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Boeing spokesperson laughs at the idea of a Boeing 767 going at 500 MPH at 700 feet

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posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Then you had absolutely no point there then. Because I'm NOT ignoring the laws or rules of aerodynamics. The airframe was stressed beyond the breaking point by a 2.4G maneuver at 500+ mph. It broke up. How is that ignoring anything?


Btw way to totally ignore my demand for proof, and to shove words into my mouth with the 7 hijackers in the cockpit.


I have no idea how the above directly relates to the EgyptAir article I linked and placed excerpt in a recent previous post. Could you please be specific in what you intended to mean with your vague comments?

Proof of what? That when a 767 goes over the speed it is intended to go at various atmospheric conditions, it can start breaking apart? I just did that, when I posted the except and the link to the full context of the article. It was an actual event with a real Boeing 767.

Did you read the excerpt or the entire article? What are you specific disagreements concerning that article?




posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 07:40 PM
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Did you bother reading that it pulled a 2.4G maneuver before it broke up? Apparently you stopped with the overspeed and breakup of the airframe. Or was that all you understood?

Here, let me help a little bit. I'll even bold it for you.


The 767 was at 16,416 feet, doing 527 miles an hour, and pulling a moderately heavy 2.4 gs, indicating that the nose, though still below the horizon, was rising fast, and that Habashi's efforts on the left side were having an effect. A belated recovery was under way.

www.theatlantic.com...

So no, it wasn't JUST an overspeed condition that caused the breakup, contrary to what you are trying to claim. It was overspeed exaserbated by what for an airliner is a high G maneuver. On top of that, it was trying to go in two directions at once. That's what happens when you have a split elevator situation, or both ailerons in the up position. Both ailerons are trying to push the wings down to make a turn, and one elevator is pushing the nose down, the other pushing it up. All that puts even MORE stress on the wings and airframe that they weren't designed for. So you don't just have the high speed of the dive, you have a reasonably high G maneuver, and stresses that it was never designed for. If you had JUST the high speed, or JUST the G forces they may have pulled out of the maneuver. Or even with the high speed and the G forces they may have pulled out of it in one piece. Throw the extra bit of stress in, and they didn't make it.

[edit on 2/13/2008 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Did you bother reading that it pulled a 2.4G maneuver before it broke up? Apparently you stopped with the overspeed and breakup of the airframe. Or was that all you understood?


For you that is all there is? For me, it was not. The point was when 767s exceed the speed under atmospheric conditions not suitable for that speed and model plane, a 767 is high risk to start breaking up, which it did. Which, in turn, caused it to crash.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 08:03 PM
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And you are COMPLETELY ignoring the contributing factors. Not to mention that they ROUTINELY travel faster than 500 mph at higher altitudes, where this one was. This break up had NOTHING to do with them flying at 500mph at 700 feet.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
And you are COMPLETELY ignoring the contributing factors. Not to mention that they ROUTINELY travel faster than 500 mph at higher altitudes, where this one was. This break up had NOTHING to do with them flying at 500mph at 700 feet.


I did not ignore anything. Exactly what were all the factors you think are being ignored?

I found appearing in the article quite interesting as well, and directly pertained to pertinent factors at 700' in NYC flying a 767. Plus, pertained to the actual expertise pilots must have with real 767s or any other plane:

www.theatlantic.com...


An EgyptAir dispatcher rode out on the bus with them, and subsequently reported that the crew members looked and sounded normal. At the airport he gave them a standard briefing and an update on the New York surface weather, which was stagnant under a low, thin overcast, with light winds and thickening haze.


And this:


I don't fly the 767, or any other airliner. In fact, I no longer fly for a living. But I know through long experience with flight that such machines are usually docile, and that steering them does not require the steady nerves and quick reflexes that passengers may imagine. Indeed, as we saw on September 11, steering them may not even require much in the way of training—the merest student-pilot level is probably enough. It's not hard to understand why. Airplanes at their core are very simple devices—winged things that belong in the air. They are designed to be flyable, and they are. Specifically, the 767 has ordinary mechanical and hydraulic flight controls that provide the pilot with smooth and conventional responses; it is normally operated on autopilot, but can easily be flown by hand; if you remove your hands from the controls entirely, the airplane sails on as before, until it perhaps wanders a bit, dips a wing, and starts into a gentle descent; if you pull the nose up or push it down (within reason) and then fold your arms, the airplane returns unassisted to steady flight; if you idle the engines, or shut them off entirely, the airplane becomes a rather well behaved glider. It has excellent forward visibility, through big windshields. It has a minimalist cockpit that may look complicated to the untrained eye but is a masterpiece of clean design. It can easily be managed by the standard two-person crew, or even by one pilot alone. The biggest problem in flying the airplane on a routine basis is boredom. Settled into the deep sky at 33,000 feet, above the weather and far from any obstacle, the 767 simply makes very few demands.

Not that it's idiot-proof, or necessarily always benign. As with any fast and heavy airplane, operating a 767 safely even under ordinary circumstances requires anticipation, mental clarity, and a practical understanding of the various systems. Furthermore, when circumstances are not ordinary—for example, during an engine failure just after takeoff or an encounter with unexpected wind shear during an approach to landing—a wilder side to the airplane's personality suddenly emerges. Maintaining control then requires firm action and sometimes a strong arm. There's nothing surprising about this: all airplanes misbehave on occasion, and have to be disciplined. "Kicking the dog," I called it in the ornery old cargo crates I flew when I was in college—it was a regular part of survival. In the cockpits of modern jets it is rarely necessary. Nonetheless, when trouble occurs in a machine as massive and aerodynamically slick as the 767, if it is not quickly suppressed the consequences can blossom out of control. During a full-blown upset like that experienced by the Egyptian crew, the airplane may dive so far past its tested limits that it exceeds the very scale of known engineering data—falling off the graphs as well as out of the sky. Afterward the profile can possibly be reconstructed mathematically by aerodynamicists and their like, but it cannot be even approximated by pilots in flight if they expect to come home alive.


That does also appear to agree with pilots, posting to these discussions and what I have presented directly related to the above, which was written by someone stating he is a pilot.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 08:38 PM
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You're claiming that the overspeed caused the plane to break up in flight. You're ignoring the fact that the flight controls were in positions they weren't meant to be in, causing unknown stresses to the wings and tail section, as well as the fact that they just pulled a 2.4G maneuver. Remove either of those last two and the plane may have survived. Have JUST the high speed and the plane probably would have survived. Put all three together and there's no way that the plane could have survived, and it didn't.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by OrionStars
I found the following to be quite interesting, particularly the speed and altitude, concerning EgyptAir 990. The balance of the article is quite informative, as well, when compared to Boeing spokespersons and pilots stating no Boeing 767 is going to fly at high speed at 700' above sea level, without beginning to break apart diving or not or banking and turning or not:


www.theatlantic.com...


It was the last instant captured by the on-board flight recorders. The elevators were split, with the one on the right side, Batouti's side, still pushed into a nose-down position. The ailerons on both wings had assumed a strange upswept position, normally never seen on an airplane. The 767 was at 16,416 feet, doing 527 miles an hour, and pulling a moderately heavy 2.4 gs, indicating that the nose, though still below the horizon, was rising fast, and that Habashi's efforts on the left side were having an effect. A belated recovery was under way. At that point, because the engines had been cut, all nonessential electrical devices were lost, blacking out not only the recorders, which rely on primary power, but also most of the instrument displays and lights. The pilots were left to the darkness of the sky, whether to work together or to fight. I've often wondered what happened between those two men during the 114 seconds that remained of their lives. We'll never know. Radar reconstruction showed that the 767 recovered from the dive at 16,000 feet and, like a great wounded glider, soared steeply back to 24,000 feet, turned to the southeast while beginning to break apart, and shed its useless left engine and some of its skin before giving up for good and diving to its death at high speed.




[edit on 13-2-2008 by OrionStars]


Orion, let's allow people to not only the 'snippet' from theAtlantic, but the full article, AND the NTSB report as well. It is disingenuous to muddy the discussion with a 'spin' by only pointing out certain facts that conveniently try to support one's point.

I really hate to disagree with Zaphod, but my B767 Flight Manual has a 'Limitations' section, tabbed as the first section, if I remember (it's packed away, at the moment) with the FAA certified G load limits for the airplane, information that we memorize as part of achieving our type rating on the airplane in initial training, then have as a handy reference to refresh memory over time. On the B767 the range was -1.0G to +2.5G (flaps up) and -0.0G to +2.0G (flaps NOT up)...that is an approximate wording, and I could be in error on a decimal point, but not by much, I think.

For an example of 2.0G, it really isn't that much, since any stable steep turn, conducted at a 60 degree bank angle, will result in a positve 2 Gs. We do not DO 60 degree steep turns in airliner flight trainilng, we use 45 degrees...I have provided more info about this in earlier posts.

As to the 'Atlantic' article, I believe the author mentions straight away that he is not a pilot. I admit, so far, I only skimmed it, I will study it further, as I will also (and invite others) to study the NTSB report as well...it can be dry at times, but it is a scholarly report, not an article in a magazine.

One thing in OrionStar's 'snippet' was the mention of the split elevators...although not addressed in the magazine article, there is a full discussion about the phenomenom in the NTSB report, along with schematic drawings of the elevator control system. I can summarize for you: The control columns are mechanically linked, so normally move in concert. There is a loarge spring, though, that interconnects the two sides, and with sufficient force it can allow one side to overcome the spring and regain control if a jam should occur on the cables on the other side. If one pilot is suicidal, pushing forward on his side, and the other is pulling back, then they will provide conflicting signals to the separate elevators.

One other anomaly I will focus on, is the thing about the engine fuel switches being moved to 'Cut-Off'...This will, indeed, shut down the engines, and hence the two engine-driven generators...but also the hydraulics as well, in which case there would be no way to power the flight controls...EXCEPT for the RAT, which pops out automatically when BOTH N1 values are below a pre-set threshold...this is automatic in case of the (unlikely, normally) event of a dual simultaneous flame-out. The RAT (Ram-Air Turbine) is located right side, in the lower fuselage, just ahead of the wing. It is merely a propellor attached to a hydraulic pump, and is driven by the relative wind of the airplane in flight to supply basic hydraulic system pressure for emergency control, until one or both engine can be re-ignited. Let's see if the NTSB report mentions this...

Now, the APU may have been operating...whether because they forgot to shut it down (easy to do, depends) or they dispatched with one engine gen inop (common, but usually not for ETOPS overwater, at least not a US carrier)...but I am theorizing, just throwing ideas around. Point is, the APU will provide power to the busses that supply the Flight Recorders.

I mention this, because the FDR readout showed altitude data until end of recording, and that was at 0 altitude...along with the 460Knots...so whether or not the engines were shutdown, there was still power to the #1 Main Bus.

Finally, an engine, when at flight idle, or shut-down and just windmilling, is not producing thrust. IN fact, it adds drag. Compare this with the airplanes that hit the WTC...and, DID EgyptAir 'break-up prior to impact? Did SwissAir 111? (Oh, that's another type of airplane [MD-11] and may not be pertinent, but I'll check....)



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 


The point I was making was that while the 767 could withstand a 2.4G maneuver, a 2.4G maneuver combined with near Mach 1 speeds, and control surfaces trying to tie the plane into knots was too much stress to withstand, causing the break up of the airframe. The high speed, the high speed and the G forces alone, or even just the G forces alone would probably have been survivable. But with the control surfaces trying to do four things at once (nose up, nose down, left and right turns), plus the Gs and the near Mach speeds it was too much stress on the airframe and it came apart.

As for the breakup it impacted relatively intact, but Air Force radars showed SOME sort of debris separate from the aircraft. But they could only show down to about 8,800 feet.

[edit on 2/13/2008 by Zaphod58]



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 10:00 PM
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I wanted to reply to myself, I promise to be more brief...

I re-read some of the recent exchanges between two ATS members above, and am having trouble with this 'concept' of a Boeing jet being so fragile that it will 'break-up' so easily, due to excessive speed.

I would like to point out, that when it comes to G-force load limits, published in the 'Limitations' section of the Flight Manual, these limits do NOT mean that if you exceed them by a few decimal points that the airframe is subject to failure! There is an engineering margain built in...these 'Limits' are considered 'maximums' in normal operations. Any non-normal event will require maintenance action, inspections, possible repairs and such...but this is putting safety first, and of course, wanting to preserve the lifespan of the airframe...

One last thing...a Boeing airliner is not, of course designed to nor able to exceed Mach 1. Its MMO is, indeed, Mach 0.86. This is, again, a Limitation. (The warning system usually allows a slight overshoot, before the siren soiunds...) BUT, Mach numbers really are used at higher climb and crusing altitudes, since the temps drop due to the adiabatic rate of atmospheric cooling with altitude...from the 'standard' of 15 degrees C at Sea Level, then changing by an average of -2C/-3F per 1000 feet. All averages, mind you. Point is, at a temp of 15 degreesC (it was a cool, crisp Autumn morning) the speed of sound (Mach 1) is 761MPH, or 661Knots. Using 0.86 Mach as the MMO, and applying that to the 761MPH, we get 654MPH as equivalent to Max Mach. SO, all the fore-going aside, the concern about a 'high speed' at low altitudes is moot, since the real threat to the airframe is from a phenomenom known as 'Mach Buffet'.

I have flown the 767, and I know when we begin to encounter the buffet...it will happen as you near .855 Mach

The 'buffet' is caused by certain areas of airflow on the airframe that are approaching the speed of sound. It is not dangerous, but is instantly recognizable to pilots...one look at the Mach meter also confirms what's happening.

Actually, the 'buffet' isn't really too much of a threat...it is just uncomfortable, and can result, if speed is allowed to accelerate, in a phenomenom called 'control reversal'...the ailerons do not react in the way you expect. There is also 'Mach-tuck', when the elevators start to lose their aerodynamic ability to 'balance' the forces between the C/G and the C/L...the nose begins to drop, or 'tuck' under...but this all relates to temperatures, and Mach numbers, that did not exist at 700' in New York on September 11, 2001. This is provided as background for readers, regarding how modern jets operate.



posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 10:09 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Yes, Zaphod...

I brought up the EgyptAir only to point out the fact that speeds were recorded on the DFDR of 460Knots. About its breaking up, well...two pilots were at opposing odds, but time was so short that I doubt it occured to the Captain...two minutes may seem like a long time, but it isn't, in a cockpit, when the situation is out of the ordinary, and things are happening outside of your idea of 'control'...

Difference here, is, one pilot seemed to be on a suicide plunge while the other was trying to save the airplane. Compare to one determined person at the controls, no one to interfere.....



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 01:34 AM
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Originally posted by OrionStars
How is one person going to overcome three people already in the cockpit and throw them all out?


Well for 1 a 757 and 767 only have 2 people in the cockpit not 3.

Also didn't 1 of the calls from flight attendents state that they were taken to the back of the plane by hijackers.

I am still waiting on some good facts and evidnce that there was 8 people in the cockpit. So far i do not see it.



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 02:07 AM
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Once more, may I offer a pilot's perspective?

It is an FAA regulation that a pilot, at his station, keep his seatbelt attached at all times.

Having said that, let me describe the harness...there is a buckle, in the middle...a 'five-point' buckle...it is about four inches in diameter, maybe about 3.75 inches...

The 'lap-belt' portion is easy to understand, ...you simply attach the 'male' end of the lap belt into the center buckle. That is all you need to wear, during the 'enroute' portion of a flight. For take-off and landing, we have the two shoulder straps, and the crotch strap...all are latched in for take-off and landing. THAT is why is is a 'five-point' buckle...we count the belt attaching the center buckle as the first 'point'...

OK...the thing is designed so that, if you press a lever underneath, it will release the two shoulder harnesses [edit...but not] the crotch strap, [adding, that requires the same release motion as the lap belt]. But once we release the crotch belt, we just re-buckle the lap belt. The Belt release is accomplished by rotating the top of the 'buckle'...

Every pilot knew that the cabin crew had a key...you are busy, and the door opens, you may not hear it, there is a lot of ambient noise while in flight...seconds later, someone grabs you from behind, and slits your throat...I hate to be so graphic, but the surprise factor will be such that you, sitting there with your back to the door, may or may not realize what is happening before it is too late.

Yeah, someone somewhere said it only takes a few seconds to hit the mic button, but what do you say? Your FIRST instinct, if you see it coming, and that's a big IF, is to defend yourself....but you are in a vulnerable position, back to door, and you are only human in your response time...a response to a completely unexpected and un-planned attack....

Does any of this make sense to anyone???

[edit on 14-2-2008 by weedwhacker]



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by weedwhacker
Yeah, someone somewhere said it only takes a few seconds to hit the mic button, but what do you say? Your FIRST instinct, if you see it coming, and that's a big IF, is to defend yourself....but you are in a vulnerable position, back to door, and you are only human in your response time...a response to a completely unexpected and un-planned attack...


1. It only takes 1 second to key the mic and yell for help.

2. It only taeks 4 seconds to change the code on the transpoder to emergerdeny code.

3. Flight 93 had already aswered a "secure cockpit door message" so why couldn;t they type an emergency message ?


4. Are you going to let someone just come up and slit you with a box cutter or are you going to fight ?

5. The tight cockpit can also be an advantage for the pilots. 1 pilot could could hlod the hijackers at bay while the othere pilot calls or signals for help.


[edit on 14-2-2008 by ULTIMA1]



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by ULTIMA1
 


ULTIMA, again I was not there and didn't see how it went down...I can only imagine, from my perspective of having sat in the pilot seats for thousands of hours. Two determined bad guys would make quick work of two defenseless pilots with their backs turned, methinks. Imagine right now, sitting at your desk, and there is a bad guy about six to seven feet behind, reaches you in about two quick steps. Even as you begin to turn around, he would be upon you...you will raise arms in defense, you would struggle...then remember, you can't stand up, see you have your seatbelt on. (I know I ALWAYS wear my seatbelt when reading here on ATS!!:lol


You're busy defending yourself, probably with both arms...no time to squawk 7700, nor would you bother...as you say, quicker to key the PTT switch...assuming you still have your headset on. We are required to where a headset with a boom mic only below 18,000. Not only is it more efficient when things get busiest in the departure/arrival phase, but it is a reg in order to provide very clear audio for the CVR. Anyway, most of us will dump the headset, and use the hand mic and overhead speakers. The hand mic is usually mounted just under the #2 cockpit window (the one that opens)...when you turn to look over your shoulder you will look to your right, if you are in the left seat.

BTW, I've mentioned this before...the 767 seats are electric, they move just a bit faster than your carseat, for example. When in the normal FWD position, there is about four inches between the side of the seat and the edge of the center console. The seats are on a J-track, so they move outboard when fully AFT.

As I said, it's just one way to imagine a scenario....

edited to re-spell 'squawk'...always a u after the q, that's the rule...

[edit on 14-2-2008 by weedwhacker]



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by weedwhackerYou're busy defending yourself, probably with both arms...no time to sqwauk 7700, nor would you bother...as you say, quicker to key the PTT switch...assuming you still have your headset on.


So basically you had 8 pilots just let someone break into the cockpits come up and assullt them while sitting there and doing nothing?

Specailly after at least one of the flights had a "secure cockpit door" warning ?

Also they had a warning about the other hijackings sent over the airlines message system. So i guess they just sat there and did nothing RIGHT ?





[edit on 14-2-2008 by ULTIMA1]



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by ULTIMA1
 

Ultima1, I've been holding off responding as it is off topic here. But concerning Flight 11, from listening to Betty Ong's call and reading about Amy Sweeney's calls from flight 11 I think the only conclusion one can reach is that all the highjackers were in the cockpit. Betty states a few times the cockpit door wouldn't open, that they couldn't get in, so I assume they were actually trying to open it. If that's the case, that means no hijackers were in first class. Betty and Amy both claim there was mace or something in business class, so no hijackers there, either. And then both Betty and Amy said the people in coach weren't aware of what was going on, they thought there was just a medical emergency in first class. So I assume there were no highjackers in coach or otherwise they would have all known what was happening. As for the medical emergency, one flight attendant was seriously stabbed and was on oxygen, but where was she during the highjacked flight? Not in coach, because the passengers thought the emergency was in first class. Not in business, because there was mace. So she must have been in first class. So the flight attendants tending to her never got word back to Betty or Amy about any highjackers in first class. So if there were five hijackers and 2 pilots, that would make 7 in the cockpit...not 8, but close.

I'm working on another post about what may have happened to the pilot on flight 11, but they weren't taken to the back of the plane (otherwise the people in coach would have been frantic).......



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by NIcon
Betty and Amy both claim there was mace or something in business class, so no hijackers there, either.


So who sprayed the mace if the hijackers were all in the cockpit ? Ever think that the hijackers srayed the mace in business calss and then stayed up by the cockpit to keep people out, (but wer enot in the cockpit)

And what about the other planes? So the other flight attendents lied on thier calls when they stated they were taken to the back of the plane.










[edit on 14-2-2008 by ULTIMA1]



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 07:59 PM
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As for the pilots, it is not necessarily a fact that they were killed right away. There's no mention what happened to them in the 911 Commission report, nor from Betty or Amy.

I have found this:
""The button was being pushed intermittently most of the way to New York," a controller told the Monitor. "He wanted us to know something was wrong. When he pushed the button and the terrorist spoke, we knew. There was this voice that was theatening the pilot, and it was clearly threatening." - September 13, 2001, Christian Science Monitor (www.csmonitor.com...)

Also, this from a 911 Staff Report, August 26, 2004. (Not sure where I downloaded it from so long ago):
"The SOC manager on duty, Craig Marquis, received a report form the SOC air traffic control specialist about the specialist's just completed call to Boston Center. The specialist told him "........ Said the controller heard on the frequency the pilot apparently adjust his mike - lot of loud voices - that sounded threatening - something about return or I'll kill ya or something to that effect - or threating dialogue."

So the highjackers didn't necessarily kill the pilots, but rather forced them to fly the plane where they wanted them to.

Now I'm done, because I'm off topic....



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by ULTIMA1
 

I assume they sprayed the mace when they started the take over. When Betty states "And we can’t get into the cockpit, the door won’t open." and "We can’t even get into the cockpit." and "We can’t even get inside." I'm picturing them actually trying to open the cockpit door. If there were highjackers outside the cockpit I would think they would have stopped them.

Okay...now I'm done...still off topic....



posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by ULTIMA1

Originally posted by weedwhackerYou're busy defending yourself, probably with both arms...no time to sqwauk 7700, nor would you bother...as you say, quicker to key the PTT switch...assuming you still have your headset on.


So basically you had 8 pilots just let someone break into the cockpits come up and assullt them while sitting there and doing nothing?

Specailly after at least one of the flights had a "secure cockpit door" warning ?

Also they had a warning about the other hijackings sent over the airlines message system. So i guess they just sat there and did nothing RIGHT ?





[edit on 14-2-2008 by ULTIMA1]



ULTIMA...I will have to repeat myself again, firstly regarding 'breaking in'...

Every Boeing Flight Deck door could be opened with the same key. Think about it...an airline has, say, 300 airplanes. These travel around the entire route system...do you really think that each one will have a designated key? And each maintenance base will have all 300 keys (in my example)?!?

Before you ask...when the airplane is on the ground, unattended by a crewmember or MX person, the cleaners might accidentally shove the door closed...happens all the time. Do you really expect an airline would have different keys for each airplane? It's not a rental car, it is a different sort of asset, one that neede to be accessed easily...

IN any event, the point of having a lock was so a passenger wouldn't accidentally open the door, thinking it was the lavatory! OK, a little humor...

Really, the 'closed and locked' door was, pre-9/11, more of a psychological barrier, in a sense. I guess I can reveal just one aspect of what was called the 'common strategy'...and that was that a potential hijacker would be afraid of dying, and would recognize that the pilots were necessary for, not only his survival, but to continue his control over the situation...i.e., if there are no pilots to keep flying, then his demands will not be taken seriously anymore...he is dead in the water. One of the things they used to....AND I emphasize USED TO teach, was, if possible, during a hijacking...when you were on the ground (say, for re-fueling) the FBI and other Law Enforcement agencies said it was better to escape out of the cockpit, thus rendering the airplane essentially immobile from that point. AND, there were certain airports they wished we would convince the hi-jackers we 'needed' to go to, since they had the best assets to deal with these situations.

Needless to say, as we attended these annual training sessions (called 're-current' in the trade) the F/As in the room would say 'Whaaaa?'

"Typical, pilots get all the money, they run and leave us to die"...stuff like that. Guess you can get the point of the discussions that followed...

Point that was missed is, it was a tactic designed to surprise and dis-orient, and ultimately to bring a negotiation aspect into the 'hostage' situation that an airplane stuck on the ground, would then become.

I have revealed a bit, but hopefully nothing that hasn't already been known, in this age of the Internet, already.

As I said, this was the mindset before 11 Sept, 2001. Obviously, tactics and reactions are different now. Flight Deck doors are different...awareness is heightened. AM I goind to describe any of this? Absolutely NOT!

ULTIMA...you asked a specific question, and I needed to preface it with what I wrote before.

You refered to a message sent to UA93. This seems to have happened, SOCC (Systems Operation Control Center)....fancy acronym, we just called them 'Dispatch'...could send, to airplanes that at THAT TIME had the capabilty, an ACARS message to a specific airplane. IT was not a radio call, it was not a two-way conversation....it was a message sent to the ACARS...there is a 'chime' sound, there is an indication on the EICAS that you have a message, and you press the appropriate button, it comes up on the screen....sometimes, the message will print automatically, right out of the printer that is located at the aft end of the center console...on the 757, it is just in front of the interphone cradle....

We use that printer for many things...we get our PDC (pre-departure clearance) from it. We can request an ATIS for an airport, and print it...

Thing is...a message sent, that reads 'SECURE THE COCKPIT' would be looked at, and, given that it was so unusual, the two pilots would have spent at least a few seconds wondering 'what the [heck] does THIS mean?'

Thy may have thought about responding to Dispatch, i.e., typing in a response...using the FMS keypad is not like using a computer keyboard...and the scratch pad only allow so many characters, unless you have the enhanced software (which I don't think existed then) that brings up a new page, and allows four lines of text for your message........

See my point?

They got the message, it was because of the earlier events in NYC....perhaps it was a 'blast' ACARS message to all UA flights (that is something that could be researched)...so maybe the two UA93 pilots had a few minutes, or precious seconds, of fore-warning...there is still, at that time, an element of disbelief -- a sense of invulnerability -- that pilots felt. Call it arrogance, if you wish...it was prevalent in pilots...the arrogance, I mean. (Still is, and for good reason...)

Long edit, but had to get it off of my chest, for clarity.



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