armed pilots can serve as a deterrent against potential threats, making it less likely for individuals with malicious intent to attempt an attack.

Last Line of Defense: Armed pilots are considered a last line of defense in case other security measures fail, providing an option for responding to immediate threats.

Components of Weapon Onboard Training:

Firearms Training: Pilots undergo comprehensive training in the safe handling, operation, and use of firearms. This includes marksmanship, accuracy, shooting techniques, and handling various scenarios.

Use of Force: Pilots are educated on the legal and ethical considerations of using deadly force. They learn when and how to use firearms as a means of self-defense while minimizing collateral damage.

Crisis Management: The training program includes scenarios and simulations of hijacking situations, helping pilots develop effective crisis management skills and decision-making under stress.

Conflict Resolution: Armed pilots are trained to de-escalate situations when possible, using communication and negotiation techniques to defuse threats.

Weapon Onboard Training Procedures:

Selection and Screening: Airlines select candidates for armed pilot training based on criteria such as experience, psychological stability, and adherence to regulations. Extensive background checks and psychological evaluations are conducted.

Training Program: The training program typically includes classroom instruction, firearms familiarization, marksmanship practice, tactical training, legal considerations, and situational awareness training.

Scenario Simulations: Pilots engage in realistic scenarios where they need to make decisions about using firearms to neutralize threats. These simulations help pilots develop judgment and decision-making skills.

Ongoing Proficiency: After initial training, pilots must undergo regular recurrent training and proficiency assessments to maintain their skills and stay updated on regulations.

Coordination with Authorities: Armed pilots and airlines work closely with aviation and law enforcement authorities to ensure compliance with regulations and to maintain effective communication channels.

Significance of Weapon Onboard Training:

Enhanced Security: Armed pilots provide an additional layer of security against potential threats, acting as a deterrent and response option.

Rapid Response: In the event of a hijacking or security breach, armed pilots can quickly respond, potentially mitigating the threat before it escalates.

Passenger Confidence: The presence of trained armed pilots can boost passenger confidence in the overall security of air travel.

Compliance with Regulations: Airlines and armed pilots must adhere to strict regulatory guidelines and standards to ensure the safety and security of all parties involved.

Balanced Approach: While armed pilots provide a security advantage, training also emphasizes non-lethal conflict resolution and crisis management.

In conclusion, Weapon Onboard Training equips airline pilots with the skills and knowledge to carry and use firearms as a means of self-defense in case of security threats. This training contributes to aviation security by providing a last line of defense against potential hijackings or unlawful interference, while also emphasizing the responsible use of force and conflict resolution techniques.