Airlines Now Rely on Passenger Help

CHICAGO?Airline crews said Tuesday that after the terrorist attacks, they are counting on passengers to help protect them?the way they did when they tackled a deranged man who broke into a cockpit this week.

?We used to have a saying at the Air Force that security is everybody?s business,? said Herb Hunter, a United pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. ?That could never be more true than it is right now.?

Airline security has been a top concern since the suicide hijackings Sept. 11. Airports and airlines have increased security measures, but there were some tense moments Monday aboard an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Chicago.

Passengers said Edward Coburn, 31, of Fresno, Calif., ran to the cockpit and knocked open the door while screaming that the plane was going to hit the Sears Tower. He was restrained by a gang of passengers and two pilots, and the plane with 162 people aboard landed safely. Coburn was jailed on charges of interfering with a flight crew.