Pilot Locked Out Of Cockpit

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A bizarre incident aboard an Air Canada Jazz flight last week has raised questions about just how terror-proof those new bullet-proof (and apparently pilot-proof) cockpit doors are. With 30 minutes left in the flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg, the captain left the cockpit to use the washroom in the rear of the CRJ-100. When he got back, the door lock had apparently malfunctioned and he was unable to get back to his post. Now, the first officer was up front and fully capable of landing the plane but the captain apparently insisted on being in his seat. In front of 50 passengers, he and the cabin crew popped the hinges on the door. It's not known if the door was left that way for the remainder of the flight but the relative ease with which the door was removed raised questions about the practical security of the flight crew. The Toronto Star quoted Peter St. John, an anti-terrorism lecturer at the University of Manitoba, as saying the incident sends a message to terrorists that getting into the cockpit is "fairly easy to do." Air Canada Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said the aircraft crew responded appropriately. "We investigated the incident, and the crew followed standard operational procedures," she was quoted as saying. "At no time was the safety or security of passengers compromised."