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Unidentified aircraft encounters

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Unidentified aircraft encounters

Old 21st Jun 2019, 21:23
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Question Unidentified aircraft encounters

Question for the Network -- If you encounter an unidentified aircraft flying in commercial airspace with its transponders off, what do you do?
Reason for asking -- I am a former aviation professional now working as an adjunct professor at a snotty Ivy League school (in New Haven, if you must know...). I am writing a research paper on (thus far, hypothetical) covert efforts to engineer the climate and whether the world at large could detect them. Such climate engineering would be implemented by as yet non-existent high altitude crop dusters -- 737-sized aircraft flying up through commercial airspace on their way to the lower stratosphere. If they wanted to operate covertly, they would fly with transponders off without interact with ATC (I know this sounds crazy, but bear with me...). The question is -- if you were cruising over international waters at FL 360 or whatever and encountered such a bird, besides avoiding it, what would you do? Would you report it to your ops control center? Or somehow warn other aircraft in the area? Would you report it to any national authority? Or to ICAO? Or post something about it on this network? Is there some SOP that dictates your response, or would you simply avoid it and fly on? What I am really after is -- if lots of pilots had such encounters, would the world somehow be put on notice about such aircraft, or might it remain a secret?
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 00:17
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You should talk to these guys.

Parenthetically, do you guys in the Ivy League get the special palladium-coated tinfoil for your hats?
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 10:17
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" If you encounter an unidentified aircraft flying in commercial airspace with its transponders off, what do you do?"
What airspace class? A to G? I assume commercial airspace means outside of military restricted areas. In what national jurisdiction?
Your post doesn't look like it came from someone who'd considered the subject, and had internet access.
ATC reporting an echo, primary only, in Class G UK Airspace is not unusual. I don't think they do anything other than alert aircraft who might encounter it.
Gliders have a very low carbon footprint. Two seat gliders produce twice as much CO2 as single seaters, but no more than the occupants would be producing if seated on the ground, and much less than if they were walking.
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 11:36
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An Ivy League Professor writing a 'research paper' on a sci-fi novel themed covert climate control scam? You can't 'research' that, you can only invent it.

Sounds more like someone from Chemtrails on a fishing expedition to me.
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 11:41
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I wonder what those Project Loon balloons over Colorado are really doing?
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 14:05
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
An Ivy League Professor writing a 'research paper' on a sci-fi novel themed covert climate control scam? You can't 'research' that, you can only invent it.

Sounds more like someone from Chemtrails on a fishing expedition to me.
Thus my somewhat glib response...
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 15:32
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 16:27
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As a former aviation professional perhaps you could just write a summary definition of the term "commercial airspace", with links to the relevant national regulations and international treaties that govern it. Please also discuss the legal and physical consequences of fructode flutter in mignatron-based altometers when used in such commercial airspace without an extant NDA. No more than 300 words, no conferring, no calculators. You may use a penknife, but only to slash your own wrists when the magnitude of your idiocy dawns on you.

PDR
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Old 22nd Jun 2019, 17:08
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
As a former aviation professional perhaps you could just write a summary definition of the term "commercial airspace", with links to the relevant national regulations and international treaties that govern it. Please also discuss the legal and physical consequences of fructode flutter in mignatron-based altometers when used in such commercial airspace without an extant NDA. No more than 300 words, no conferring, no calculators. You may use a penknife, but only to slash your own wrists when the magnitude of your idiocy dawns on you.

PDR
OR
write your name in block letters, not joined up.
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Old 23rd Jun 2019, 18:39
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A serious answer is to contact the FAA. Commercial traffic is unlikely to visually see aircraft not on their TCAS. Ground based Primary radar will show, and Secondary radar will confirm not transponding.
FAA might have a statistic. Freedom of Information Act?
US military are also, probably more, likely to know.
Your local Senator or Representative might ask for you.
After reading that the UK University of South Wales had payed Masters students £2,000 compensation after a lecturer messed up a course I am willing to believe your position statement.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 01:37
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Chemtrails.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 07:45
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Pilots are little gossips. If something unusual was up there they would ask ATC about it and report back if anything didn’t add up. To go unnoticed you would either have to be a very long way from commercial pilots or appear so normal (commercial airliner in normal colours with a sensible flight plan operating in a straight line) that nobody would bat an eyelid.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 21:05
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No -- not a chemtrailer conspiracist, though I don't blame you for guessing that. I am actually trying to debunk such rumors rather than promulgate them. My inquiry is genuine, though as you can tell, from a non-pilot.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 21:30
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Thanks Maoraigh1 for the serious answer. I'll contact the FAA.
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Old 25th Jun 2019, 21:31
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Originally Posted by Dan Dare View Post
Pilots are little gossips. If something unusual was up there they would ask ATC about it and report back if anything didnít add up. To go unnoticed you would either have to be a very long way from commercial pilots or appear so normal (commercial airliner in normal colours with a sensible flight plan operating in a straight line) that nobody would bat an eyelid.
That's what I had imagined. I can't believe that a long series of such random encounters would go unnoticed and unreported.
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 06:24
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Originally Posted by tailstriker View Post
No -- not a chemtrailer conspiracist, though I don't blame you for guessing that. I am actually trying to debunk such rumors rather than promulgate them. My inquiry is genuine, though as you can tell, from a non-pilot.
why start from scratch yourself when these guys have been doing it for years?
https://www.metabunk.org/forums/
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Old 26th Jun 2019, 07:46
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Didn't anyone encounter a certain 777 belonging to MAS and operating a commercial flight in commercial airspace a few years ago, with its transponder(s) switched off?
I think what happens is a matter of luck......
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