The Ugly American: How to Kill a Hijacker ... 6 Improvised Weapons on an Aircraft

Travel Features How To
Share Tweet Submit Pin

1. Another Passenger’s Aluminum Crutch or Cane

Two presumed hijackers were beaten to death with one of these on a Chinese flight a few years ago. Also, don’t underestimate the bludgeoning opportunity of a prosthetic limb. A metal prosthetic leg has a larger heft than a baseball bat. A good swing can fracture face bones by the dozens in a heartbeat. Last year in Seattle, a man was subdued in just this manner, which just goes to show, it pays to be creative.

2. The Red Halon Fire Extinguisher

There is always at least one of these on board, usually mounted on the bulkhead behind the last row of seats in each cabin. It’s heavy and metal and can drop you like a mofo if you’re hit with it—especially if it’s full, which it should be since the FAA mandates that the plane can’t take off without all fire extinguishers full and ready to go.

3. The H2O Fire Extinguisher

There is also always at least one of these on board, too, right next to the red one. It’s going to be green and smaller, but even heavier because it’s filled with water instead of Halon gas. It’s like a metal mallet, really, and another plus is that when you press the lever that emanates the “spray,” the stream of water is actually needle thin. You could cut a sirloin with that thing. Aim at the eyes, I tell you, the eyes.

4. The Liquor Kit

All those booze minis come in a long metal sleeve that slides in and out of the beverage cart. Yank that out and swing it around hard enough and heads will (probably) literally roll. Plus, the makers of those carts don’t devote much time to filing down the edges of those metal bastards. I know plenty of flight attendants who have lost a lot of blood because of those things. I think you could seriously saw through the jugular of a terrorist with it if you angled it right.

5. Can of Soda

These suckers are heavy, and if you throw one hard enough it can be like a big, slow bullet to someone’s head. Also, in first class there are always the bottles of wine, otherwise known as miniature glass baseball bats with the added feature that, if you break the neck off one, you can use it to rip the main artery right out of a hijacker’s thigh.

6. Beverage cart. Beverage carts can weigh like 350 pounds according to the type of aircraft. That’s why flight attendants are so reticent about having to yank it half a football field up the aisle when a passenger decides to make a trip to the lavatory during the meal service. Beverage carts are big giant metal missiles packed with weights consisting of liquor kits, cans of soda, bags of ice, decanters of water and pitchers of hot coffee—not to mention all those packets of peanuts. They’ve been the culprits of countless broken bones and maiming of hapless passengers over the years. Why not enlist them to thwart a terrorist or two? Just a thought.

Happy flying!

Hollis Gillespie writes a weekly travel column for Paste. She is a writing instructor, travel expert and author of We Will be Crashing Shortly, coming out in June. Follow her on Twitter.