Kevin Fobbs
Martial arts-trained flight attendants can disable potential airline bombers
By Kevin Fobbs
February 14, 2010

While not every airplane flight can have a federal air marshal on it, it may be possible that every flight could come equipped to disable potential air bombers like 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Detroit-bound Christmas Day bomber who has been indicted on six criminal counts including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted murder of 289 people. According to the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA(AFA-CWA), alert flight attendants were able to thwart Abdulmutallab's terrorist intentions.

This week another flight attendant was able to use her highly trained skills and alertness to disable a possible mid-air threat from an unruly and quite possibly dangerous passenger. According to published news accounts US-Air flight attendant Lorin Gorman was able to effectively disable Kinman Chan, 30 a passenger who was reportedly high on medical marijuana.

This incident occurred as US-Air flight 1447 was well on its way from Philadelphia to San Francisco when Ms. Gorman noticed a passenger, Chan, was acting peculiar. Fifty one year-old Gorman, who is a trained Taekwondo fourth-degree black belt holder, was trained to be more alert since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but she had taken up self-defense training as well.

Gorman commented Thursday, February 11 on Fox News that when Chan became aggressive exiting the on-board lavatory with his pants down, she went into action. As Chan continued to ignore her requests to sit down and be quiet, she had to engage other more effective means of subduing the disagreeable passenger. Her self-defense training was used effectively.

Hands-on training of flight attendants is not only important it is crucial in order to maintain the flight safety of airline passengers. According to the AFA-CWA, "In light of the Christmas Day terrorist attack that was thwarted by the efforts of flight attendants at Northwest Airlines, AFA-CWA is calling for a four-pronged approach that would help to tighten aviation security. The organization has reissued the call for carry-on guidelines as well as enhancing communication techniques and hands-on counter-terrorism training."

AFA-CWA represents more than 50,000 flight attendants at 22 airlines. "Flight attendants serve a vital role in protecting the safety and security of passengers and crew inside the aircraft cabin. We should be provided the tools and resources necessary to ensure the integrity of the cabin is not compromised," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President in a January 2 release.

In order to insure flight crew and passenger safety, enhanced self-defense training as part of the flight attendant training process should be mandatory. AFA-CWA recommends their flight attendant counter-terrorism training course to include:

  • Hands-on training: Multiple 2-hour sessions spread over several weeks to maximize understanding and retention while minimizing mental and physical fatigue and potential training injuries. These sessions are designed to develop:

  • Tactical knowledge and skills to work together as a team with other crew members and able-bodied passengers to prevent or mitigate any on-board acts of terrorism. This will include the use of tactical communications between flight attendants, pilots, federal air marshals and law enforcement responders;

  • Techniques designed to allow flight attendants to protect themselves against physical attack, respond to acts of sabotage which includes potential suicide bombers, and to prevent attempts to breach the cockpit and utilize the aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction.

Next time a would-be Christmas Day bomber like Abdulmutallab comes aboard an airline flight with terrorist designs in mind hopefully the flight staff will be equipped to serve more than mid-air snacks but to hand out a swift black belt punch to put the would-be assailant down for the count instead.

If you agree or disagree or have a different thought or idea send a comment for a follow up.

© Kevin Fobbs


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Kevin Fobbs

Kevin Fobbs Media Bio: 05-21-2021

About Kevin Fobbs: Kevin Fobbs, a native Detroiter, is Chairman of the American Christian Civil Rights Movement (ACCRM), President of NAACP2021: National Association for the Advancement of Canceled People, Managing Partner of Ascension Entertainment Productions, and director of RTL Productions. He is a producer of the Holocaust-themed movie drama "Never Again," collaborator on the 2018 police documentary "Bleeding Blue" and producer/director of post-Civil War - World War II historical Christian southern civil rights drama "Johnathan - Living on the Edge of History," and Exec/Director-Producer of the film version of his soon to be released book a modern Christian fairy tale "Bernadine and Winston the Crooked Worm's Four Seasons of Life."

In the 1970's Kevin became a professional journalist and attended Wayne State University Law School. His written work has appeared in the New York Times and he has written for The Detroit News, The Michigan Chronicle, Clash Daily, Renew America, Communities Digital News (CDN) among others.

Kevin is co-writer of "Sandy Hook Massacre: When Seconds Count - Police Are Minutes Away In 2014 Kevin, together with his grandson, co-authored the Christian children's book "Is There a Lion in My Kitchen? " He is co-author of "Shut Yo' Mouth! How the Left Plays the Race Card to Silence Conservatives and How to Stop It.

He is co-host of New Right Network's "American Exceptionalism" and upcoming "American Correct" podcast shows.


For nearly 40 years, Kevin's personal devotion to Christian conservative values and principles has guided his public service in both state and national government, as well as private sector and media leadership roles, including elected and appointed positions. The primary Biblical verse that guides Kevin is: Isaiah 6:8 (NIV) 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


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