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BA Flight turned back to UK from JFK

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BA Flight turned back to UK from JFK

Old 14th Aug 2006, 21:25
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The phone was Nigerian and at no point passed through the UK Restricted Zone. It is believed to have been on the aircraft for several days. Says a lot for Securicor and BA Cleaners!!!
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 00:56
  #22 (permalink)  
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Now that IS worrying!

If something the size of a mobile peone remained undetected in the cabin for several days, and we know it is quite possible to make a mobile sized device big enough to cause some serious, possibly terminal damage to an aircraft at altitude, then what else might lie undiscovered?

Also raises the question of security arrangements at other airports, where "intelligence" might not be so good!

Unfortunately I think we have to admit that these terrorists are a fairly sophisticated bunch, so if we can postulate things like this then I'm sure they can!
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 01:56
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Originally Posted by matt_hooks
Now that IS worrying!
If something the size of a mobile peone remained undetected in the cabin for several days, and we know it is quite possible to make a mobile sized device big enough to cause some serious, possibly terminal damage to an aircraft at altitude, then what else might lie undiscovered?

Also raises the question of security arrangements at other airports, where "intelligence" might not be so good!

Unfortunately I think we have to admit that these terrorists are a fairly sophisticated bunch, so if we can postulate things like this then I'm sure they can!
Well, lets look at it a bit deeper. An old friend of mine was the Captain of Pan Am 103. Thats the bad news. The good news is that he was flying the B727 from Frankfurt to London, where the pax were shuttled to a B747 for the hop across the pond, under the same flight number. He and his crew were in bed at the hotel in London when PA called, and they returned to the airport and flew the same B727 to Lockerbie with the company brass onboard to survey the area.

The bomb was onboard his airplane but did not explode for a simple reason. He was a heavy smoker and asked the FE to dial up the pressurization to exhaust the fumes of his smoking in the cockpit, which was not really allowed but he did it anyway. As well the weather was not good and he was not allowed to climb to normal enroute altitude, so they stayed low the entire flight. This kept the altitude in the airplane low, so it did not trigger the device.

They landed, transfered the suitcase from Malta with the bomb inside to the whale and once it reached the pressure altitude over Lockerbie, we know the result.

What I am getting at is that someone could smuggle a device into the plane in Africa or the Middle East, where the security is not the best. Rig it so that it would not fire on the first or second time it reached the "trigger" altitude but on the third or fourth. The cleaners do not find the device (it could be something as small as a phone hidden in a seat cushion) and it goes off on the third or fourth flight.

How do we fight it? Its going to be tough but we have no choice. Its either us or them and I do not intend let the terrorists win. It would sure go a long way when the security, our employers, CAA/FAA etc stop treating us as the enemy and start treating us as part of the team to stop terrorism.
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 03:07
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Intelligent Terrorists?

Originally Posted by matt_hooks


Unfortunately I think we have to admit that these terrorists are a fairly sophisticated bunch, so if we can postulate things like this then I'm sure they can!
Personally I think the terrorists are a sophisticated bunch only in terms of their operational technique, not their clarity of thought. I've yet to hear a decent comment from ANY terror organisation as to why they think it reasonable to destroy or cripple an aircraft to make their point. Further, I've never really understood what their point actually is. They might do things in a sophisticated manner but boy are they dumb politically. This is no way to gain supporters for your cause.

Anyway , that is way off topic. The important thing is the incident was ultimately harmless, and the captain made the right decision. Well done.

Regards,
eucalyptus
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 04:32
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chandlers dad
...The bomb was onboard his airplane but did not explode for a simple reason. He was a heavy smoker and asked the FE to dial up the pressurization to exhaust the fumes of his smoking in the cockpit, which was not really allowed but he did it anyway....and he was not allowed to climb to normal enroute altitude, so they stayed low the entire flight. This kept the altitude in the airplane low, so it did not trigger the device.
C.D.....sorry to digress, but....
I believe, if you want to exhaust smoke from the cockpit, and use the pressurization to do it...you would actually INCREASE the cabin altitude (ie..which lowers the pressure differential--PSID). This technique would open the outflow valve more, and raise the cabin altitude and help clear smoke....thus negating the normally lower cabin altitude from the aircraft's lower cruise altitude. kc135777
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 04:45
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Eucalyptus, you might like to consider two points.

It is extremely dangerous to underestimate your opponent as Israel has just found out to its cost. Various pundits are now saying that "of course hezbollah were trained by Iran", implying of course that they are still ignorant ragheads.

Question: What if the terrorists are as smart as you or I (OK, well forget me then)?

The second point concerns empathy - the ability to put yourself in another persons shoes. To me, dropping two one thousand pound laser guided bombs into a crowded Baghdad restaurant from 30,000 feet with no warning is terrorism. If I am in that restaurant I care not whether it is a bomb belt or a missile. I am just as dead.

Rumsfelds bombing campaign was labelled "Shock and Awe" is not that exactly what the terrorists wish to engender?
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 09:30
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Sunfish,
Don't misunderstand me, I really do not underestimate the competence of the terrorists (in whateverguise they may come) to wreak havoc. I was questioning the logic, not the capability.
I do agree, though, that terrorism comes in many forms, although here on PPRUNE we are, naturally, mostly concering ourselves with air-related threats.
I never meant to suggest we should ever treat these threats with anything less than the utmost gravity, but frankly, I am still missing something in the logic.
BUT....
In the interests of keeping this thread on topic I'll desist from any further observation on the motivation and logic of terrorists.
Cheers,
Eucalyptus
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 09:57
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by matt_hooks
Now that IS worrying!

If something the size of a mobile peone remained undetected in the cabin for several days, and we know it is quite possible to make a mobile sized device big enough to cause some serious, possibly terminal damage to an aircraft at altitude, then what else might lie undiscovered?

Also raises the question of security arrangements at other airports, where "intelligence" might not be so good!

Unfortunately I think we have to admit that these terrorists are a fairly sophisticated bunch, so if we can postulate things like this then I'm sure they can!

I recall a Lufty's A320 coming into AMS for a strip and respray with ordinary paper masking tape still attached to an area above the cockpit windows which was squared out for a paint touch up. It had happily lived there for at least one flight but more likely a number of flights.
On another occosion in a maintenance facility in Eire two cleaners went into the rear hold of a 73 with a huge can of thinners and a transitior radio for company......two minutes later the hangar fire alarm went off!

There are more things found on and in aircraft then you would like to think, the 2nd part shows not all cleaners have an intellect that surpases that of a dishcloth
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 10:35
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Chandlers Dad,
HI, I agree with Your points but the text below is from the AAIB report:

"Boeing 747, N739PA, arrived at London Heathrow Airport from SanFrancisco and parked on stand Kilo 14, to the south-east of Terminal3. Many of the passengers for this aircraft had arrived at Heathrow from Frankfurt, West Germany on a Boeing 727, which was positioned on stand Kilo 16,
next to N739PA. These passengers were transferred with their baggage to N739PA which was to operate the scheduled Flight PA103 to New York Kennedy. Passengers from other flights also joined Flight PA103 at Heathrow. After a 6 hour turnround,Flight PA103 was pushed back from the stand
at 18.04 hrs and was cleared to taxy on the inner taxiway to runway 27R. The only relevantNotam warned of work in progress on the outer taxiway. The departure was unremarkable. Flight PA103 took-off at 18.25 hrs. As it was approaching the Burnham VOR it took up a radar heading of 350 and flew below the Bovingdon holding point at 6000 feet. It was then cleared to
climb initially to flight level (FL) 120 and subsequently to FL 310. The aircraft levelled off at FL 310 north west of PoleHill VOR at 18.56 hrs. Approximately 7 minutes later, ShanwickOceanic Control transmitted the aircraft's oceanic clearance but this transmission was not acknowledged. The secondary radar return from Flight PA103 disappeared"

Sorry to correct...

The famous saying is now "May We live in interesting (and dangerous) times"

Time to get to the root of the problem..

Regards
M5DND
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 10:49
  #30 (permalink)  

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If it was in the hold, nobody would hear it (apart from maybe AVI)
Perhaps the HUM answered it before the AVI heard it?
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Old 15th Aug 2006, 15:55
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Originally Posted by KC135777
C.D.....sorry to digress, but....
I believe, if you want to exhaust smoke from the cockpit, and use the pressurization to do it...you would actually INCREASE the cabin altitude (ie..which lowers the pressure differential--PSID). This technique would open the outflow valve more, and raise the cabin altitude and help clear smoke....thus negating the normally lower cabin altitude from the aircraft's lower cruise altitude. kc135777
Am just telling you what he told me, and I know he flew the PA103 bird from FFM to London. The fact that he is alive to tell all of us the story (it was at a QB gathering) tells a lot. How he did it or why it did not blow may be another story.

M5, not sure how what was posted applies to this flight other than to show more detail. If I am missing something pls advise.
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