View Full Version : Military "Escorts"

26th Jan 2004, 18:21
The world has gone mad...

THE LIVES of airline passengers are being endangered by armed military jets, which are intercepting and escorting aircraft over France as an anti- terrorism measure, French pilots' unions said yesterday.

The unions said pilots were alarmed by French Air Force Mirage jets taking up position close behind airliners without warning.

"The unions deplore this excessive security, which could endanger the lives of passengers and crew," the unions said. "It is difficult for the pilots when they are in the sights of a combat aircraft."

Mirage 2000 and F1 jets, armed with air-to-air missiles and 30mm cannon, have been escorting airliners several times a day since the French government increased security in late December.

The Mirages are routinely escorting flights arriving from the Middle East, the United States and elsewhere. (©The Times, London)

fatboy slim
26th Jan 2004, 23:09
Thread Creep here people. Bashing the yanks is not what this is about.

If it becoming a regular thing for the French AF to intercept civilian airliners for a)practice or b) cos they want to then there must be a protocol. If it happened to me and I had not been told I would co-ordinate avoiding action with ATC and file Airprox and an ASR when on the ground. I accept they are highly trained but it is unacceptable that they can breach the 1000' and 5 miles envelope so brazenly. I think the possibility of them bumping into us is much greater than loosing an Sidewinder into the No2. It doesn't take much of a mistake when joining a formation to seriously screw things and he's got a bang seat, I ain't. Fingers crossed, direct BAMES.

Oh, I would DEFINITELY give him the finger too.

Speed of Sound
26th Jan 2004, 23:49
Just how does it endanger the passengers' lives to be escorted by highly trained military aircrew in state-of-the-art equipment, operated in accordance with internationally recognised regulations in their own airspace?


Fighter escort in close proximity to civil aircraft - small but real chance of a collision.

Fighter escort nowhere near the civil aircraft -absolutely no chance of a collision.

That's how.


27th Jan 2004, 00:51

Have you had the opportunity (after years of training, of course) to employ your fighter/interceptor in a standard vanilla intercept profile to a stern conversion into an observation position?

Speed of Sound
27th Jan 2004, 03:30

Are you trying to say that accidents never happen?


27th Jan 2004, 03:35

Walk down the road near an airport = big chance of being killed by a crashing Jumbo jet.

Don't walk down the road near an airport = no chance of being killed by a crashing Jumbo jet.

Therefore stay at home.

Get real.

27th Jan 2004, 04:18
Last time i got a mirage next to me i got kindly asked by the controller if that was ok with us. Since we were repositionning i had no objection. That was between GTQ and GVA in the 370's or something like that.


27th Jan 2004, 04:43

>Are you trying to say that accidents never happen?


How do fighters join up after an in-trail takeoff?

How does a formation of fighters join up with a refueling tanker? Intercept.

How do fighters rejoin after the "knock-it-off", or after a successful "bug-out?"

It is, to those that operate such aircraft for a living, a no-brainer...especially with the restrictions (ROE) imposed on such operations.

27th Jan 2004, 04:50
I did fly them long time ago... NOTHING in aviation is a no brainer!!

Now that i am flyiing civil a/c i dont want anyone military or civil approaching my ac WITHOUT MY PERMISSION ...especially when there is someone with no brain on board... else i will defenately file a report... :*

27th Jan 2004, 05:10
Logic is leading where nobody would have gone:

1- Because of lack of security at airport, we have to embark anykind of Airmarshalls who are not under captain authority...

2- Because they may fail in stopping terrorists to take control of the plane with the risk of thousands dead, we can now be "escorted" by any fighter of any nationality, whose mission is in fact to kill us our crew and passengers if we drift from the flight plan.

It's only a matter of time before the real thing happens
Comprehensive insurance will pay your widow, or maybe this will be covered by concerned government.

27th Jan 2004, 05:12

I agree that I would like to know if I have been ordered to be escorted. I would also appreciate the status of the intercept (reverse BRA would be nice). Normally, in most areas, I don't think they could get very close without my knowing it...TCAS and all. In less peaceful areas of the world, a no squawk, no lights intercept and ID could happen and be over with, and I'd never know it.

Such intercepts are typically ordered from a command center (not at the whim of a bored aviator). What could I do if I was advised that a country's national defense command center has decided I should be intercepted? I can follow the outlined procedures.

No doubt, though. Communication of the event, as it unfolds, would be nice for all involved

Arran's view
27th Jan 2004, 05:46
Small matter of a Dash 8 of Ncl. Intercepted by Sea Harrier under "control" of sea defence system.

In IMC talking to nobody that anyone else could, the Sea Harrier approached so close that the DH8 did a max rate climb on TCAS RA. Both engines required removal on landing in Norvege.

Of course there was no risk ..... to the Sea Harrier.

27th Jan 2004, 07:10
Sitting at the top of the French hill I have seen and spoken to a/c that are/have been intercepted by the Military. In ALL cases I check that the pilot is/was aware and every time have had an AFFIRM reply.

If the interception was for training purposes then every a/c was ASKED first, and French civil control identify and handover any still intercepted approaching the boundary.

If it wasn't a training situation, then someone isn't speaking to Civil control, so initial RTF failure procedures have been enforced - you can file on being intercepted, they will already have filed back for loss of communications. All will be investigated together and the reason for the lack of communications sought.

None of the interceptions will interfere with TCAS RA's as Mode C on the fighter is disabled. You could get a TA, but the way in which interceptions normally occur, TCAS will assess 'no risk'.

Arran's view - when and where did this incident occur?

27th Jan 2004, 17:41
One major point: They have bang seats, we do not!

(ex mil, done close formation - knew some guys who collided their Canberras because one thought he'd just ease back into position after losing contact in cloud)

Speed of Sound
27th Jan 2004, 17:42
Walk down the road near an airport = big chance of being killed by a crashing Jumbo jet.

FJJP That is a ridiculous claim.


27th Jan 2004, 17:51
It seems a few of us still don't understand that these "escort" are planned to wipe us of the air, if someone, somewhere, relaying on any kind of intelligence or no intelligence at all, decided our plane is a kind of missile he is entitled to hit.

While diving to Hell or up to the paradise, you would thank Dubya first, then Jackie, then anyone of their colleagues eager to fight "terrorism".........

27th Jan 2004, 18:49
All getting a bit 'hot under the collar' here!

None of us surely would deny the need for a fully armed interceptor to intercept a threat or potential threat? I did so myself many times in the RAF.

What IS the problem is the perception that not all the intercepts are really NECESSARY, but some may be 'for training' or even for nationalistic/political reasons (see previous thread on this subject).

There is also no need for 'close' position keeping if a threat is 'perceived' - a position a few miles away would be more than adequate for reaction if necessary.

Any interception is POTENTIALLY dangerous. There is a history of inadvertent missile 'kills' (RAF Phantom/Jaguar 'confirmed'!) and a near disaster in the 70's off the UK coast, and the threat of collision is ever present, as witnessed by another RAF incident I know about (Lightning/Aztec), and if interception/formation was SO foolproof for skilled pilots.........................

So, my shout is - let it happen when it is necessary, eg R/T failure, lost contact, off course, hijack etc etc, and not as an apparent 'routine'?

Ranger One
27th Jan 2004, 21:50
Arran's view:

...the DH8 did a max rate climb on TCAS RA. Both engines required removal on landing in Norvege.

Say again? I didn't hear about that, when did this happen? Who was operating the -8? Can you point me to the report?


R 1

27th Jan 2004, 22:58
Last summer climbing through 3000 feet from ZTH towards LATAN, I got a TCAS on a Phantom flying at 5000 feet VFR crossing left to right. I had the Phantom visual and at no stage was there any danger of a collision.

Passing 4000feet with the Phantom now at 2 miles distance the TCAS gave ‘DESCEND DESCEND’. In accordance with my SOPs I closed the power leavers and started to fly the aeroplane into a descent. At this very moment the Phantom turned towards me and descended, causing the TCAS to shout ‘CLIMB CLIMB’. The power leavers now went to the fire wall and the aeroplane flown into a nose up attitude. The Phantom passed 400 feet beneath me, and waggled his wings in greeting.

If I could have got my hands on that fighter pilot I would have waggled more than just a finger!

I filed a report more in the hope that the fighter pilot could be traced and the problems that he had caused me pointed out to him, but as usual in the South East Med., nothing came of it. Please, if you fly a military jet, unless you are fully aware of what you are doing, stay away from large passenger aeroplanes.

28th Jan 2004, 02:01
I was intercepted/ escorted last year by two Mirage 2000s.

Quite startling at first, he was close off the left side. Nothing on Guard, No advisory from Paris Control until I asked and then they told me to proceed.

Got TA on one guy on my tail and nothing on Lead. I pulled out my camera and got a shot of Lead off my 9 o'clock. He got pissed and pulled off and did a nice roll over us to the right side. Also took a shot of the fish finder (TCAS) with the wingman on my six (shoulda dump fuel and showed them:) ) Still have the pictures.

There were no RA and no altitude reporting from these Mirages on the display. Actually, Lead was never on the display not even an open diamond. We got the escorts all the way to landing. Beautiful VFR day, they showed up after about 50 nm feet dry north of Marsaille.

We must have looked pretty interesting to all the other airliners crisscrossing the sky.

Me - L1011, Them - 2 Mirage 2000s.
1 v. 2

Captain Sand Dune
28th Jan 2004, 08:03
Has it ever occured to you guys that intercepting aircraft is THEIR JOB?!?!?:rolleyes:
If our terrorist mateys had not chosen to use airliners as manned missiles then maybe these measures would not be required.

Ignition Override
28th Jan 2004, 12:40
Taikonaut-since numerous passengers would have seen it, you might have announced over the pa that so-and-so nation's Air Force/Navy jet, flown by a very arrogant, pompous pilot, made an unnecessary maneuver over the top of your plane, and suggested that they all contact their Foreign Office/State Dept later.

Maybe they should have been told that it was a very safe maneuver, no matter how accurate.:mad:

29th Jan 2004, 06:23
It must be evident by now that anybody who gets into an airliner is subject to a great deal of security screening and that counter terrorist measures include the interception of civil aircraft by military fighters.

So live with it civil pilots just like the military have to live with hours of QRA and your passengers have to live with extra security at airports.

This is all part of the price we pay to preserve our freedom and you had better get used to it.

If, on the other hand, you feel someone has overstepped the mark by all means complain but to the relevant authority, not here.

29th Jan 2004, 08:22
Interesting chat guys but no one has addressed the original
item. Yes,it is happening.My outfit has been intercepted twice since christmas to my knowledge.In both cases, northbound over France from Africa, on flight plan, on track and in normal RT communication with ATC, ie, no abnormal circumstances.
This kind of behavior is irresponsible and Europe is in danger of following the Americans down the 'gung ho' trail where normal, safe practice can be thrown away and the police, military and politicians allowed to do largely as they wish in the name of freedom and the fight against terrorism. By all means intercept and investigate an aircraft under 'suspicion' but lets keep things sensible.It is , without question, dangerous to put aircraft in close proximity to each other on a regular basis and even more so if only one pilot knows about it !Just as the police have come to be viewed as the 'enemy' by motorists, the security services and their various departments could alienate aircrew and lose a source of potentialy valuable and experienced, front line help.

29th Jan 2004, 11:24
OK...here's my two cents worth - and an attempt to bring thread back on topic. Why are these interception flights not following published intercept procedures?? As taken from FAA AIM, National Security and Interception procedures, section 5-6-2, sub section b:
1. Phase One- Approach Phase.
"During peacetime, intercepted aircraft will be approached from the stern. Generally two interceptor aircraft will be employed to accomplish the identification. The flight leader and wingman will coordinate their individual positions in conjunction with the ground controlling agency. Their relationship will resemble a line abreast formation. At night or in IMC, a comfortable radar trail tactic will be used. Safe vertical separation between interceptor aircraft and unknown aircraft will be maintained at all times."

Even in law enforcement intercepts, its always from the stern with positive vertical seperation and coordination with ATC. What the H*ll are these guys doing pulling a barrel roll over the top of a loaded airliner?!

29th Jan 2004, 15:49
..... said Soddim....

....."...........AND DIE WITH IT!"........he should have concluded

Arran's view
29th Jan 2004, 17:21
Ranger One Airprox 47 / 02 on 22/4/02 and for 5 miles this was not in France but TCAS RA demanded a 2,000fpm climb which was done at max rpm and power. Intercept a/c passed 100ft unseen underneath. :eek: :eek:

29th Jan 2004, 17:29
Well Arran it couldn't have been an authorised UK intercept.
In the UK intercepting aircraft have the transponder off to avoid a TCAS response.

29th Jan 2004, 19:43
Why the h*** do they need to join up in visual formation? One would think that a radar trail 5-6 nm on the airliners "six" would be quite adequate until a "live" situation arise????
For pilots: Please file an report EVERY time this happens, unless you allow it offcourse! :eek:

Arran's view
29th Jan 2004, 21:12
hatsoff It says the Harrier section was tasked by his fighter control to visually identify (VID) an inknown aircraft. .... a beam intercept was achieved and the section approached the other ac in the other pilots 9 0'clock.

Sounds pretty authorised to me :*

Ranger One
29th Jan 2004, 22:07
Arran's view:

Ranger One Airprox 47 / 02 on 22/4/02 and for 5 miles this was not in France but TCAS RA demanded a 2,000fpm climb which was done at max rpm and power. Intercept a/c passed 100ft unseen underneath

Thanks for that. Sounds nasty. I have the airprox

( http://www.caa.co.uk/caanews/airprox.asp?nid=511 for those interested )

You seem to have more information on this incident than is public... was this VMC?

I'm curious as to the reason for pulling both engines... inspection? Actual problems reported? Or SOP due engine limits exceeded during climb?



30th Jan 2004, 00:30
Being intercepted has some dangers to it as some of the guys said earlier but from the time I used to fly over France there was a problem with ATC communcations, half in french half in english...

The danger is that I can not explain in French the aircraft is not being hijacked.:(

30th Jan 2004, 02:24
Here's an article on Austrian airliner intercepts:


As the article points out, the Drakens are old, have no night vision capability and little or no onboard radar.

I'm not crazy about being intercepted in an airliner myself but I'm afraid it's going to be a fact of life in the post 911 world. Airliners have certainly been demonstated to be potential weapons of mass destruction whether we like it or not.

In the U.S., the F-15's and F-16's aren't exactly new but they have been upgraded and can pass targets over a network link which really helps situational awareness. I can hear them on UHF doing intercepts with Night Vision Goggles for training (see: http://www.milaircomms.com/uhf_cap.html for some freqs). Years ago practice intercepts were performed up close and personal with airliners. After some inevitable incidents, the training was watered down and the stand offs increased to several miles.

>>Why the h*** do they need to join up in visual formation? One would think that a radar trail 5-6 nm on the airliners "six" would be quite adequate until a "live" situation arise????<<

Good point. Visual ID is still required in almost all cases for an aerial attack but a trail position would be enough to respond quickly if the threat was suddenly deemed genuine. As mentioned in the article above, some of the older interceptors have little or no radar capability.

30th Jan 2004, 02:44
The Draken have enough radar to fly a trail, as have most fighters used as interceptors in the western world anyway, and visual identification can be done if the interceptor approach with modest rate of closure 1-2000ft below the target.

(If no radar available, one would think GCI vectors are available for the fighters)
If the weather is so bad that they are still unable to do a visual check, they should stay the f*** away, because as some here has stated, joining on a aircraft in thick IMC is DANGEROUS BIG TIME!

BTW: I cannot se one sigle reason why some air forces intercept airliners without even trying to reach the "offender" on guard or othervise.

Anyone wanna bet how long it's gonna be, before we get a midair from all this?

30th Jan 2004, 04:44
Although it took place in the Cold War period, just take the example of the Korean Air 747 which was shot down near/over the the Sakhalin Islands back in the 80s.

A trigger-happy Sukhoi pilot (I don't think it was a MiG) after determining it visually to be a commercial airliner and saw the writing Korean Air, decided to shoot it down anyway. Maybe he could only read the Cyrillic alphabet. Who knows?

But the point is that S*it happens. Of course there were radio communications difficulties, etc., but someone earlier mentioned that those same difficulties exist over France where communications many times are carried out in Fringlish. And if you're not a native Eglish speaker, that only adds to your problems of understanding ATC and the Mirages will be on your tail shortly.

30th Jan 2004, 05:45
I don't know if you are right.
As far as I remember, the official Soviet position after they managed to kill everybody onboard KAL was that the pilot received the order to fire by his operationnal control, because KAL was a "spy-plane".
This order was on communication records, delivered to the public by authorities(don't remember if it was done by Soviet or by US).
This pilot could be "trigger happy" anyway, following orders to fire or doing it on his own....WE DON'T KNOW.
After this massacre (somewhat similar but not quite to Iranian Airbus shot down by US Navy short time before or after I don't remember), it was publicised by independant researchers that a real US "spy plane" was flying in this area, intercepting Soviet radio-communication, glad enough to record them while a real alert was on.....

30th Jan 2004, 18:33
I just have had a chat with a controller today who informed me that these intercepts are about to begin within UK airspace. Have you pilots flying comercial ships been informed of this? I have had a look in the procedures documentation and aparently there are procedures in place for intercepts by military aircraft on airliners. But then again i'm pretty fresh to all this and may have it wrong so just after further confirmation.

30th Jan 2004, 20:25
The only procedures I am aware of are the ones in the civil (UK) AIP. These have standard statements as to xpndr codes, monitor 121.5, inform ATC, If intercepting acft turns on landing light, makes sharp turn away from the acft.

Otherwise I haven't received any company procedures/guidlines whilst flying in Europe. But I can imagine there are more rules from the "fighter"side as you might be joining up in formation in IMC in the winter.

Arran's view
30th Jan 2004, 23:26
Ranger One you could say I had a particular interest in this one. I photocopied the report when it came out which is why I had it to hand. I found out months later about the engine story when someone associated with the company mentioned it.

Not a very satisfactory report I thought. :(

31st Jan 2004, 05:30
IO, no pax on board, just frighten green beans and tomatoes. We were a freighter (1011) out of Africa.:sad:

ATC Watcher
31st Jan 2004, 06:21
Latvia calling, good example, but wrong facts :

I was partially involved in the ICAO investigation after the KAL shootdown at Sakhalin and the pilot was not " trigger happy " nor stupid . In every Modern State, and even more in the Soviet Union at the time , orders to shoot down come from someone very senior in the ground. It is not the fighter pilot prerogative... In that perticular case the KAL747 was mistaken for a RC135 ( which was in the area as well at the time ) and the first interception failed when the 747 overflew Kamchatka, but more military ( read US) tragets were in the Okhotsk sea at the time, and when a target overflew Sakhalin and headed for a large naval base , it was intercepted a second time, the Soviet fighter was low of fuel ( it is not easy to intercept an aircrfat doing bearly 500 Kts ) came from below, saw the western shape of a Boeing ( a 707 and 747 seen from below are looking very similar , especially at night, ) passed that on, was ordered to fire tracers first , made calls on his guard frequency but was only equiped in UHF , but the 747 continued its course and was about to leave soviet airspace again , so he was ordered to shoot with missiles at the target.
The order came from a rather junior officer ( a colonel if my memory is correct, as the region´s general normally authorised to give the order to shoot was not reachable . They both were court martialled and served jail sentences later I believe. .

If the Soviet pilot had done a proper interception as in ICAO textbook, or having had the chance to practice in real time and see a 747 from close by, afew hundred people will probably still be alive today.
For those interested the full report is available from ICAO ( one of the few investigations done by them )

Let military pilots train on interceptions. The more they train the best chances we will have that they never shoot at the wrong aircraft.

31st Jan 2004, 10:05
James Gilbert in The World's Worst Aircraft gives a chapter to between WWI and WWII when the Russians designed what was then the world's largest aircraft, so large that it contained a printing press and a cinema.

The first public flight was a festive occasion with several family members embarked and a fighter escort laid on. One escort pilot got a bit bored following his charge about and hit upon the idea of a barrel roll which resulted in the CCCP's worst air disaster for many a year. The escort pilot's surname entered the Russian vocabulary as a synonym for selfish, impulsive action.

Can't find the book and can't recall the name of the a/c or pilot.

31st Jan 2004, 11:44
The big airplane was an ANT-20, called the "Maxim Gorkii."
It was built as a propaganda machine by the Soviet government. It had eight engines, three tractor units fitted conventionally on each wing, and a tractor/pusher tandem arrangement on the cabin roof. The airplane carried a crew of twenty and up to fifty passengers. It also had an onboard kitchen, photo lab, printing press, radio studio and a cinema.
It crashed in May of 1935 when it was hit by one of its fighter escorts who attempted a loop around one of the aircraft's wings.
The fighter pilot's name was Nikolai Blagin. His name, as RBF says, has entered the Russian vocabulary as synonymous for :mad:-up.

1st Feb 2004, 04:28
US:......? Could have been Dubya, but he is no more a reserve pilot.....

UK: Up to you distinguished Brits, to find the right name.

France: I know him, but the name is kept secret for the moment.

1st Feb 2004, 04:55
What is the actual purpose of these escorts? The only thing they can do is blow the plane out of the sky. They obviously can't interfere with what is going on inside of the commercial airliner !!!

I pray to god there never comes a day when these "escorts" have to unleash the power they are equipped with.. Most people / passengers assume or think having a military escort improves safety. It's just the opposite. I pity the poor pilot who has to push the button killing 400+ people simultaneously.


1st Feb 2004, 11:23
pigboat says: The big airplane was an ANT-20, called the "Maxim Gorkii."

me says: RIP for the second (and last) XB-70 built.

LatviaCalling: In case you have roots in Latvia, you really should know better than to charge an individual. I'm sure you do remember what it WAS like before '89.

edited for typos...

1st Feb 2004, 21:51
Grandpa and Pigboat,

Couldn't resist the Russo-French pun:)

2nd Feb 2004, 03:06

I agree.

I also agree that the crew that has to destroy a full passenger jet would feel very bad about it; however, perhaps you would agree that would be a better outcome than a repeat of 9/11.

There is also much to be gained in having human eyes close to a suspect jet. Is the jet what the flightplan says it is? Is it possible with a visible show of force to change the intention of a hijacker?

The bottom line is that since 9/11 the terrorist has had access to a very cheap weapon of mass destruction and until we can find a better way to stop him we have to do everything else we can.

I'm afraid we all have to live with that - or die.

2nd Feb 2004, 06:06
Hey Newmark!
Have you been in Air-Force?
Just heared that not long ago, about what turns in jet fighter pilot's head when he is ordered to hit a commercial plane with 300 onboard:

"Don't worry, he is prepared. Maybe he is the same guy who was trained to kill 5 000 000 human beings with one nuclear bomb!"

When I had my training (and believe me it was YEARS ago!) I was confronted with this new word "megadead"........

Speed of Sound
3rd Feb 2004, 09:24
This is all part of the price we pay to preserve our freedom and you had better get used to it.

An oxmoron, surely?


4th Feb 2004, 02:10
I thought that the whole intercept thingy was ment so that I could take awesome pictures. :(

But why should a fighter be closer then the standard 1.000 FT to observe who we are or what we are doing. This way safety is not an issue. That way wannabe hijackers or other bad people on board wouldn't know if we are on to them and in the worst case start a very slow descend to a (military)apt.

Then again I've been known to have more stupid thoughts...

Chaos Controller
9th Feb 2004, 01:21
Talking about awsome pictures, I came over this at work the other day, it was taken by a Norwegian F-16 pilot in the mid 1980's when they joined up in a formation with a Scandinavian DC9'er enroute from Tromsø (ENTC) to Bodø (ENBO). The F16 pilots recognized the voice from a former colleague as the captain of the DC9'er, and decided to escort him back to Bodø.

Lon More
9th Feb 2004, 23:35
The reason flights have been intercepted, in the Maastricht airspace at leasr, has been due to lack of R/T contact. From memory, in the last year 2 actual intercepts and a number abandoned ( too great a distance involved, or R/T contact re-established. )

Post 9/11 we are required to inform the military of any aircraft in radio failure, this info is passed to air defence who make the decision to intercept or not.

The reason that the fighters get in so close is to observe if there is activity on the flight deck. In the past we had two occasions when there was none observed, the Lear {Snoopy?) which eventually crashed off Iceland when presumably the fuel ran out, and the East German fighter whose pilot had ejected over East Germany but whose fighter almost reached the Belgian French border before crashing, killing one on the ground. In niether case was there any question of the interceptors firing.

If you fly through busy airspace, and either the frequency seems quiet, or you have not received any atc instructions for some ten minutes, try giving a call for a frequency check - sometimes we forget to transfer youand you are now in another unit's airspace, you may even be on the wrong frequency. It is a lot less work for us on the ground to answer a simple question than to vector, climb or descend conflicting traffic and instigate the interception - and probably a lot less work for you explaining why we have lodged a report on you for not monitoring the frequency:)

Lon More,

Here before Pontius was a Pilot or Mortus was a Rigger