View Full Version : Air Force One Surprise Visit to Baghdad

28th Nov 2003, 01:23
Air Force One seems to be a hot topic here on PPRuNe, here's news of a surprising covert trip:

Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

Thursday November 27, 2003 5:31 PM


AP White House Correspondent

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - President Bush made a surprise Thanksgiving visit to American troops in Baghdad Thursday, flying secretly to violence-scarred Iraq on a trip tense with concerns about his safety.

It was the first trip ever by an American president to Iraq.

Air Force One landed in darkness at Baghdad International Airport. Security fears were heightened by an attack last Saturday in which a missile struck a DHL cargo plane, forcing it to make an emergency landing at the airport with its wing aflame.

Bush was to spend only two hours on the ground, limiting his visit to a dinner at the airport with U.S. forces. The troops had been told that the VIP guests would be L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition forces in Iraq.

Bush's trip - on the large plane he most frequently uses - was a well-guarded secret - announced only after he landed in Baghdad.

In a ruse staged in the name of security, the White House had put out word that Bush would be spending Thanksgiving at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, with his wife, Laura, his parents and other family members. Even the dinner menu was announced.

Instead, Bush slipped away from his home without notice Wednesday evening and flew to Washington to pick up aides and a handful of reporters sworn to secrecy. Plans called for the trip to be abandoned if word had leaked out in advance.

Within the White House only a handful of senior aides knew about the trip, officials said...



Bush Makes Secret Thanksgiving Visit to Iraq

Thursday, November 27, 2003 12:54 p.m. ET

By Steve Holland

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Bush secretly traveled to Baghdad and paid a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to U.S. troops on Thursday in a bold mission to boost the morale of forces in Iraq amid mounting casualties.

In an elaborate plan to ensure his security, Bush slipped away from his Texas ranch on Wednesday night, arrived in Iraq on Thursday and spent 2-1/2 hours with the troops.

"I bring a message on behalf of America: We thank you for your service, we are proud of you and America stands solidly behind you," Bush told about 600 soldiers, who were stunned to see the president emerge from a side door inside a military mess hall at Baghdad International Airport.

Bush dropped plans to eat the traditional turkey dinner with his wife and family in order to visit U.S. troops in the Iraqi capital, making him the first U.S. president ever to visit Iraq.

The troops, mostly from the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division and the 82nd Airborne, had no idea Bush would be there.

Without hinting of the enormous surprise to come, Iraq's U.S. civil administrator Paul Bremer told the soldiers he was supposed to read the president's Thanksgiving proclamation to them but would instead defer to the most senior person on the premises.

At that point, Bush emerged wearing a military jacket and loud cheering began.

"I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere," Bush said. "Thanks for inviting me to dinner ... I can't think of a finer group of folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all."

...Bush stayed at the heavily guarded Baghdad airport for a total of two hours and 30 minutes before flying back to Washington and then on to Texas.

From start to finish, Bush's trip took about 30 hours, 27 of them spent in the air. Accompanying him were a handful of top aides, a contingent of U.S. Secret Service agents and a small group of reporters, all sworn to secrecy.

The mission was a closely held secret at the White House known only by a handful of senior aides. Aides said Bush made the decision to go five or six weeks ago while on a trip to Asia.

He informed Vice President Dick Cheney , White House chief of staff Andrew Card and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice in a video conference call on Wednesday.

It was so secret that Bush's parents, former President George Bush and Barbara Bush were not told.

Bush only told his wife where he was going hours before leaving and informed his daughters, Barbara and Jenna, just before departing.

Bush was smuggled off his Crawford, Texas, ranch in an unmarked vehicle without his usual motorcade for a 45-minute drive to Texas State Technical College airport in nearby Waco.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett would not say how Bush was whisked off the ranch.

"If you were outside the ranch waiting for the president, you would not have known that the president just left," he said.

At the Texas airport, Bush departed aboard his presidential 747 aircraft, Air Force One . The cover story was the plane was being taken to Washington for maintenance. He entered the rear of the plane. The aircraft's lights were dark as it flew.

Upon landing at Washington's Andrews Air Force Base, this plane was rolled into a giant, heavily guarded hangar where an identical plane awaited. Bush switched to the second jet for the Baghdad flight.

As he boarded, he turned to reporters accompanying him, held one hand to his ear as if he were holding a cellular phone, made a cutting motion across his neck with the other and mouthed the words, "No calls."


28th Nov 2003, 01:50
Ballsy move. I am impressed.

I guess it also means that Cheney is pretty loyal. I small leak and he could have "LBJ'd" Bush and then been sworn in as President Cheney...

Can't wait to see the luvie's try and spin this the otherway though....

All in all a VERY nice gesture for the troops on this day of Thanksgiving.


28th Nov 2003, 02:37
hi, Does anyone know if it used any ATC in the Iraqi airspace or did it make its decent and approach on visual? What was this visit in aid of and how many people knew about it?

Dave 14 :confused:

28th Nov 2003, 03:35

Go Pres. :ok:

28th Nov 2003, 03:44

And yesterday I met the Queen;

Nice picture from Bagdhad... or where ever it is

saint Thomas

28th Nov 2003, 03:45
If GWB can go in and out of Baghdad without being noticed, so can Bin Laden.

28th Nov 2003, 03:48
I'm not a fan of Gdubya - but on this occasion I think that he should be congratulated for this very personal show of support for the troops.

There will be those who will call this a pre-election stunt; however, to me it seemed to be an honest and genuine act. Well done indeed!!

28th Nov 2003, 03:53
Have a look on the thread about a plane hit by missile please.

Jim Morehead
28th Nov 2003, 03:57
Well,finally some positive news about those horrible Americans. I get sick of watching all of the negative crap. However......

Bush will probably get an FAA violation.He'll have to pay the fine and the pilot of Air Force One may be looking for work<bg>.

I can see it now.

Dear Mr. Bush:
As a previous aiman, you must know that you clearly violated numerous FARs. You landed your airplane at night without lights. This simple issues ae even known by student pilots that one must display lights on the airplane when running at night. Now it is green on the left and red on the right (or is it red on the left and green on the right)? Whichever it is, to failed to follow FAR 91.

This was clearly a risk to those cameldrivers on the ground and could have endangered people and property.

Further, your approach was unstable and did not follow established standards.

We have learned that you failed to check the oil on leaving and you did not close your flight plan.

And 9 out of 10 accidents happen because people fail to file flight plans. I heard that on TV once.

So, lese contact this office immediately.


Buster Hyman
28th Nov 2003, 05:37
John Howard (Our man of steel) was going to do the same thing, but couldn't get a slot!:rolleyes:

28th Nov 2003, 05:57
This is from a reporter currently on Air Force One

The only threat to the thick veil of secrecy thrown over the mission was an alert British Airways pilot.
White House officials said at one stage on the flight to Baghdad, the British pilot radioed across: "Did I just see Air Force One?"
Colonel Mark Tilman, chief pilot on the presidential jet, remained silent for a long time. Then he replied "Gulf Stream Five", which is a smaller jet.
The BA pilot said "oh" as if he knew something secret was happening, the officials said.

galaxy flyer
28th Nov 2003, 06:33

Do you have some inside info on the flight you would like to share?


View From The Ground
28th Nov 2003, 07:18
I must say that I have never been a fan of GWB, and had never imagined myself becoming a fan....However......thought he was great when he came to the UK...showed a nice wry sense of humour...and wasn't afraid to take the p..s out of himself, and now he makes a really gutsy, genuine and ballsy move by flying into Iraq. Given the DHL incident and some of the posts re flying or not into Baghdad.....should be a personal choice issue...in my opinion....fair play to GWB...not to mention his crew and if they knew they were off to Baghdad even those much mailgned journos!

Great for the troops too there was no disguising their genuine suprise and pleasure...in very tough and morale sapping times.

I can now begin to see why he was voted in...maybe not the brightest bush in the garden....but certainly one of the more honest and bold!

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
28th Nov 2003, 07:54
Did he get a chance to do a street patrol with any of the troops?:E

28th Nov 2003, 08:29
Kerry, Dean and the rest can now put their heads between their legs and kiss their collective a$$es goodbye.:ok:

28th Nov 2003, 10:58
I am interested to know how such an operation is managed with regards to ATC in Foreign Airspace. Does anyone know whose Airspace was flown through ? Were ATC aware it was AF1 ? I imagine that they had a combat escort - hard to keep quiet ?

28th Nov 2003, 11:12
oh, come on, this film has been made somewhere in the desert of nevada :E

do you really believe he just fliew to saddam airport to wish his troops a nice thankgiving?

West Coast
28th Nov 2003, 11:43
I just fell out of my seat after reading your post. If he could have just flown in on an A400....

28th Nov 2003, 12:06
I've got to hand it to the guy, this is a public relations masterstroke, and may well make quite a substantial contribution to his election campaign with its grassroots appeal. He may also have genuinely meant it (in part) as a heartfelt show of support for the troops. If he did, that's to his credit as a human being.
It also makes not one iota of difference to my objections to him as a president -- that he's an ignorant, muddle-headed, lying warmonger with no respect for international consensus (surely the ultimate expression of democracy). He preaches freedom and democracy for all, while taking away other countries' right to choose their own path, not to mention how he undermines those very freedoms in his own country. I won't even go into all the dodgy business dealings, let's just stick with the obvious.
He ran the gauntlet to have turkey with the troops in Baghdad -- a good move for a commander in chief. But he's still a lousy statesman, a worse diplomat and a terrible president.

28th Nov 2003, 12:17
I take it you don't like the man much at all...:ooh:

28th Nov 2003, 12:21
Yeah...I DO think he flew in to thank the troops for both their sacrifice and service to their country!
Might be an unpopular notion these days (unfortunately) but these men and women are laying their lifes on the line every day and I think its GREAT that President Bush went to thank them personally and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. Atta Boy George!! :ok:

28th Nov 2003, 12:30
From CNN:

"On his way home, Bush tells reporters that he would not have
made the trip if the press had not been able to accompany him"

28th Nov 2003, 12:30
Yeah, 411A, just needed to have my rant. Feel better now. Cheers ...

28th Nov 2003, 12:59

Called it as you saw it and I couldn't agree more.. :ok: One heck of a move to pull up the approval rating, I just hope that GB's stunt contained a bit of sincerity...

28th Nov 2003, 13:46
Would AF1 get some special exemption for not using the lights etc in FAA airspace? If a flight plan had to be filed can they legally switch registrations.

Ignition Override
28th Nov 2003, 13:56
Hello DocM: With all due respect for others' opinions, this is a question about whether people under dictatorships (do Syria's, Libya's and even Singapore's regime fit this definition?) are able to choose their own future. I am certainly not a very smart guy. But as for Iraq, despite my own mixed feelings about the invasion, how were the Iraqi people planning (if able to vote for other candidates...) to choose their own future under Saddam Hussein, i.e. "Bush.....while taking away other countries' right to choose their own path"? Did those 100,000 plus Iraqi/Kurdish men, women and children who died under Saddam's regime mistakenly walk in front of the soldiers' guns during routine target practice? Did his planes many years ago not drop poisonous gas on Kurdish villages?

It is not clear to me whether former President Clinton actually wanted a coup d' etat in Iraq. A former CIA field agent claimed on a US news show that during Clinton's time in office, he had helped trained many Kurdish forces for a major rebellion, and was waiting for the White House to give the ok, then airdrop etc many weapons. For some reason, Clinton got cold feet about the option.

As for what sort of multiple defensive measures were used by whichever Air Force One plane was flown in and out of that airspace, this is also interesting. :uhoh:

28th Nov 2003, 16:20

ITN newsdesk here - anyone know the polit who radioed Air Force One? 0207 430 4411 Nick Walshe.

Bob Upndown
28th Nov 2003, 16:30
Question - if he wasn't up for re-election, would he have gone?

IMHO, I think not. Great morale boost for the troops no doubt about that, but sincerity? The guy doesn't know the meaning of the word (or how to spell it probably).

28th Nov 2003, 16:35
Nice one ITN!

What's a polit?

I think you speeling chucker needs a service!

28th Nov 2003, 16:40
From Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Main Entry: polit
political, politician

28th Nov 2003, 16:50
Nice photo Grant T! Which one's the turkey? :confused: :p :p

28th Nov 2003, 17:23
Heard Hillary Clinton was scheduled to visit Bagdad the next day. So GB couldn't really stay behind in light of the election, public opinion etc. But good to see GB giving the troops a bit of moral support and acting like a real commander and chief.

28th Nov 2003, 17:26
I think the picture posted by Grant T is just Bush getting his revenge for the event pictured here:-

Gotta love the expression on his face...

28th Nov 2003, 18:48

it seems to me that, in a way, Techman answered your question. If all sources are reliable, GWB admitted he would have never made this very short trip (just a couple of hours) if in the end there had been no political/personnal benefits for him (and therefore his administration). I'm not sure he really meant to say that (or anything else), but it spoils his entire "Desert Turkey" operation with a tenacious after-taste of manipulation... But were used to it now, aren't we ?

28th Nov 2003, 20:17

I totally agree with your post. An exellent move by GWB but it makes not the slightest bit of difference to me, and nor should it to anybody else who seriously values democracy.

28th Nov 2003, 20:19
The only gatherings you see GWB in are with the troops or Republican fundraisers.

With the single exception of Tony's local, GWB does not do walkabouts among hoi polloi.

As for bravery, landing in Baghdad without lights in an a/c with the world's top ECM and anti-missile suite ain't all that daunting -- there may have more troops on approach/departure path patrol than at din-din:E

Speed of Sound
28th Nov 2003, 20:42
Ballsy move. I am impressed.

Err...no! Those SAS blokes who were abandoned in the first Gulf War, made their way across the country, were captured, tortured, escaped and made their way to the Syrian border had balls!

The world's most powerful military spending millions flying one man into Baghdad and out again four hours later in the face of a disorganised rag-tag of fighters is hardly very impressive.

You Americans seem very easily impressed.

And those of you who believe this was done out of the goodness of Bush's heart with no thoughts of next years election.....

your naivety is very touching!


pug munter
28th Nov 2003, 20:51
Maybe y'all shoud go to your local Blockbuster and rent a good Hollywood product, even Dustin Hoffman is great in it:

Wag the Dog

Hopefully something will dawn on you about this guy!


28th Nov 2003, 21:03
Some historic words on HF to mark the occasion...

AF1 - Mode control, both manual. Descent engine command override, off. Engine arm, off. Lights, off.

AF1 - AF1 is in

DUKE - We copy you down, AF1

AF1 - Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Turkey has landed.

DUKE - Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of spin doctors, Big Business rep's and republicans about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.


"Wag the Dog" is definitely a much better choice than the usual football match on TV for Thanksgiving. Happy holiday to all concerned.

Speed of Sound
28th Nov 2003, 21:12
I suggest you ring British Airways!

The BBC reported an exchange between Airforce One and a BA flight in the area on Radio Four this morning!


28th Nov 2003, 21:37
I do not think he flew in at all,

it was a really long tunnell, dug from washington DC to the California dessert...Mmmm...naw...

It was filmed weeks ago when that guy in charge of Iraq, Bremner I think his name is, came for a visit to Washington.

28th Nov 2003, 21:53
Nah, I have it from a reliable sources that it was actually Bonzo The Chimp who was in Baghdad. Bush never does his own stunts.

28th Nov 2003, 21:56
Bush did what had to be done for the election. Had he NOT have done this, his opponents would have asked why.

My (inexpert) guess is that the operation would have been safer than his visit to the UK. There was no advance notice and he would have been protected at all times with a remarkable amount of hardware and anti-everything devices.

Had it gone wrong and he have been killed - he would have died a hero and died a martyr. It was what the PR people call a 'Win-Win'.

DC Meatloaf
28th Nov 2003, 22:01
Man, you lot are a cynical bunch. Must be horribly depressing to go through life always looking at the worst possible case.

Bush made the comment about taking the press because there's a real issue of accountability and continuity of command here. The President can't just flit off unannounced to a war zone without bringing someone along to document what the heck he did while he was there. No president has done something this sneaky since Yalta. There would have been hell to pay today if he left the reporters home. So he brought the standard pool. Drudge (http://www.drudgereport.com/flashbb.htm) has got the pool notes from the newspaper poolie (Mike Allen). They're very detailed and tell you his perspective on just about everything that happened from the time he was told about going on the trip to the departure from Baghdad.

Yes, this is also a wonderful campaign photo op. But those of you who think that's the only reason Bush would consider going really haven't learned anything about the man yet. Keep underestimating him....

28th Nov 2003, 22:40
I think Bush is a complete idiot, a religious zealot who rules by laws abandoned over here years ago.
Religion has no place in the running of a country, in my opinion.
This is a man that amassed a fortune through numerous shady deals while living a playboy lifestyle of indulgence. He drove his oil businesses into the ground before being bailed out by his dad's friends.
Most of his funding and administration comes from the oil and gas industry. Dick Cheney, the vice-president is former head at Halliburton, a Texas-based oil company and Chief of Staff Andrew Card is the former head of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association. Condoleeza Rice was a board member at Chevron and has an oil tanker named after her.
Most of the legislation he has passed favours the oil industry.
He ordered the invasion of a non-Christian country that happens to be rich in oil, on the pretext that there were weapons of mass destruction there and that the leader was a threat. None have been found.
North Korea freely admits it hates the West, and is making more nuclear weapons capable of reaching pretty much anywhere in the world, so Bush does... very little.
He has little time for the environment, ordering domestic oil drilling in a highly sensitive area of Alaska.
He refuses to ratify the Kyoto treaty, which would see a cap on greenhouse gas emission levels. The US currently emits a quarter of the greenhouse gasses in the world.
He refuses to acknowledge the International Criminal Court in case Americans get into trouble.
He ignored the will of the UN, throwing the whole system of international co-operation and diplomacy into chaos.
He's anti-choice, doing his best to make abortion illegal.
He binged on cocaine and alcohol up until his 40s.
While governor of Texas he authorised the execution of 152 prisoners, the highest number of any governor in US history. In one case during an interview, he mocked the desperate pleas of a woman he sentenced to death.
For God's sake, he shouldn't even have won the election, he got less votes than Gore.
So, we have an religious fanatic, former coke fiend and alcoholic with a penchant for oil and money, who shouldn't even be in the White House, and yet we're supposed to support him as the most powerful man in the world?
Not likely IMO. I could go on for much longer, but you get the idea. I think Bush is a symbol of what's wrong with the world today.

28th Nov 2003, 23:05
Right, wbryce, and you are the only hope of the future.

This is a forum about aviation. It's about flying and airplanes. Let's try to keep it that way. There are already too many forums for people to get their political and moral shorts in knots. I don't think we need to take this one into that dump heap also.

28th Nov 2003, 23:08
I read many posts suggesting Pt.
Bush went to Baghdad to improve his popularity and get more votes at next presidential election.

But my dear, the election is not to take place tomorrow.

So, if I believe you, he has a lot more stunt to do, to get to a climax at the right moment.

What's next on his agenda?

28th Nov 2003, 23:15
Well, as always, folks in the UK are obsessed with things American.

Not many Americans comment on British politics or even care.

Would a Tony Blair visit generate multiple threads on an American aviation forum? Somehow, I doubt it.

We're not big on titles over here since being an American is quite an honor in itself.

We appreciate your interest in our great nation! And thanks as always for your help and support over the years.

And now, the continued analysis here on PPRuNe of George Bush and the American scene...

28th Nov 2003, 23:53
must admit when I spotted the thread I was looking forward to lots of technical info on the trip including ....... likely crewing format ..... refueling ...... ATC ...... air to air visibility (I did raise a smile when I heard the BA crew story) ..... flight ID . ....... etc etc ......

oh well .....

hobie ....

29th Nov 2003, 00:04
We're not big on titles over here Airbubba, you surprise me! The US is usually depicted as being obsessed with titles, hence the interest in the UK Royal Family, and frequent searches for UK ancestors, to see if there is a dukedom hidden away somewhere in the past! Would a Tony Blair visit generate multiple threads on an American aviation forum This side of the pond, I don't think many of us really care what Tony does. For the record, Jack Straw (UK Foreign Sec) was in Iraq earlier this week. No covert operation for him. It was reported that a mortar fell on the compound where he was staying.

As to our obsession, only 25% of the responses to this thread were posted by people obviously from the UK!

29th Nov 2003, 00:06
Does anyone know which BA flight spotted Air Force One on its way to Baghdad yesterday?
Apparently the BA flight asked him if he was Air Force One and he answered no, we're Gulfstream 5....

Speed of Sound
29th Nov 2003, 00:07
This is a forum about aviation. It's about flying and airplanes. Let's try to keep it that way.

I couldn't agree more. However it is a little suspicious that you made this comment in response to a criticism of Bush, when there have been a number of posts on this and similar threads about what a great fella he is.


29th Nov 2003, 00:17
>>must admit when I spotted the thread I was looking forward to lots of technical info on the trip including ....... likely crewing format ..... refueling ...... ATC ...... air to air visibility (I did raise a smile when I heard the BA crew story) ..... flight <<

I agree. There are some fascinating operational questions raised by this historic flight.

Were night vision goggles used for the landing in Baghdad? How were overflight permits handled (or did they use MARSA)? Did they use a Reach callsign in theater? Inflight refueling (not normally done with pax onboard)?

29th Nov 2003, 00:24
What would really take guts would be to visit Arlington cemetery - or other cemeteries in the country - once in a while to pay respects to those who came back from Iraq in a body bag.

Speed of Sound
29th Nov 2003, 00:31
Remember this is the brave man who spent the hours immediately after September 11th. hiding!


29th Nov 2003, 00:44

Bush went to Baghdad - stayed 2 1/2 hours - then went all the way back.... - and of course nobody knowing....

This is just a HOAX. Same as the Moonlandings in the late 60's and early 70's.....

The U.S. did NEVER go to the moon ! - and nobody have ever been there.....

See for Yourself and make up Your own opinion:


NASA's own pictures:

29th Nov 2003, 00:51
"Remember this is the brave man who spent the hours immediately after September 11th. hiding!"


The USA was under attack that morning. It was wise to keep the command of the USA intact. Those in charge of protecting Bush did the right thing on that terrible day.

29th Nov 2003, 01:00
While this is an aviation forum, the fascination with all things american and the SPECTACULAR MISUNDERSTANDING OF AMERICAN LAW AND GOVERNMENT as displaye by WBRYCE, do call for a few comments back.

First off,
Bush's fund raising... As opposed to BILL Clinton/Al Gore both of whom received 90 percent of their money from less than 100 sources, (IN otherwords they were big single contributions from Special interests) Bush received 75 percent of his donations (In dollar value) in denominations of less than 100 dollars. Infact it has almost ALWAYS been that way and is one of the reasons the campaign finance reform bill has been the death knell of the democratic party. Infact the first democratic candidate not to be made up of special interest money has been Howard Dean. So you want to know who was more beholden to big business and special interest? It would have been GORE. Both candidates raised about the same amount from big business. The difference in fundraising came from the little guy, and Bush buried Gore.

2nd You claim that Bush refused to ratify KYOTO.

I got news for you, Bush DOESN"T HAVE THE POWER TO RATIFIY KYOTO. CONGRESS must ratify all treaties. Gore went to Kyoto and put HIS signature on it hoping to embarrass the republicans in congress, but the issue is an overwhelming loser for the Democrats and Most American's recognize the KYOTO treaty for the peice of crap that it is. When KYOTO was signed, it was with the FULL knowledge that it would NEVER be ratified. That is a pretty good expression lieing by Gore and of democracy bringing back the one lunatic ruler, actually. Deliberate distortions of this by the UK press are one of the things that drove me crazy when I lived there.

ICC? Same thing. Will never pass congress. Even if it did, then it might get struck down by the supreme court as unconstitional. Also might require a constitutional ammendment inorder to submit the country to extra judicial justice. THAT will certainly never happen.

Drilling in Alaska, SO WHAT.... Not important to most Americans

Ignores the UN. Tell me what has the UN EVER accomplished without US money and soldiers.... I can tell you Far more embarrassing things about the UN. It isn't a bastion of fairness, truth and justice. That is for sure, and most Americans recongnize that.

Abortion? I may be pro choice, but the US voters have spoken. You would deny us the right to vote on that issue? Some procedures have been banned by congress. Big deal. Again. that is an expression of democracy. I don't agree with it, but I'm obviously in the minority. I suspect there are more than a few procedures (Like partial birth abotions, the only thing banned so far in the US) that may effectively be banned over there administratively through the NHS...

Binged on Alchohol and Cocaine? He was far more honest about it than old Bill Clinton (I smoked pot but didn't inhale) and you can't argue that it is clouding his judgement NOW (He doesn't drink)

Executions, Well all those convictions were more than 10 years earlier. It takes a VERY long time to get executed in America, during which there is an exhaustive review of the evidence and appeal of the trial... Tell me, When is the UK going to have a vote on capital punishment? I think it would pass in the UK. Okay, I guess democracy is only okay when you know the answer in advance <G> Capital punishement is done with the utmost care, yet reflects the will of the people. Again, democracy in action.

Actually the above list of MISINFORMATION based on rediculous sound bites garnered from TV is a pretty good example of all that is wrong in the world today. The problem is that the press doesn't know what they are talking about, or the segments lack the length required to actually explain what is going on, yet in 30 seconds they preach as if they are telling the true gospel. Tellme, pray tell, Which press coverage of aviation do you feel is great and flawless and accurate. To look around rumors and news, the answer is NONE. Yet then you trust the media on all other items...

The NUMBER 1 TERRORIST TARGET IN THE WORLD, flew right into the heart of the beast and served dinner to the troops, (and met with local Iraqi's btw) Good on him

Bush regularly does that. He also meets with the soldiers who have been wounded when they come through Bethesda. But he does it quietly, for their benefit, no the press's.


29th Nov 2003, 01:11
It wasn't criticism of Bush, it is the political rhetoric that gets so emotional and out of control. I come to this forum as an escape from all of that crap. It bothers me to see every venue get contaminated.

29th Nov 2003, 01:12
For whining out loud.

This is an aviation forum.

Cut the political comments and get on with the aviation side of this thread.

29th Nov 2003, 01:17
Hi Westie,

Yes - I do give credit where it is due. And GDubya's trip was a very positive and personal sign of his support to your troops. They were away at Thanksgiving - so was he. Good man.

.....and as for that idiot ba pratt - sorry, we do seem to have security-unaware dickheads flying for that bunch. Loose lips sink ships!!

29th Nov 2003, 01:33
I think you are being a bit unfair on the BA pilot BEagle. He would have been surprised to see AF1 operating under another callsign and probably didn't think very long before calling them on the RT.

According to BBC they very nearly turned around to go home after their cover was blown, but I think that would have been an unnecessary overeaction.

btw I thought that the site owner's position had been made clear on political discussion........

29th Nov 2003, 02:23
that supporting Bush is a lose-lose.

He invaded Iraq ad was called a war-monger. If he hadn't invaded Iraq he would have been called a coward.

He flies to Iraq to support the troops on Thanksgiving and it was a PR stunt. If he hadn't flown there, people would have wondered whether he gives a damn.

I personally believe some of Bush's policies, especially the economic ones leave a lot to be desired. But I will give the man credit for not only standing behind his convictions but following up on them.


Tom the Tenor
29th Nov 2003, 02:36
The funniest comment to date has been the one earlier in the thread: Houston, the Turkey has landed! Very good! :8

29th Nov 2003, 02:43
I agree with Wedge about the BA bloke.Imagine you're waiting to climb and told that the restricting traffic is a Gulf V and a 747 flashes overhead, wouldn't you question it or would you keep looking for the Gulf V ??

29th Nov 2003, 02:50
Ummm Bento.

Airforce one is not actually an airplane. Its a PASSENGER. There are several 747s painted up identically, as well as many smaller aircraft in the Air Mobility Command that serve as VIP transports. Anyone of them becomes Airforce 1 with the president on board. Otherwise its just another 747. It becomes Airforce 2 if the Vice President is on board. If the president is in a Marine aircraft (usually a helicopter) then the callsign is Marine One.

Furthermore, they weren't told to look for a 747. They just noticed it flying around up there and then enquired on an open frequency, is that "Air force 1"... The Gulfstream comeback came in reply and is just as likely to be a valid callsign as airforce often makes up their own callsigns. (I like the mafia ones myself)


29th Nov 2003, 03:01
Nope - sorry, that nigel was a ********. Why would he ever need to say "Did I just see AirForce One?"

On the way home form GW1 we heard some Spam chum trying (with not much success) to negotiate a clearance from the Keepers of the Great Sandpit. Eventually he said "Sir, we have the Joint Chief on board and would really appreciate a direct clearance". Shortly followed by a Brit voice saying "Hi Norm, howya doin'?"......Then another.......and another....!!

29th Nov 2003, 03:43
i actually think Bush is a great President, dont get me wrong!

Wino, good post, and i do like how you counter attacked my statements!

but your comment on

"The NUMBER 1 TERRORIST TARGET IN THE WORLD, flew right into the heart of the beast and served dinner to the troops, (and met with local Iraqi's btw) Good on him"

Well what can i say? He flew in yes! but he entered like a parasite! he was in and out before no one even knew.

Dont get me wrong, i wish we had Bush as the Uk's priminister, i think Tonys a weak character, and i dont think you would ever see him step a foot on Iraq soil until all enemy threat has been abolished.

Anyway, im new to this forum, so next time i shall try keep to the aviation side of things! Sorry to the people i disturbed by my post!

29th Nov 2003, 03:53
All politics aside, because as so many of you have pointed out in this thread that it is an aviation forum and then just five minutes later you either sing Bush's praises or damn him.

The question is: The trans-U.S. and the trans-Atlantic call sign on the B747 could not have been AF1. That would have given away the secret that Bush was coming. Neither would N2800 or N2900, which is closely associated with AF1.

It would be interesting if someone could get exactly what call sign they used to cross the American continent, the Atlantic and then to the Middle East mess to eventually land at Baghdad, and if the American pilots used accented English so any listeners wouldn't think they were AF, and also whether AF1 was protected by a net of F16s from the point of hitting the Mediterranean.

The Washington Post reporter's notes posted here earlier through the Drudge Report answers some of the secrecy questions, but not all off them. On the other hand, will we ever know if there was no voice communication with AF1, except for that two-line message with the BA aircraft.

29th Nov 2003, 05:42
There was an "S2800" GLF5 flighplanned for a flight back to KADW that evening from somewhere in that area, though I can't honestly confirm it was Baghdad Intl.

My guess is that was it - there was a C17 in close flight planned formation.

This was all in the public domain it should be noted...!

29th Nov 2003, 07:07
Sorry, but there are too many posters who think they can use this thread to post their political viewpoints. I have been away for two days in the sim and I return to read this thread which has several posts by dipsticks which have not one iota of content relating to professional aviation.

Understand this, if anyone tries to use this or any other thread to post issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with aviation they can just bog off and find a website that does cater to their frustrations. You all know who has posted aviation related contnet and who hasn't. I'm locking this thread because too many muppets have abused it without any consideration for the fact that is has to be moderated and their selfish, non-aviation related viewpoints are just a waste of my and my moderators time.

Thanks for nothing! :*