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727 stolen from Angola

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727 stolen from Angola

Old 7th Jul 2003, 16:45
  #61 (permalink)  
GunsssR4ever
 
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Cool Flying Bomb / Scare / Stolen plane found .....

Saw this reporter and though he was just a drunk ... talking sh!t ... so he was actually a reporter ... mmhhh ..

Well here goes ..:

James Astill in Freetown
Monday July 7, 2003
The Guardian

A Boeing 727 cargo plane which caused panic among US intelligence
agencies after mysteriously disappearing from Angola's main airport
turned up last week in Guinea, the Guardian can reveal.

The plane, which was feared to be in the hands of international
terrorists, was spotted on June 28 in Conakry, Guinea's capital, by
Bob Strother, a Canadian pilot. It had been resprayed and given the
Guinean registration 3XGOM. But at least the last two letters of its
former tail-number, N844AA, were still showing.

The plane, which was recently converted into a fuel tanker, was said
to be owned by a member of West Africa's Lebanese business community,
and was being used to shuttle goods between Beirut and Conakry,
according to Mr Strother.

"There's absolutely no doubt it's the same aircraft, the old
registration is clearly visible," said Mr Strother by phone from
Conakry. "Whoever owns it must have some important friends to get it
re-registered in two days: going by the book, the whole process
usually takes a couple of months."

Western intelligence agencies were said to be scouring Africa's clear
skies and mouldering runways for the missing tanker, fearing that it
could easily be aimed at an American or British embassy on the
continent. Yet an American official in the region said this was the
first he had heard of the plane since its disappearance from Angola's
capital, Luanda, on May 25.

"People have been looking for this thing everywhere," the official
said. "We've had reports that it crashed, that it was in South Africa
or Nigeria, but nothing for sure, not like what you've just told me."

The Guardian was able to furnish the American official with a
photograph of the mystery plane, taken by Mr Strother.

Immediately after the plane's disappearance, unnamed US intelligence
sources told the Associated Press that it "mostly likely was taken for
a criminal endeavour such as drug or weapons smuggling". But they had
"not ruled out the possibility it was stolen for use in a terrorist
attack".

A US state department spokesman, Philip Reeker, said at the time:
"There is no particular information suggesting that the disappearance
of the aircraft is linked to terrorists or terrorism, but it's still
something that obviously we would like to get to the bottom of."

A western diplomat in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, said it was
more likely the plane had simply been snatched from Luanda be cause
its owner was reluctant to pay year-long airport taxes, totalling
around 30,000.

"There's always a shady side to business around here," he said. "But
as for the terrorism stuff, that sounds like a complete load of
rubbish."

Since being sighted last week, the plane has again taken off into
obscurity.

"We only saw it that one time, now it's gone," said Mr Strother.
"Maybe whoever owns it just wanted to drop by and pick up a Guinean
registration for convenience. Maybe it won't be back."
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Old 7th Jul 2003, 18:45
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Sitting in Beirut and has been for about 10 days.

Quite a lot of activity aqround it over the weekend - full US reg and flag still in view as well as the 3X reg.
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Old 7th Jul 2003, 22:04
  #63 (permalink)  
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There she is ooops damn got away again

Mystery Boeing turns up ... briefly
Oregonian 07/07/03
author: The Mecury

A BOEING 727 plane, whose sudden disappearance in Angola in May unnerved US intelligence agencies, reappeared last week in the Guinean capital Conakry before vanishing once again, British newspaper The Guardian reported today.

Washington has been working with African governments in the past month in a frantic bid to hunt down the cargo plane, amid fears the aircraft could be used by terrorists in a repeat of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

The paper said the plane was spotted on June 28 by a Canadian pilot, Bob Strother, in Conakry, sporting a new coat of paint and a Guinean registration number.

But Strother told the paper that two letters of the plane's old tail number - N844AA - were still showing, proving the aircraft was the same Boeing that was being sought by US diplomats throughout Africa.

"There's absolutely no doubt it's the same aircraft, the old registration is clearly visible," he was quoted as saying.

"Whoever owns it must have some important friends to get it reregistered in two days: going by the book, the whole process usually takes a couple of months," he added.

"We only saw it that one time, now it's gone".


The plane, which has been converted into a fuel tanker, is owned by a member of West Africa's Lebanese business community and was being used to carry goods between Beirut and Conakry, according to Strother.

The 28-year-old jetliner was stolen from under the noses of the control tower at the airport in the Angolan capital Luanda on May 25 and until now had not been sighted since. It had been parked at the airport for 14 months.

Angolan state radio said shortly after its disappearance that it had been chartered by the Angolan airline Airangol but was grounded after being banned from overflying Angolan territory on account of a series of irregularities.

While US officials are concerned the plane could have been stolen by terrorists, the most likely scenario is that the aircraft was was stolen as part of a business dispute or financial scam, said a western diplomat in Sierra Leone, quoted by The Guardian.
 
Old 7th Jul 2003, 22:56
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Why did they go through so much trouble with the new paint job and re-registration and still leave the old REG on the aircraft?
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Old 7th Jul 2003, 23:00
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This aircraft isn't resprayed.
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Old 7th Jul 2003, 23:02
  #66 (permalink)  
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Question Correct Aircraft ?



Hi PPRuNe TOWERS,

I think you are describing my friend's aircraft.

He has a 727 described like yours with an American flag on.
We contacted the owner in Lebanon and he went to the authorities. The Angolan "flying bomb" is not his aircraft.

Please keep me updated about your rumour / fact please PT !

Cheers,

Gunns

Last edited by Gunship; 8th Jul 2003 at 01:26.
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Old 8th Jul 2003, 08:34
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Yeah, this story seems pretty thin. The only thing that the AA proves is that this 727 was once operated by American Airlines. Surely there's more than one of those in Africa.
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Old 8th Jul 2003, 15:53
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If you speak to those within the security scope of the industry and it would seem that there would be little difficulty in getting hold of any number of stored a/c at any number of airfields throughout the world. I am sure that the Coventry incident is not unique. With money, crew and logistics it would not be to problematic, just depends on the individuals levels of commitment.
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Old 8th Jul 2003, 22:26
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Nicking a 727

Seem to remember that somebody nicked a 707 at one of the Bristol Airports back in the 1980s, allegedly knocking half the approach lights down as it rotated and slowly climbed .. also apparently with only a PPL in the Right hand seat. I remember the newspaper headline about the "Bristol Cowboy".

But as a simple cherokee driver ..... how do you start a 727 that has sat on the ground for 14 months ??? Won't the battery be flat ??? ... I asume you'd need that as a minimum to get the APU going or else one man on his own would take all night setting up a houchin cart, starting the apu, getting out, shifting the cart etc.

Personally I wouldn't even know how to get the back stairs on a 727 down without power and assume that first you'd have to nick a tractor and a set of steps just to get in the door ???

I hear what is said about "Welcome to Africa" ... but wouldn't all that runnin' about and racket attract some attention ???

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Old 9th Jul 2003, 00:58
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anyone got a picture of this ?

Hi all

If this has really been found does anyone have a image of it

or landing times etc

i've been following this story since it started and would
like to know if it can be put to bed ?

many thanks

UFO B
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 01:27
  #71 (permalink)  
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Lightbulb TROLL ALERT !!!

Alert Alert .. we have trolls .. a ONE poster and a 3 Poster ... 3 posts in 8 months mate and you ask


... like to know if it can be put to bed ?

The Answer : NO it can not ...

Now ... jump back on your UFO mate ... this is a serious thread
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 01:34
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Having once legged it in the middle of the night myself from an african (controlled) airport in a largish noisy t.p., its easy to do but you still have to have the cooperation of some locals.either to get some gnd support (in our case a gpu)or bribe all the guards to clean their guns.nothing can happen without the local telegraph knowin about it.
thankfully the french foreign legion also there at the time werent briefed to lay down fire on civilian foreign aircraft.

no it wasnt nicked we were refused departure during the day due to politics and our vip needed out so we got out .
you had to be there.
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 04:41
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Red face

was only asking for your help

on arrival times

and a pic of the aircraft at conakry if it was available

interesting welcome gunship ? thanks

UFO B
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 06:42
  #74 (permalink)  
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Question

What does your "put to bed mean then " ?

I will appologise if you can answer that one. The pics and so on can be arranged.

You a journo ?



Lo Bert ... when u leave for SA ?
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 14:16
  #75 (permalink)  
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Guns......Hopefuly just after the 15th...... Im gonna make it to the Cape and hit Francois up, for some time in the slick.
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 14:22
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Hi gunship

let me explain

i work at the atc college in the uk
when this was stolen i followed the story
hoping that it would be found
i just wanted extra clarification (a picture)to make sure
IRS or Aerospace leasing are an interesting company
and N844AA in the press was billed as a possible threat
(IRS also owned N334AA, a sad coincidence) and i was interested

by the the phrase 'put it to bed' i meant stop thinking of this as a possible threat

sorry for any confusion

but this is the african forum and i'm in the uk
you guys seemed to know what was really happening

UFO B
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Old 9th Jul 2003, 15:55
  #77 (permalink)  
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Angry Aircraft Impounded

The "new owner" did everything right. He was told everything except that it was the "stolen aircraft" from Angola and was "missing" for a month.

Crews was arrested before flight yesterday.

Aircraft was apparently "flown out back to where it came from".

Owner says all was done through Miami.

Somebody did not play the game with the old man that has a heart condition !!

I am not a happy man.

Greeting to you all. I might "see" you while on leave in SA.

To those that got jobs - GREAT !

Love it when a plan works !

Cheers,

Gunsss


UFO

Sorry mate only see your post now. I was on the mobile when I started posting and did not see your post.

Sorry for the confusion .. sorry you understand what I also tried to do ? SOrry.

All I can tell you know is above. There was photo's supposed to be taken - sorry the "authorities" had other ideas

Cheers - maybe post last one before I leave.

Gunnss
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Old 10th Jul 2003, 01:08
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Devil PPRuNe SCOOP!!!!!

As you may have observed from the above posts which have been copied here from a thread on the African forum, the Flying Bomb, as the popular press liked to call it, has been found, impounded and the crew arrested in Beirut. What you may also have sensed from the above posts is that several PPRuNers were directly involved in the tracking, finding and securing of the 'rogue' B727.

Perhaps this should serve as a warning to all those dodgy leasing companies, often based in Miami, with very underhand and usually unlawful payloads, that PPRuNers in aviation are very likely to spot what is going on and, as in this case, reveal the whereabouts of the a/c. Tsk tsk.

Remember, you read about the discovery of the 'missing' B727 here first!
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Old 10th Jul 2003, 02:56
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Question

I'm confused. For those of us not in the loop what's the story (the bits not sub judicae anyway) ?

Is the Beirut airplane the same as "3X-GOM" sighted at Conakry ? A report elsewhere has 3X-GDM ferrying from the Mojave storage to Miami on 26 June 2003. Obviously this cannot be the repo'ed fuel-hauler which had been on the ground in Africa 'for 14 months'.

I find it hard to believe it went all the way back to California before ending up in Beirut. Got to be two different planes, surely ? The serial numbers should prove it one way or the other, N844AA is 20985.
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Old 11th Jul 2003, 16:22
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Anoraks

It strikes me that this story has reached beyond the bounds of credibility aptly demonstrated by the various security services reports of WMD and their endemic concern for any security incidents that can be spun, as if they have nothing else to do.

What it proves to me is that there are vast numbers of closet anoraks as displayed by the massive world media interest on an incident that is blown out of all proportion.
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