Widow of 9-11 pilot demands better cockpit security from airlines

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One week from today, the nation will be observing the 12th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. One widow from that fateful day is doing everything she can to make sure attacks like it never happen again.

Her target: The airlines. Cockpit safety is her mission.

Captain Victor Saracini died when Flight 175 crashed into New York’s Twin Towers 12 years ago. His wife, Ellen Saracini,  argues that if the cockpits today were secured with proper equipment, a terrorist takeover like that could never happen again.


She claims United is taking an ever-important piece of equipment out of their planes making pilots and planes full of people vulnerable. United says it just isnt so.



Saracini wants more secondary barriers installed. United Airlines has them in some of its larger aircrafts making longer trips. It allows for pilots to exit the cockpit and close the main door while keeping the area near it clear of others, namely potential intruders.

United, she claims, is now removing some of these secondary barriers which are estimated to cost anywhere from $5,000  to $12,000.


A United spokesman told WGN,  “Security measures have evolved in the years since the secondary barriers were ordered, and many more layers of security now exist. While we don’t discuss the details of the security measures that are used for a particular aircraft or a particular flight, we thoroughly carry out our security responsibilities for every flight.”

“This is not a cost issue,” Ellen says. “They say they have certain security measures in place. It is simply not true.”

Ellen is in Chicago to meet with United’s Head of Safety and members of the security team.

She has the support of 43 congressmen for the secondary barriers and she wants a bill passed mandating them.


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