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Mystery plane prompts Capitol evacuation, scramble of jets

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posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 06:31 PM
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Mystery plane prompts Capitol evacuation, scramble of jets


www.reuters.com

A mystery airplane prompted an evacuation of the Capitol building and scrambling of military fighter jets on Saturday but authorities said the false alarm was caused by a commercial airliner briefly losing radio contact.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.foxnews.com




posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 06:31 PM
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Can't think there would have been a whole lot of people active in the Capitol at this particular time.

And so far no details of what sort of aircraft was involved, only the name of the airline, Piedmont Airlines.

Fighters were scrambled in response to the loss of radio contact.

www.reuters.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

I think the last time this happened was a single engine Cessna back in 2008.

Plane flies too close to Capitol in D.C.


Guess it's important to keep people scared in the new year.

edit on 1-1-2011 by whatisanameanyway because: Linkage.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by whatisanameanyway
 


I posted this a few hours ago here, and for some BIZZARE reason a mod felt the need to remove it from this forum.

This is truly something that requires a second look, as no reason was given as to why contact was lost as they flew near the capital, and the pilots are being questioned by DHS.

Jets being scrambled to look for them is also something to sit up and take notice of, especially after the stand down order was given (or at least speculated to have been given) during the last major event of this type of nature.

This is definitely a story to keep an eye on imo.


edit on 1-1-2011 by DimensionalDetective because: typo



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 06:42 PM
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A little edgy are we? The communications must have been out for some time to cause all the commotion. I always wonder how much they change in a story before releasing it to the media.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by whatisanameanyway
 


Ummmm....it was a boneheaded Private Pilot in a Cessna 177. This is a very similar, with minor variations, to the Cessna 172 (more on that later).

Oh, and your title? Capitol "evacuated"? Going to your own link, it says:


The Capitol was not evacuated, but tourists were turned away for a time....


That's from the USAToday article.


Now, a Cessna 172 (aka "Skyhawk") ---image (Canadian registered):



...is a four-place single engine high-wing airplane, a "typical" Cessna, in a way. ("Wheel pants", the fairings that cover the wheels were factory-included....but, many people hated them, because they were made of a very cheap fibre-glass-like material, and prone to cracking around the attaching screw holes, etc...from vibration, flexion, people who didn't know any better, stepping on them to get in, etc).

Powerplant is a Lycoming, has about 150 horsepower (IIRC). This is one of the most popular-selling light airplanes, because for years it was fairly "affordable", and relatively simple to operate. Nowadays, it's more popular as a trainer than the old Cessna stand-by, the 150/152 (which is out of production). Rarely do you see many new single-engine airplanes, though...most are in the 15-20 year old range. (or older).

The Cessna 177 (also dubbed the "Cardinal") ...image next, for reference. This is a late 70s/early 80s-style paint scheme for Cessna, and it is also sporting Canadian registration:



was innovative when it was introduced back in the late 1960s, because it is slightly larger (still only four seats) and has a little bit more horsepower (eventually, later versions up to 180 HP) than the 172, and was the first "smaller" single-engine Cessna that used a stronger main wing spar, to eliminate the distinctive wing "struts", as they're called. Contrary to popular layperson belief, they actually don't hold the wings "up and out".....they are designed to be under tension, in flight, and provide the strength in that direction...to prevent the wings from breaking at the roots, where they attach to the fuselage, and folding up under flight loads.

The Cessna Cardinal and the Cessna 210 "Centurion" are the only high-wing through-spar singles from Cessna (I believe)....update---I had forgotten about the iconic, and Classic, Cessna 190/195, form the 1940s and 50s. Sexy beast... -- and the Centurion is not currently in production (IT was innovative, in its day, for being the first retractable-gear high-wing design).

The Cardinal, as I said, is more streamlined, removing the struts cuts out some parasitic drag...one more thing unique, for Cessna (but common on most similar sized Pipers, for instance) is the "flying stabilizer"...(called a "stabilator", mash-up of "stab" and "elevator") where the entire horizontal stabilizer is one-piece, and hinged to rotate as one unit....as opposed to the conventional movable elevator/fixed stabilizer design.

Anyway...both the Skyhawk and Cardinal (BTW, for a while there was yet another version, the 177RG (for "Retractable Gear")....had a bigger engine yet (200 HP) and is actually a pretty nice machine, for it's size and entry-level market for sleek, affordable and retractable. They actually even tried to market a 172RG also...it was a dud, underpowered and was a desperate sales tactic....Only produced for a few years, though, so aren't many around. The 177RG, though is nicer and the advantage to retracting the gear is the reduced drag (higher speeds, less fuel burned) but, it DOES add complications, because of the mechanism and hydraulics needed.

Like I was saying both the fixed-gear airplanes, each about 150 HP, cruise at only about 110 to 125 knots. Not much of a "threat"....and easily observed, and intercepted. AND, the pilot likely in a whole heap of trouble....which would be the case for any violation of the FAA regulations, to include airspace violations like this one.
edit on 1 January 2011 by weedwhacker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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I read an article on Yahoo that said the pilot turned to the wrong frequency on his radio.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by crazydaisy
 


Yes, that's usually how it happens. A very, very common occurrence, actually.

It's called a "hand-off", the frequency change, as controllers have responsibility for different "sectors" of airspace. (I assume that he was receiving what's called "flight following" from ATC...this is voluntary, and highly recommended in major metropolitan areas, when operating VFR, but on your own navigation. YOUR responsibility is still there, but ATC can help you to avoid known traffic, and authorize flight into some portions of otherwise restricted airspace).


SO, when you get a call to switch, they rattle off the new frequency. If, say it's "one-two-seven point five-five", and you miss-hear it and dial to...oh, 127.95....it might be a "dead" frequency, for your area...nothing in range. ("five" and "nine" are often mistaken...that's why, technically, you're supposed to say "niner"...)

Problem is, if you don't jot it down (or have airliner-style radios, where the last frequency stays in the control head), you might forget what you were just on, to go back and ask for the right one.....and most inexperienced pilots don't think fast enough, nor have the appropriate charts, that might list a few alternate frequencies. NOR do they think to have the second radio (if installed) on the Emergency frequency, to monitor...because, when you go "NORDO", that's the first thing ATC tries.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 


Thanks for the explanation on that, I can see where that might happen more than we think.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by whatisanameanyway

Mystery plane prompts Capitol evacuation, scramble of jets


www.reuters.com

A mystery airplane prompted an evacuation of the Capitol building and scrambling of military fighter jets on Saturday but authorities said the false alarm was caused by a commercial airliner briefly losing radio contact.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.foxnews.com

At least they learned now. During 911, even the Pentagon cannot detect an incoming plane. So they finally put some radar that can detect an incoming plane.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by wavemaker
 


???

NO, the Pentagon doesn't have its own radar!!! This is the sort of wildly incorrect statement that (unfortunately) is typical in the "9/11" forums....and making such false statements? Before too long, if not careful, someone ELSE repeats it, without fact checking. Then, someone else, then another and another....then a whole bunch of people believe it to be true. How utterly silly......

......and typical of the dire state of ignorance about many technical aspects of aviation.

And, to st the record straight....ON "9/11" there were two fighters on "alert" in the D.C. area...and they were sent to the NYC area!!

The situation, in terms of "alerts" and Air National Guard resources is much, much different today. Oh, and the SAME radars......



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by weedwhacker
reply to post by wavemaker
 


???

NO, the Pentagon doesn't have its own radar!!! This is the sort of wildly incorrect statement that (unfortunately) is typical in the "9/11" forums....and making such false statements? Before too long, if not careful, someone ELSE repeats it, without fact checking. Then, someone else, then another and another....then a whole bunch of people believe it to be true. How utterly silly......

......and typical of the dire state of ignorance about many technical aspects of aviation.

And, to st the record straight....ON "9/11" there were two fighters on "alert" in the D.C. area...and they were sent to the NYC area!!

The situation, in terms of "alerts" and Air National Guard resources is much, much different today. Oh, and the SAME radars......

So you are saying that the Pentagon still doesn't have its own radar until now?

(How come there is no emoticon for scratching head)



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 


It wasn't a Cessna at all, it was a Piedmont Airlines Dash-8, the only aircraft they operate. The pilot misheard the frequency he was supposed to change to on his final approach. 15 minutes is normal for a pilot to go without making a transmission.

Link to story

edit on 1/2/2011 by leisuredrummer because: Added link



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:11 AM
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I'm sure that mini scare resulted in this.




posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by leisuredrummer
 



It wasn't a Cessna at all...


Was reading today's paper (Sunday, 2 January Washington Post) and the story, short on detail, was in it.

However, in one of the OP's links, is story OF THE CESSNA 177....that incident was on Wednesday last.

Piedmont commuter turboprop was on SATURDAY.

Two separate incidents.

Now, I don't know the avionics on their airplanes, but I'd expect they're at least as similar to jets....and there is little excuse for them to enter a freq, (that they heard wrongly), flipping the toggle switch and attempting to check in...and when there's no answer, NOT going back immediately to the last frequency, to get the correct new one verified.

Typical airliner VHF radio tuning control panel:



You tune a frequency into either window, flip the little toggle switch to select which frequency to transmit/receive on. Small light illuminates above the active window.

When they copy the wrong frequency, it is a simple matter to flip back and ask again. Don't know how these allegedly "professional" pilots screwed it up so badly...especially, as they should be well aware of the sensitive nature of the area.....



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 


Oh, I see what happened....was late, last night...and I looked at OP's second post, below the "Breaking News" post, and zeroed in on the article that was linked to the PAST incident, in 2008!!! THAT was where the whole (non-essential) info about Cessnas came from......

So, these guys in the DHC-8 actually got into, or skirted, the P-56 area airspace, according to the articles?? Not good...and missing a frequency is no excuse.....but, it is likely they were being radar-vectored at the time, and it may come down to a controller procedure, as well.

Again, since they are "airline" pilots, they SHOULD have been monitoring the emergency frequency, on VHF #2. Is supposed to be SOP now, post-9/11, and especially operating in D.C. and NYC metropolitan areas.

Monitoring 121.5, this never would have happened; the controller that needed to turn them on a radar vector, to avoid P-56, would have done it on "guard" freq (121.5), or repeated the proper one to re-establish two-way contact....


edit on 2 January 2011 by weedwhacker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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Glad to see we're back to work as usual. They seem to work so fast at maintaining our skies on just about every day ever.... except one.



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