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Cessna pilot questioned after APEC airspace breach
Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) ^ | September 9, 2007 - 4:20PM | Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC)

Posted on 09/09/2007 12:16:40 AM PDT by newzjunkey

The pilot behind a security scare in Sydney airspace this afternoon is being questioned by authorities.

A small Cessna aircraft had to be escorted by two F/A-18 Defence fighter jets into Sydney's Bankstown Airport, after failing to respond in restricted APEC airspace above Sydney.

A witness has told commercial radio the fighter jets fired flares at the plane.

He says shortly before 3:00pm AEST he saw the plane enter restricted airspace over the western suburb of Penrith before flares were fired at it by two F/A-18 jets.

"This light plane came over in restricted airspace because of APEC and these two fighter jets come out in the middle of nowhere and were firing flares at it," the witness said.

"Right over the top of Penrith, it was amazing. I've never seen anything like it."

The Cessna had just left Bankstown and was heading to Bathurst in the state's central west.

Residential care worker Gary Evans, who saw the whole thing above his workplace, says he saw the jet and the Cessna.

"He was flying his F/A-18 as slow as he could go, as I said almost standing on his tail a few times with his nose right up in the air and wagging his wings and rolling his plane from side to side, just to the right of this small aircraft," he said.

A spokeswoman for Bankstown Airport says the Cessna pilot is being questioned by NSW police.

The Defence Department has made no immediate comment on the incident.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Breaking News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: apec; apecsummit; sydney
Seems like it was just accidental.

A friend of mine was a witness but did not see the flares.

1 posted on 09/09/2007 12:16:42 AM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: newzjunkey
A witness has told commercial radio the fighter jets fired flares at the plane.

They dropped flares while flying near the Cessna which was in restricted airspace. Flares were not "fired at the plane".

2 posted on 09/09/2007 12:42:05 AM PDT by SIDENET (Inventor of the 12-hour "power nap".)
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To: newzjunkey
"This light plane came over in restricted airspace because of APEC and these two fighter jets come out in the middle of nowhere and were firing flares at it," the witness said.

LOL. It's pretty hard to miss an F-18, flying at near stall speed with it's nose way up, ejecting flairs to get your attention. The pilot must have been smoking some good dope....;)

3 posted on 09/09/2007 1:31:54 AM PDT by ScreamingFist (Annihilation - The result of underestimating your enemies. NRA)
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To: SIDENET; ScreamingFist

LOL! My first thought was “let’s rewrite this to what it would be if the witness/reporter had a clue” but I see that it’s already been done. :-)


4 posted on 09/09/2007 2:13:25 AM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: newzjunkey

It will take the dry cleaner weeks to get the pilots pants back to what they were...


5 posted on 09/09/2007 2:15:14 AM PDT by Aussie Dasher (The Great Ronald Reagan & John Paul II - Heaven's Dream Team!)
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To: newzjunkey; Tijeras_Slim; FireTrack; Pukin Dog; citabria; B Knotts; kilowhskey; cyphergirl; ...

6 posted on 09/09/2007 2:30:38 AM PDT by Aeronaut (Hebrews 13:4)
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To: newzjunkey
I bet that fella in the Cessna just about messed his pants when he finally noticed his fighter “escort”. I’m afraid I would have been lookin’ for my parachute!

Surely, it was a mistake. I can’t imagine anyone, intentionally, matching a Cessna against modern fighter jets! But, on the other hand, there are nutters out there that will try anything!

7 posted on 09/09/2007 2:38:27 AM PDT by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.....for without victory there is no survival." Winston Churchill)
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To: singfreedom

Remember the nutter that flew a small plane into the White House or the kid in Floriduh (Tampa?) who flew into a building. There was also the moron who flew his plane into his ex-wife’s house.


8 posted on 09/09/2007 5:32:29 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake but Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: SIDENET

I had the same comment. The media are such morons.


9 posted on 09/09/2007 6:32:45 AM PDT by Doctor Raoul
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To: SIDENET
Flares were not "fired at the plane".

Can't argue with that. But I think it more likely that somebody in the public has mistaken TRACERS for flares.

What could that do? If the F-18 itself isn't enough to get your attention, is a pilot going to fly slow and open and put the target into his own 6 O'clock to drop a flare that can be seen? I don't think so. Tracers across the nose is the universal "Hey! Look over here!" signal.

10 posted on 09/09/2007 7:12:58 AM PDT by kAcknor (Don't flatter yourself.... It is a gun in my pocket.)
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To: newzjunkey

What’s the U.S. counterpart to “ADEC” airspace? Is this like entering Class B without permission or is it more like an ADIZ?


11 posted on 09/09/2007 7:59:44 AM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: Turbopilot

I think the APEC is the conference that’s being held down there right now? The restricted airspace was probably a temporary no-fly zone due to all the bigwigs in town. The FAA’s got an acronym for it (don’t they always?) but I forget what it is. It is, in effect, the same thing as entering an ADIZ. Remember the poor saps that strayed their C150 into the Washington ADIZ a couple years back and caused no end of media hyperventilation?

}:-)4


12 posted on 09/09/2007 9:59:21 AM PDT by Moose4 (I'm not white trash. I'm a Caucasian recyclable.)
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To: singfreedom
"...just about messed his pants when he finally noticed his fighter “escort”.

Reminds me of the time I was monitoring the Lake Tahoe airport tower frequency. A PSA airliner (Lockheed Electra) had just made a terrible landing in gusty wind conditions. The tower transmitted, "Captain, bet you guys want directions to the nearest laundry after that.

After a few moments the captain replied, "we talked it over and would like directions to the nearest clothing store, instead!" True Story.

13 posted on 09/09/2007 11:55:09 AM PDT by 386wt (Be free and don't die!)
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To: kAcknor
Idle question -- from one totally clueless about flying -- What should a pilot of a Cessna do if he sees he has such an F-18 escort? Follow him? Wiggle your wings? Bail out?
14 posted on 09/09/2007 12:09:46 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (The Greens steal in fear of pollution, The Reds in fear of greed; Fear arising from a lack of Faith.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
"What should a pilot...do..."

In the USA the FAA has a specific procedure that covers this. It involves communication, identification, and post intercept rules. You can do a web search under, "aviation intercept procedures". There probably is an international ruling also.

15 posted on 09/09/2007 12:23:22 PM PDT by 386wt (Be free and don't die!)
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To: Turbopilot
APEC. If you are a pilot, I can see why you thought it's something else. "APEC airspace" refers to the restricted area above the location is (I think was, by now) being held.

Check your NOTAM's people, and let's be careful up there. ;)

16 posted on 09/09/2007 1:07:46 PM PDT by 1rudeboy (Not a pilot.)
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To: ThePythonicCow

Call an aviation attorney.


17 posted on 09/09/2007 1:08:45 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: kAcknor
Over Sydney...and where do the rounds go, think collateral damage? He popped some flares that burn out quickly to get attention; not 20mm cannon rounds that go into tomorrow and wreak havoc.
18 posted on 09/09/2007 9:22:19 PM PDT by Atchafalaya
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
There was also the moron who flew his plane into his ex-wife’s house.

That was in Bedford, Indiana, and he had his 8-year-old daughter in the plane with him. The house he hit was actually that of his mother-in-law, the girl's grandmother.

The pilot had worked for the state for 20 years and managed more than 18,000 acres of forest as a property manager for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, whose Director under the Evan Bayh administration has his own interesting history.

19 posted on 09/10/2007 1:40:22 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: kAcknor
Can't argue with that. But I think it more likely that somebody in the public has mistaken TRACERS for flares.

I hope not. Even with TP-T ammo, I hate to think of how many rounds of 20mm would come a-cranking out of that M61A1 cannon in even a short burst. And what goes up, will come down somewheree, and Murphey gets to decide where.

What could that do? If the F-18 itself isn't enough to get your attention, is a pilot going to fly slow and open and put the target into his own 6 O'clock to drop a flare that can be seen? I don't think so. Tracers across the nose is the universal "Hey! Look over here!" signal.

I'd expect the '18 would have *no problem* making a bounce pass over the target plane, given the relative speeds of the a/c involved. And, keeping enough vertical seperation, it'd probably be more attention-getting to let fly with a string of downward-firing flares than a forward burst from the GAU-4....


20 posted on 09/10/2007 1:55:11 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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To: singfreedom
I bet that fella in the Cessna just about messed his pants when he finally noticed his fighter “escort”. I’m afraid I would have been lookin’ for my parachute!

Break right!

21 posted on 09/10/2007 1:55:54 PM PDT by archy (Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. [from Virgil's *Aeneid*.])
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