Some AA planes get stronger cockpit doors
FORT WORTH, Texas (CNN) -- American Airlines said Wednesday that 18 of its planes now feature reinforcement bars on their cockpit doors -- an effort meant to prevent hijackings similar to those on September 11 that destroyed the World Trade Center and heavily damaged the Pentagon.
The company, in a statement, said it will continue "an all-out effort" to get all 712 American planes and all 169 TWA planes outfitted with the reinforced doors by early November. American Airlines acquired TWA earlier this year.
Two of the four hijacked planes used in the attacks were American Airlines planes. American Airlines Flight 11 was the first jet to slam into the World Trade Center; American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
Edward Coburn, 31, was arrested Monday after law enforcement officials said he stormed the cockpit of an American Airlines Los Angeles-to-Chicago flight, yelling the "pilots are going to kill us all!" Coburn's father described his son as mentally impaired.
He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted of interfering with the crew. None of the 162 people on board was injured.
An airline security task force, composed of representatives from airlines, aircraft makers, pilots and flight attendants unions, has made several recommendations to the FAA to make flying safer.
The recommendations include putting a "deadbolt, crossbar, a net or other barrier devices" on cockpit doors, similar to the device American has designed for its doors; developing a way for flight attendants to notify pilots of a suspected threat in the cabin; having the industry evaluate the use of cameras and lighting outside the cockpit; and giving crew members access to "non-lethal defensive capabilities" to be used in hijack emergencies.
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