There was a report about a possible attempted shoulder launched missile attack at LAX airport. So far it seems like they are pinning the events, as
described in pilot testimonies, on flares or bottle rockets. It seems to me that those are drastically different devices and wouldn't necessarily
account for the pilot seeing a "smoke trail pass by the cockpit." It is already well-documented that LAX is an attractive target for a MANPAD type
attack. This plane happened to be over water when the event occured. It would be very easy for someone aboard a boat to get away with it. Frankly I'm
surprised that it hasn't happened already. Stories to follow...
Also keep in mind the altitude of the plane. I’m not positive, but I don’t think bottle rockets or flares have a ceiling limit of 4,000 feet.
Does anyone know the altitude of the plane when this incident occurred?
considering the amount of training on this subject that the FAA has been giving to airline crews and controllers alike, i think probably an airline
captain would know the difference between a bottle rocket and a MANPAD.
Both of you bring up good points. To answer CogitoErgoSum1
's question, the jet had just taken off so it was probably under a few thousand feet. But anything over 1000 ft is probably out of range for a flare
and definitely a bottle rocket. If the pilot did see something fly past the cockpit then there is some big time denial by the authorities, which
really isn't surprising when you think about it.
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