Sharpshooters and pressurized cabins

Do the proposed undercover US marshall sharpshooters have specially equipped weapons with “softer(?)” bullets to avoid piercing the plane’s fusilage or are we counting on their aim being so accurate that they can take out a terrorist without endangering the aircraft?

Good question. I don’t know, but I am going to add another question.

Wouldn’t it be possible to equip flight personnel with Tazers? A person with a knife vs. a person with a Tazer?

In another thread, they said that Canada was going to have a Sky Marshall on every flight??? Too expensive in the US???

There are a many more flights in the U.S. than there are in Canada. Presumably it’s a matter of cost. The plan in the past was to put air marshals on flights randomly so no one knows which flights have them.

I have no source for this, but I have heard that they use frangible ammunition, similar to that often used for selfdefense by people who live in thin-walled apartments. These bullets fragment before they can penetrate drywall so I don’t think they’d go through thick sheetmetal.

Back in the 70’s the Sky Marshals did use special ammunition. You don’t want to puncture the plane, though it should hold up to a small hole through the metal. But you don’t want the bullet to go through the bad guy and then several passengers.

Look up Glaser “safety slugs” for more info on this type of ammo.

If they’re going to rely on someone’s aim to keep from putting a hole in the fuselage, I think Amtrak is about to get really popular.

This thread, though, has made me wonder how much the course of history might have been changed if someone on one of those planes had had a can of pepper spray.

I don’t believe pressuerized canisters of any kind are allowed anywhere on commercial flights.

The plane can take the hole just fine, as far as pressure is a factor, but the walls, floors, and ceiling of the plane are filled with wires, hydraulics, and avionic controls. You certainly don’t want the bullets going into those.

I thought that the terrorists were holding boxcutters to smoeone’s throat. I can’t imagine any other way you could keep a planeload of people at bay with a 3-inch blade. In any case, I think getting tased could lead to the hostage getting cut, perhaps fatally (boxcutters are really sharp).