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Someone stole a Q400 from Seattle?

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Someone stole a Q400 from Seattle?

Old 13th Aug 2018, 00:15
  #121 (permalink)  
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Folks think that Ground Control 'failed' at noticing his start up and approach to the active. I do not think it unusual at all.

In the working year of a massive airport such as this, everyone expects that everyone will follow the rules. As he was so close to an active, the time for people to realise that he was not following the rules would have been very short. When first noticed, they would have attempted radio contact and, once sure that there is a problem - more time had passed.

If you think that Ground and ATC 'failed' ask how many times the situation they faced occurs in the lifetime of each member of staff? To realise what has gone wrong and take action for something utterly outside normality and for which training would be almost impossible? They did so well.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 02:19
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Originally Posted by airsouthwest View Post
and besides that, dragging an aircraft on or near an active runway in good visibility would have brought a lot of attention from people across the airport.
Some article out of the multitude used "runway" as the only word the author knows for paved surface at an airport (as I'm sure some other article used "tarmac.")

He pushed back and started on a ramp/apron. Just like any other flight. And this one is uncontrolled. Then he taxied several airplane lengths to the runway.

There's no mystery to solve.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 05:20
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I may have flown missions with this guy in Aces High. Voice is very familiar as is his demeanor.

It would also explain how he actually completed some of what he did since the sim is unbelievably immersive and the flight and physics modeling is non-arcade..............minus the real life forces on the human body you experience in a real plane.

Pretty much everybody there has performed rolling scissors during dogfights.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:02
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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A disgruntled SkyWest pilot nearly destroyed the airline in 2012 by stealing an RJ with the plan of crashing it into HQ.

Miller, J., & Neugebauer, C. (2012, July 18). SkyWest pilot kills self after trying to steal plane at St. George airport. The Salt Lake Tribune.
"Hedglin parked the motorcycle, then threw a rug over a razor-wire fence and used leather gloves to scale it. Once inside the fence, Hedglin got inside a regional jet, and started the engine. Hedglin backed the aircraft away from the jet bridge ... then began to pull forward. The jet's left wing hit the jet bridge, and when Hedglin turned to head east, he scraped the same wing along the terminal building. . . . then drove the jet through a security fence and over some landscaping before finally stopping after hitting multiple cars in the public parking lot."
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:10
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
we already have cockpit doors installed in transport category aircraft, maybe there is a way to utilize the locked door during periods not in service. remember we can only mitigate the risk to a point thats low and acceptable but not 100%.
Don‘t want to contemplate the logistics of that. How would you unlock them? Dozens to hundreds of keys for a Fleet managed by whom? How would keys be passed from one crew to another when they don‘t meet at the A/C and generic keys would be worthless.

Codes would require some way of frequently changing and notifying them as well.

Ground staff needs access to flight decks to tow A/C, so if you want to cover two-person only access you‘d need some dual code protocol.

All this sounds mightily expensive to avoid a very infrequent problem. Money should better be spent for real safety improvements like vertical profile WX radar, onboard ground weather radar reception, EVAS, etc. A lot of guys still have to fly around without ACARS and Non-mandatory A/C software updates get postponed for cost reasons in these low-cost days....
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:11
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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On the question of starting up the engines without being noticed:

This Alaska/Horizon aircraft was almost certainly parked on the cargo ramp of its parent company, Alaska Air (if reports that it was on "the cargo ramp" are correct). Which is directly at the foot of the 300-foot (100m)-tall main control tower at Sea-Tac. Unless the controllers have a glass floor to look through (which they don't - in fact there is a structural "bulge" below the tower cab that further limits downward sight lines), a plane on that ramp is not going to be "obvious" to the control tower. Probably visible, if the controller stands up and leans over his "desk" or whatever other equipment he is using, to look down. But without a radio call for engine start or taxi clearance, not within the "normal scan" of the runways and active taxi routes.

It is also, as previously mentioned, a "non-movement area" that is not part of ATC responsibility or interest, until the aircraft reaches the checkerboard hold line at the taxiway entry. And if it is dusk, and no beacons/navlights were turned on (anyone know?), even less attention-attracting.

The tower, in "reverse angle" to show how the cab windows are blocked from close-in ground views, without some controller gymnastics: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...r_Exterior.jpg

The area, on google maps. Note proximity of tower and Alaska Air Cargo ramp: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Se...4d-122.3088165

Maybe the aircraft thief was aware of this, from casual knowledge and "shop talk" during three years on the job - or (more probably) maybe he wasn't, and it was just dumb luck.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 06:14
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Murexway
If he had headed toward downtown Seattle or any densely populated area, he should (and would) have been shot down - period.
Originally Posted by core_dump View Post
What this kid needed was a short therapy session with Dr. Sidewinder.
With an aircraft that large he probably would've received one early-on had there been a way to confirm he was alone in the aircraft, but as it was transpiring nobody including the intercepting F-15 eyeballs could do so. They had to accept the real possibly of innocents also being on board, perhaps already injured by him or under duress inside the cabin aft of a locked cockpit door, and act accordingly. Certainly amidst his meandering requests for orca coordinates, Olympic Range weather, and expressions of dissatisfaction re minimum wage, company higher-ups, and affirmative action hiring practices combined with events like FedEx 705, PSA 1771, and Germanwings 9525 where co-workers had no qualms about killing co-workers and strangers, his statements about not wanting to hurt anyone wouldn't have been taken at face value or assumed to mean the only potential threat to life was to people on the ground.

It's possible the only reason he made it as far as what's seen in the video is because of the uncertainty of other lives in the aircraft being at stake, as I don't believe it's current policy to allow those stealing large aircraft flown near populated areas to bring it down at a point of their own choosing or until it runs out of fuel, no matter what they say.

Last edited by PukinDog; 13th Aug 2018 at 06:27.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 09:42
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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If it is indeed suicide (and surely that must be pure speculation at the moment) it is probable that even his close friends and relatives know nothing about his intentions. Many years ago my uncle took his life by suicide, drowning himself in a local pond. Although he had a few medical issues, none of them life threatening, nobody thought he would do this and it came as a total bolt out of the blue when he did. As a teenage lad you imagine it upset me immensely. We will never know what was going through this chaps mind before he took off.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 11:25
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PukinDog View Post
...
Ok, I'll spell it out for you one more time - in color:
Suicidal people don't think or act rationally, so stop putting the blame-game onto him like he was a rationally thinking person.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 14:52
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Change usually sucks. FTL’s (Zzzzzz), CDSS (ow, my back), the cockpit door itself (banging all night waking me up), etc. So what would suck least? First, the plane.

Pop up barriers would be an expensive nonsense. Not cost prohibitive, if little car parks have them, but they’d have to be everywhere. “Cos the next guy might use a taxiway....”

The cockpit door with access code issues mean that locking it on the ground would cause problems for everyone, with too many codes floating around too many people, and safety issues galore. As for Golf-Sierra’s worries above, if the crazy does get onto the flight deck during flight, would the crew just sit there while he gets out the little metal plate and fits it neatly over the FCS’s? We’re really not talking about inflight cockpit breaches of in-service airplanes but more about planes we’ve left lying around somewhere. Overnight, in a Mx area, on a cargo ramp, etc.

Hence the “throttle lock” idea. Or a lockable chock, like AOPA recommends. Not to be fitted every time a 747 rolls up to T5, just when it’s left over by Hatton Cross. Remember the guys who broke in (for fun) and filmed themselves in BA Jumbos? They had no intention of going flying but a bit of tin over the four little switches that let you go fly would have ensured that pictures is all they took. The lockable chock, maybe not, as jet engines at full thrust can be weapons themselves. Remember Asiana doing a full power blast on the ramp in ANC? They tore up two airplanes and blew stuff everywhere. And how big and heavy would that chock have to be? So protect the GO switches/levers.

As for the mental health component, I do feel very sorry for Rich. Taking a little non addictive pill every day and talking to someone might have been all he needed to put the smoking brakes on this. My life exploded some years ago and I trolled around like a dick for years. What changed? My really nice (airline pilot also) friend fessed up that he had hit a wall too. So he found a person to talk to and is back flying. If he could do it, I could too. And it was great. EAP/peer intervention avenues should be open and available. And the nice thing about talking to someone is that your poor spouse doesn’t have to listen to all your BS for years on end.

When it comes to aviation authorities trying to conduct psych evals on crews reporting for duty, like some have suggested, NOPE. I don’t like any of that. In these “cost conscious days,” it’ll just turn into another empire for people to work in once they’ve mastered the fries machine at their local McDonalds, digging into stuff that they neither have the training or experience to understand. Nor does this pertain to the case of planes left lying around. But I remember back when the small island I spend much time on had no crime. Except the odd stolen car, because people left the doors open and the keys in the ignition all the time because there was no crime. The bars would empty and people wanted rides home. But the locked cars without keys in them were neve r stolen. The ones with keys were found the next day.






Last edited by bunk exceeder; 13th Aug 2018 at 16:19.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 15:10
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Lock systems only work if there are one or two owners/operators. Airplanes have dozens and even hundreds of operators making any lock system simply untenable.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 15:44
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KenV View Post
Lock systems only work if there are one or two owners/operators. Airplanes have dozens and even hundreds of operators making any lock system simply untenable.
Any idea with locks fails when the person allowed to have a key - which this person was - is the one that wants to use the aircraft for a visible suicide. As we saw with German Wings this could be a first officer. Security with wetware always eventually requires trust - there will always be people that breach that trust.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 16:19
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
Any idea with locks fails when the person allowed to have a key - which this person was - is the one that wants to use the aircraft for a visible suicide. As we saw with German Wings this could be a first officer. Security with wetware always eventually requires trust - there will always be people that breach that trust.
Exactly. And the Germanwings catastrophe is an excellent example how locks can be misused. And please, just because of one single event in 115 years of powered aviation, do not make life more complicated and annoying for all of us. We have enough locks and security checks and protocols and procedures and IDs and keycards in place to take most of the enjoyment out of our profession.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 16:31
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The ultimate problem is that of "trusted" individuals who go rogue.

And as for the "how could he not have been noticed sooner by the tower?", SEATAC is a large airport and multiple airplanes are always being moved on ramps, started up, stopped, shut down, etc. This would have been noticed earlier at a smaller, controlled field but so what? The guy could still have taken off before anybody could have prevented him from doing so. Stuff happens and nothing is 100%... which is why we have air defenses on alert.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 17:37
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[QUOTE=Murexway;10222587]The ultimate problem is that of "trusted" individuals who go rogue.

There’s not much you can do about a Germanwings or an Air Botswana. Nor indeed the Skywest guy. How come I’ve never seen this?


Poor plane. When pilots go rogue, well, thankfully that is an extremely, I say again, extremely rare occurrence. Which doesn’t pertain to this incident. But biggish stuff does get stolen. It’s not as unprecedented as you’d think.

Theres the Citation:

Stolen Citation Pilot Indicted On Grand Theft Charge | Aero-News Network

And the (LOL) Gulfstream:

https://www.joc.com/maritime-news/me..._19960523.html

And the 727:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003..._disappearance

As well as various little plane incidents such as this one:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-...-be-shot-down/

Notable because it sounds like this guy was in the same “head space” as Rich might have been. He didn’t think it through. Just “OK, I got this far and nobody stopped me....” But back to Germanwings, would it have happened if there was a flight deck toilet? What would have been the business case for it have been? What would the 2 extra seats worth of space have “cost”? Could they have built a flight deck toilet for free from the bits of Airbus that they picked up in the Alps? What was the business case for that? So how do we “fix” a “problem” that is very infrequent in a way that isn’t a PITA to all of us? Bearing in mind that this isn’t about crazy crew, it’s about opportunistic joyriding. And, you know, sometimes GA got there years before the “heavy iron” did. I’ve done/do both. Try ForeFlight and then go back your black screen and pink line. Maybe the $13.95 idea has some merit?
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 17:37
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I was an airline mechanic for 19 years and have been taxi qualified in many different models of Fokker, Boeing, and Airbus. These aircraft do not have door locks, wheel locks, or ignition keys/locks. The security is a big fence, cameras, roving patrols, airport workers, etc. This guys job was moving aircraft around for parking, etc. Even if they had locks, he'd have the key.

I've thought several times that if I was willing to kill myself, there would be nothing preventing me from taking one of these airliners and taking off. Many times I've done high speed taxis on the runway (at night) to troubleshoot pilot write-ups for things like nose wheel shimmy.. There would always be two mechanics driving the plane but that was just for company rules. Just about on any given night I could have taken a plane. There's no way to prevent this. Prevention starts by the job interview and 10 year background check. Then years of service as well as classroom training. At that point if a guy goes nuts you can't place blame on anyone except him.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 18:25
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Originally Posted by Vessbot View Post
Pretty much the only thing I can envision that could work in time is for the tower controller to push the button that makes the barricades pop up out of the pavement at all the hold short points.
OMG, I hope you jest! Anywhere else, I'd just laugh at the trolling, but I know someone, right now, is quoting you!
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 18:51
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Originally Posted by Alpine Flyer View Post


Don‘t want to contemplate the logistics of that. How would you unlock them? Dozens to hundreds of keys for a Fleet managed by whom? How would keys be passed from one crew to another when they don‘t meet at the A/C and generic keys would be worthless.

Codes would require some way of frequently changing and notifying them as well.

Ground staff needs access to flight decks to tow A/C, so if you want to cover two-person only access you‘d need some dual code protocol.

All this sounds mightily expensive to avoid a very infrequent problem. Money should better be spent for real safety improvements like vertical profile WX radar, onboard ground weather radar reception, EVAS, etc. A lot of guys still have to fly around without ACARS and Non-mandatory A/C software updates get postponed for cost reasons in these low-cost days....
In absolute agreement, money is better spent in these areas.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 21:20
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Originally Posted by Say Again, Over! View Post
OMG, I hope you jest! Anywhere else, I'd just laugh at the trolling, but I know someone, right now, is quoting you!
Yeah, I guess I better be more careful with that.

Then again, I would love to see it now in some dumbass article.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 22:06
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I am no psychologist. This is supposition only. ATC was exemplary, and there is no reason to suggest another and different approach to convince the pilot to attempt a landing. He did good. But he was out of character, ATC needs to be direct and authoritative, it is in the job description.

So. The pilot is described as outgoing, smart, and compassionate. In the scheme of things, we give what we get, so any “personality” can be simply the result of what we want back from people. A “compliant”, and pleasing/pleasant person might not be amenable to soft understanding response from authority. ATC is authority, and morphing from authority into empathetic “buddy” might be the opposite of what is needed. People pleasers are generally subject to compliance, it gets learned into the dynamic.

“I am going to give you a heading, you need to comply, and get that aircraft configured.” “NOW!!...” “Beebo” sounds like a bit of a spoiled brat. Sweet nothings don’t work on such a person. He may have been “placated” all his life. It is clear that suicidal or not, he needed some talking to, by an authority, not a buddy.

imo
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