Widow of pilot killed in Sept. 11 attacks calls for greater cockpit protection

The widow of one of the pilots killed in the Sept. 11 attacks is calling for greater protection for airplane cockpits.

Ellen Sarancini's husband was a pilot who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. She is calling greater cockpit protection for airplanes.

Ellen Sarancini's husband was a pilot who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. She is calling greater cockpit protection for airplanes. (9/15/16)

JERSEY CITY - The widow of one of the pilots killed in the Sept. 11 attacks is calling for greater protection for airplane cockpits.

Ellen Sarancini’s husband Victor was the pilot on United Airlines Flight 175, the flight that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Sarancini says she wants to see a federal law that would require all airlines to install a gate in front of the cockpit on airplanes.

"It's just a gate that's attached to one side of the doorway and it would be pulled across, locked into place and then the cockpit door could open," Sarancini says. "Once [the cockpit] is closed again, they would simply retract the gate."

Terrorists stormed cockpits to hijack the planes during the attack. Cockpit doors were fortified after 9/11, but Sarancini says the cockpits are still vulnerable when the door is opened for a bathroom break or meal service.

Sarancini and Democratic congressional candidate Josh Gottheimer held a news conference in Jersey City Thursday to call for the legislation.

The bill is named in honor of Sarancini’s husband. It has been held up in Congress in the past by disputes over which government agency should oversee the security measure.

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