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Was Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hacked?
WTOP.com ^ | 3/14/2014, 1:53pm | J.J. Green

Posted on 03/16/2014 10:39:33 PM PDT by RC one

WASHINGTON -- Evidence is surfacing that system failure in the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have caused the plane's disappearance and investigators are wondering if foul play may have been involved.

Reports that two key communication and location systems on the Boeing 777 reportedly shutdown sequentially, while the plane continued to fly for hours, has granted credence to the possibility the plane's systems could have been physically sabotaged or electronically compromised.

WTOP has learned that Boeing had been concerned about the possibility the plane's systems could be hacked and had previously contacted the Federal Aviation Administration.

On August 21, 2012, Boeing applied for permission to change the equipment to be installed as part of an onboard data network system upgrade on the 777 series of planes.

According to information listed in the Federal Register the existing "data network and design integration may result in security vulnerabilities from intentional or unintentional corruption of data and systems critical to the safety and maintenance of the airplane."

The bottom line, according to language in the Federal Register, "The integrated network configurations in the Boeing Model 777-200, -300, and -300ER series airplanes may enable increased connectivity with external network sources and will have more interconnected networks and systems, such as passenger entertainment and information services than previous airplane models. This may enable the exploitation of network security vulnerabilities and increased risks potentially resulting in unsafe conditions for the airplanes and occupants."

Boeing appeared to worry that USB connection points on the seatbacks in some of the 777 airplanes could be vulnerable, considering the interconnectivity.

There was also concern that unauthorized access to the plane in the maintenance stage could cause damage.

In November 2013, special conditions were approved allowing Boeing to make changes on the 777 planes.

The plausibility of hacking into an airplane while in flight was presented as a reality in April 2013, by Spanish researcher Hugo Teso at a presentation during at the Hack-In-The-Box security summit in Amsterdam.

Teso ostensibly proved that using an Android smartphone and specific code, he could take control of aircraft flight and communication.

He claimed he could use his "attack code" called SIMON and an Android application called PlaneSploit to take full control of not only the systems on board the plane, but the pilot's display.

The FAA quickly responded saying it was not possible to fully take control of an aircraft, as had been alleged.

At the time, Teso outlined what he called vulnerabilities in the Automated Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) systems, saying of the aviation industry in general, they are not ready to face this kind of attack.

ADB-S and ACAR are among systems on the plane that authorities have acknowledged were possibly compromised in some way.

As investigators have worked their way through the broad range of theories regarding what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian authorities are looking closely at sabotage as a possible cause.


TOPICS: Conspiracy
KEYWORDS: iran; malaysia; mh370; waronterror
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1 posted on 03/16/2014 10:39:33 PM PDT by RC one
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To: All

A couple questions for anyone who might know:

1. Can the ACARS system be shut off from within the cockpit? Or does someone have to physically leave(be outside) the cockpit in order to deactivate it?

2. Once the ACARS system is turned off, can it be seen as turned off from within the cockpit? In other words, is there a display in the cockpit that shows whether or not the ACARS system is active or not?


2 posted on 03/16/2014 10:56:48 PM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: RC one

9M-MRO was a 200ER, which is not listed.

So the paper does not apply in this case.


3 posted on 03/16/2014 10:58:00 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: RC one

Nope.


4 posted on 03/16/2014 11:00:05 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: fiftymegaton

Not totally.

In the cockpit you can turn off the VHF, HF, and SATCOM links that ACARS uses to send data.

Effectively, that stops the reports.


5 posted on 03/16/2014 11:00:42 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: RC one
Boeing appeared to worry that USB connection points on the seatbacks in some of the 777 airplanes could be vulnerable, considering the interconnectivity.

Why would Boeing put USB ports on the backs of passenger seats that could interconnect to the Flight systems?

That is insane.

Is putting a 5 pound server on the plane going to cost them that much per year in fuel that they can’t justify the cost?

Why do customers need USB ports anyway other than charging their phones? WiFi seems like a better idea anyway. But of course keep your flight systems off the WiFi network.

6 posted on 03/16/2014 11:03:40 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: RC one
System failure, my ass. Does anyone remember the Carter days and the hostages? I think Iran is behind this. They hijacked the aircraft, killed the pilot, and flew to Iran. Everyone knows Obama will be worse than Carter and probably get all the hostages killed. Since the majority of the passengers were Chinese, the Chinese leaders will use this to turn the general population against America.
Let's see how many red lines Oblowme draws.
7 posted on 03/16/2014 11:07:44 PM PDT by Nitehawk0325 (Liberal democrats have the ability to screw us over a number of times for the same thing.)
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To: ltc8k6

But the VHF or HF is needed for verbal communication with the ATC tower, is that correct?


8 posted on 03/16/2014 11:14:50 PM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: fiftymegaton

You tell the ACARS system not to use them.

That would be more accurate.


9 posted on 03/16/2014 11:19:31 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: ltc8k6

What I’m hung up on is that the ACARS system was turned off while still over land in Malaysia, before the pilot(copilot or hijacker) acknowledged ATC verbally before entering Vietnamese airspace.

Some basic information that I would find helpful, would be if they would allow some friends of the pilot and copilot to listen to the acknowledgment to ATC, in order to potentially confirm who was at the controls at that time.


10 posted on 03/16/2014 11:25:57 PM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: fiftymegaton

I believe I read somewhere that it was the pilot, but I can’t find where I read that, so take it with a grain of salt.


11 posted on 03/16/2014 11:49:28 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: RC one

If they have been hacked then the days of commercial aviation are over.


12 posted on 03/17/2014 12:15:23 AM PDT by NoLibZone (The bad news: Hillary Clinton will be the next President. The Good news: Our principles are intact.)
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To: ltc8k6
"In the cockpit you can turn off the VHF, HF, and SATCOM links that ACARS uses to send data.

Effectively, that stops the reports."

Amazing that this can be done in a post 9/11 world.

I must be made head of world wide aviation.

simple child like capabiklity to prevent the tracking of aircraft, so it never happens again.

13 posted on 03/17/2014 12:18:50 AM PDT by NoLibZone (The bad news: Hillary Clinton will be the next President. The Good news: Our principles are intact.)
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To: fiftymegaton
What I’m hung up on is that the ACARS system was turned off while still over land in Malaysia, before the pilot(copilot or hijacker) acknowledged ATC verbally before entering Vietnamese airspace.

What I have read is that this was possibly intended to buy time...because they were in between air spaces, apparently, before things got more suspicious. Some aviation forums I was reading the other night...

14 posted on 03/17/2014 12:58:36 AM PDT by MarMema ("If Americans really wanted Obamacare, you wouldn't need a law to make them buy it." Ted Cruz)
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To: fiftymegaton
I read that it could be turned off from the cockpit via breakers and that there would be an orange warning light that would come on if you did this. I think we have to consider the possibility of electronic warfare involvement of one or more varieties. A plane can be made invisible to radar. Radio signals can be blocked. Transponders can be copied and resent from different locations and pretty much anything with a computer can be hacked at some level. I think we can conclude that there was either something very important to someone on that plane or the plane itself was stolen in order to be refitted as a weapon against the US. these are the two basic theories that I am stuck on. There were US DOD employees on the plane. there were Iranians on the plane. There were Chinese tech specialists on the plane who worked for companies known to have hacked things like Google. Nothing about this dispearance screams low tech IMO.
15 posted on 03/17/2014 1:33:13 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: RC one

16 posted on 03/17/2014 1:38:13 AM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: NoLibZone

IF....if indeed terrorist no matter their origin can hack any modern jet was possible I honestly believe it will first off be an all out campaign to knock the rumor down, at any cost, even if it means pulling the plug on the internet. NSA, CIA, any of the agencies will NOT want that rumor to expand.

Seriously, if the public became aware it was even possible there would be a mass panic of flyers, people would refuse to fly unless in a Cessna 150.

Lets assume for a moment it could happen, think of the repercussions to the airline industry, also think of this event as being a “trial run” successful or not, if it was then its already successful.

This all out terrorism, creating fear, fear of attacking Moslems worldwide, because now they have the means and ways to indiscriminately just yank a plane out of the sky, kill all or most on board and then crash it, without even being aboard.


17 posted on 03/17/2014 2:04:45 AM PDT by Spartan302
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To: fiftymegaton
But the VHF or HF is needed for verbal communication with the ATC tower, is that correct?

I was a USAF air traffic controller for 20 years. Towers only control the airport, to about 10 miles. Beyond that, to about 40 to 50 miles, the terminal radar control facility (TRACON, USAF-RAPCON) controls the aircraft. Beyond that, enroute facilities take over. VHF/UHF radios are used. In the past, I believe HF was used over water, but I would suspect that is a thing of the past, with today's sophisticated communications capabilities. Aircraft do not communicate with towers, except within the airport traffic area (10 or so miles) I hope that helps a little.

18 posted on 03/17/2014 2:09:16 AM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: RC one

No.


19 posted on 03/17/2014 2:22:30 AM PDT by Tzfat
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To: RC one

What about all the passenger’s cell phones? So many questions.


20 posted on 03/17/2014 2:27:27 AM PDT by MrMarbles
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To: Tzfat

this was the work of a government with immense technical resources. Hacking planes falls into the realm of possible.


21 posted on 03/17/2014 2:30:04 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: RC one

If they have been hacked then the days of commercial aviation are over.


22 posted on 03/17/2014 2:38:30 AM PDT by NoLibZone (The bad news: Hillary Clinton will be the next President. The Good news: Our principles are intact.)
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To: NoLibZone

I don’t know if it was hacked but I would bet money that it was hackable and I would bet money that this is the work of a government and that Electronic Warfare was used.


23 posted on 03/17/2014 2:40:44 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: NoLibZone

Kinda makes me go hmmmm...

Russians claimed recently they brought down a US drone by remotely overwhelming it and then controlling it.
If thats possible then the Chinese could as well.


24 posted on 03/17/2014 2:41:24 AM PDT by Spartan302
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To: RC one
“There were Chinese tech specialists on the plane who worked for companies known to have hacked things like Google.”

As long as we're all allowed to speculate, does Iran need specific expertise to help them get beyond the software viruses that have plagued their nuclear program? Or was there expertise on that plane that could help them with missile guidance systems?

25 posted on 03/17/2014 2:54:08 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Mark17

I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info.

I imagine military aircraft rely more on VHF than on transponders relaying their position.

So when the media reports that the pilot’s last communication was with Air Traffic Control, it may not have been with the nearest airport’s tower(likely was not), but may have been with the nearest Enroute Facility or TRACON facility. Or however they might name such similar facilities in that part of the world.


26 posted on 03/17/2014 3:10:43 AM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
What is obvious at this point is that one of the largest conspiracies of all times has just been pulled off by someone so, in trying to understand it, we should approach it as a conspiracy. Yeah it's tin foil hat time but, here we are with a missing 777 and 239 missing people some of whom seem like characters right out of a Tom Clancy novel.

The way I see it, there are three likely possibilities. There was something or someone on that plane that A.) at all costs, could not be allowed to land in Beijing or b.) that, at all costs, needed to be secured by Beijing. Less likely, though certainly equally worthy of consideration, is C.) a government or organization that needed to secure a Boeing 777 by theft in order to use it later to infiltrate someone's airspace, most likely US airspace, with some kind of a weapon, a weapon big and bad enough to justify a conspiracy of this magnitude.

27 posted on 03/17/2014 3:22:03 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: RC one

I keep thinking Iran needed techs for its nuclear ambitions, because what few they had met a sudden termination.

If they cannot get them willingly then just capture a whole herd of them.

Whatever its takes to eradicate Israel. I would believe the pilot was under duress or offered a large sum to deliver his human cargo of tech experts to Iran, does anyone know WHERE his family is, are they hostages?


28 posted on 03/17/2014 3:26:40 AM PDT by Spartan302
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To: Spartan302

Iran absolutely has the motive but do they have the technological savvy to steal a Boeing 777 out of Chinese airspace? Who else has a motive to steal American technology? China. They have been doing it for decades and it was their airspace and they have the electronic warfare capability to pull something like this off and if we figured out what they were up too before they pulled it off, we have the technological and military capability to stop them.


29 posted on 03/17/2014 3:31:29 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: MrMarbles

cell phone signals can easily be jammed. We do it all the time.


30 posted on 03/17/2014 3:42:33 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: RC one

China wouldn’t have to steal a 777 and potentially provoke a massive international crisis in order to attain whatever knowledge/technology they ‘may’ have been seeking. Not to mention potentially provoke massive unrest inside China should the operation go badly and it became known the govt willingly/knowingly participated in the ‘disappearance’ of some 152 of it’s own citizens.

And from what I’ve read the plane wasn’t tracked in Chinese airspace. Civilian contact was lost between Malaysia and Vietnam, while military radar contact was lost somewhere just North of Indonesia. The plane POTENTIALLY COULD have traveled as far North into Chinese airspace, but that’s not determinable at this time.

I’m realizing I may have asked my earlier question on the wrong thread.


31 posted on 03/17/2014 3:48:35 AM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: Mark17
Take a look at the flight path once he turned off his transponder through the 4 hours after "ping" from the satellite, in reference to a high altitude flight chart around LANGKAWI (and look northwest for "P628" Jet Route heading Northwest.
Once you compare the IFR HI Chart to their flight path, it makes sense.

What do you think of this?
It looks like an overall summary of what's been discussed here at Free Republic dot com.

But what is of use to me is this statement towards the end of his article. Now take that information and the arc ping map (important to view this map at this link for more details) along with the jet route map, and you can find possible links.
We find BISHKEK MANAS, Kyrgyzstan and Manas has a 13,800-foot long runway, built for Soviet bombers. That leads to some interesting possibilities.
32 posted on 03/17/2014 3:49:41 AM PDT by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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To: NoLibZone

Well, pretty much everything on the plane will need to at least have a circuit breaker in case of electrical problems.

They are not going to put anything electrical on the plane that cannot be shut off.

Now, what they could do is add one or two ways to contact the outside world from the cabin, so that the flight attendants or passengers could make a distress call. Make it so this could be shut off if necessary, but not from the cockpit.

Keep it as separate from the cockpit as it can be made.


33 posted on 03/17/2014 3:55:35 AM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: fiftymegaton

Something on that particular Boeing 777 was more important than the lives of 239 people and it’s final destination was to be Beijing China. Do the math.


34 posted on 03/17/2014 3:56:29 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: RC one

If the reports of the tracking systems shutdown occuring before handoff to VN air space are true, how was the handoff even completed? Would ATC have some idea/indication that the tracking systems were off line?


35 posted on 03/17/2014 4:11:03 AM PDT by CPONuke
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To: RC one

I’ll do the math as I see it. Any cargo or personnel that China wished to steal/abduct from the plane could’ve been stolen/abducted once the plane landed in Beijing as normal. With MUCH less international attention, not to mention it would’ve been MUCH easier to pull off, and it would’ve been MUCH more of a reliable operation once the plane was already on the ground in Beijing.


36 posted on 03/17/2014 4:16:39 AM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: CPONuke
It remains unclear, however, whether Vietnamese air traffic controllers had any contact with the plane during the handoff, Quest said. dated 3/15/14
37 posted on 03/17/2014 4:24:40 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: CPONuke

There were two tracking systems that were shutdown. The ACARS system was shutdown while still over Malaysia, however, the plane’s transponder apparently wasn’t shutoff until right before or right after the ‘handoff’ was made between the Malaysians and Vietnamese.

The pilot was made aware by people on the ground that he was about to enter Vietnamese airspace, he acknowledged and said, ‘All right, good night’ or ‘All right, roger that’(depending on which version is true). Very soon after his acknowledgement the transponder was turned off.

From what I gather, because the plane was right in between the two countries airspace, it allowed the plane a few minutes to make a drastic route change to the west-southwest. And also from what I gather by the time the ground people thought there might be in issue the plane was already many miles away in a different direction.


38 posted on 03/17/2014 4:25:57 AM PDT by fiftymegaton (God Bless and Protect America)
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To: fiftymegaton
maybe, maybe not. And then again, maybe someone really really didn't want whatever was on that plane from landing in Beijing. It all kind of comes back to just who or what in the F was on that plane? I also can't discount the possibility that terrorists took it to use it as a weapon later, the pilot was allegedly a radical of some sort, but that still seems like a lot of work and risk just to acquire a plane. Seems like there would be an easier way.
39 posted on 03/17/2014 4:42:05 AM PDT by RC one (Militarized law enforcement is just a nice way of saying martial law enforcement.)
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To: fiftymegaton

There is only one question. Can pilots actually manually fly a plane anymore? The answer is it seems unlikely.


40 posted on 03/17/2014 6:05:56 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: RC one

Read this link

http://keithledgerwood.tumblr.com/post/79838944823/did-malaysian-airlines-370-disappear-using-sia68


41 posted on 03/17/2014 7:14:13 AM PDT by ncfool (Taking back America 2016.)
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To: Mark17

Mark17, thank you for your service.

We still use HF over water. For example, I can go any where in the Caribbean on VHF, but I have to us HF to Bermuda.


42 posted on 03/17/2014 8:43:22 AM PDT by CFIIIMEIATP737
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
I had a thought similar to yours. What if someone or some country needed to learn the technology included in that plane? If they'd been studying its potential, they might've been to the point where they could hack its systems.

And I for one am going to applaud wild speculation. This whole situation is way out of the ordinary, and using it as an opportunity to explore what is and is not possible is healthy brainstorming.

43 posted on 03/17/2014 8:52:53 AM PDT by grania
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To: CFIIIMEIATP737
Read the link in post#41.. I think he may be on to something.
We used the technique in the Navy. I have snuck up on more then one commercial airliner that way
44 posted on 03/17/2014 9:19:04 AM PDT by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: RC one
Here's an interesting theory, claiming that the flight could have flown in the shadow of another 777 and made it to central asia undetected.

Did Malaysian Airlines 370 disappear using SIA68/SQ68 (another 777)?

This one is worthy of a James Bond movie. I don't subscribe to any specific theory, by the way, just enjoying reading them and waiting to find out which one was closest to the truth. It's a great world-wide mystery. I just wish we could find out already.

45 posted on 03/17/2014 9:39:58 AM PDT by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: ncfool

Oh man, you beat me to it!


46 posted on 03/17/2014 10:11:07 AM PDT by Defiant (Let the Tea Party win, and we will declare peace on the American people and go home.)
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To: fiftymegaton
So when the media reports that the pilot’s last communication was with Air Traffic Control, it may not have been with the nearest airport’s tower(likely was not), but may have been with the nearest Enroute Facility or TRACON facility. Or however they might name such similar facilities in that part of the world.

Affirmative sir. When I was in Travis AFB Tower, we simulcasted on both VHF/UHF frequencies for ground control and tower control. You can google the frequencies. They have not changed since I retired in 1987.

47 posted on 03/17/2014 5:36:15 PM PDT by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: Resolute Conservative
manually fly a plane anymore?

How one could get good at that is with endless hours of simulator time.

HF

48 posted on 03/18/2014 6:14:38 AM PDT by holden
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To: holden

So by that logic I should be able to play pro football since I have an xBox.


49 posted on 03/18/2014 6:21:13 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Resolute Conservative
I'm a flight instructor, have been trained on most commercial 6DOF sims, sat on the FAA committee to certify sims, and seen many a good virtual pilot, who acquired his skill on something similar to Shah's home brew sim. I've also checked out and biennialed big rig pilots that had lost a lot of their manual flying skills.

I've not seen it done on an X-Box, but oh, yeah, that was your inexperienced, extrapolated non sequitur.

HF

50 posted on 03/18/2014 6:45:27 AM PDT by holden
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