Stolen aircraft at Seattle Airport

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  philsquares 13 Aug 2018
at 05:26
.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Very bizarre story this morning which I’ve watched unfold on Twitter

    Airplane taken from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has crashed

    “Officials said a 29-year-old mechanic took off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and crashed in Pierce County. “It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie,” a witness said. “The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low.”

    A Horizon Q400 made an unauthorized takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday night and crashed in the south Puget Sound, according to Alaska Airlines. Other flights were temporarily grounded.

    The plane was piloted by a 29-year-old Pierce County man and crashed on Ketron Island, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said. There were no other passengers on the plane.”

    Very sad for his family…. No idea if those cabin transcripts are true, but sounds real…


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Quite tragic in a way. He was obviously mentally unbalanced and from the sounds of it knew he was going to crash.
    Fortunately no one else was on board or killed on the ground but had he done this over a major city does not bear thinking about.

    It does beg a larger question, and that is, should all employees responsible for maintenance, handling etc, or who could have access to a plane, be physiologically tested on a regular basis? Or is this using a sledgehammer to crack a nut?


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    It seems it is a suicide. That said, it questions the security…


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I sometimes watch a US programme, Aeroplane Repo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airplane_Repo about pilots who take back possession of leased aircraft where the owners haven’t paid..

    There are many episodes showing how the pilots find an aircraft (from Cessna to large jets) and manage to take it, sometimes from right under the noses of the owners and at all sorts of busy airports.

    Hate to say it, but nothing in the USA surprises me (even though is saddens me greatly)…


    nevereconomy
    Participant

    From many hours spent waiting in US airports and watching what goes on my experience has been that, for all the fanfare, security airside is often very sloppy – doors left open, backs turned, chatting and not paying attention. I have been on a plane where someone boarded by sneaking out of the bus loading doors and running across the tarmac – fortunately they were caught before take-off but no re-screening of passengers took place. I am not at all surprised by the events in Seattle – I think that at most US airpots this might be possible.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Reading the reports on this incident over the weekend this is not just a case of a guy sneaking through an open door or running across the tarmac unnoticed, at some random quiet airport This guy managed single handedly, in an airline’s maintenance area..(and he wasn’t – according t the news outlets, working in maintenance).

    1. fuel up an aircraft

    2. manoeuvre it into position to taxi pre start up

    3. how on earth this guy knew how to start up the twin turbine, whether through the onboard power system or an APU. This in itself needs skill and an understanding of aircraft systems

    4. Taxing unnoticed through the 8th busiest airport in the USA

    5. accessing an active runway and managing to take off, in between all the other commercial flights waiting in line…

    ..and these are just layman’s questions..

    I think this is going to cause the biggest airside shake up in airport security the USA has ever seen, since 9/11.

    Admittedly, this incident is probably the first of its kind, but still…………….


    stevescoots
    Participant

    I sometimes watch a US programme, Aeroplane Repo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airplane_Repo about pilots who take back possession of leased aircraft where the owners haven’t paid..

    There are many episodes showing how the pilots find an aircraft (from Cessna to large jets) and manage to take it, sometimes from right under the noses of the owners and at all sorts of busy airports.

    Hate to say it, but nothing in the USA surprises me (even though is saddens me greatly)…

    watched it many times, its staggering how they get away with some….and how they dont get shot!


    philsquares
    Participant

    Martyn,

    You do realize the show is “staged”? It is not real, and if you read the disclaimer carefully, if you are an ultra-speed reader, you can see that fact broadcast.

    Secondly, your observations about the stolen aircraft are somewhat incorrect. First of all, the aircraft was not refueled. If you can listen to the tapes, you can hear him making a comment about the takeoff using substantially more fuel than expected. Also, he seems to think he ran out of fuel on one engine just prior to the impact.

    You state he taxied unnoticed. He did not. Tower made several attempts to get the “unidentified aircraft” to reply with a callsign. He never responded. In addition, SEA has two parallel runways and at that time of day, the traffic is fairly light. So anyone with a good set of eyeballs could spot any traffic.

    Shakeup???? I don’t think it will even result in a ripple. Every person hired now is screened. He had the proper credentials and had access to the ramp. Short of keeping everyone on a leash, realistically there isn’t much which could be done.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    but Phil…. he managed to do it… and the airport couldn’t stop him…!!


    philsquares
    Participant

    but Phil…. he managed to do it… and the airport couldn’t stop him…!!

    What would you expect them to do? That is the problem. ATC is not sure it is an aircraft that is NORDO, are there pax onboard. I am not a big believer of “fire, ready, aim” types of action.

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