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Bombardier Q400 Stolen From Sea/Tac and Crashed in Pierce Co

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  • Wow. First missiles and now this... F-15s dispatched to intercept prior to it being crashed.

    https://komonews.com/news/local/stolen- ... ac-airport
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  • Just saw a brief blurb on the TV machine. They were showing an area of burning forest.

    They thought there were no passengers, but everything is still uncertain.
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  • Sounds like it was a depressed person looking for a way to die in spectacular fashion. The ATC audio is pretty sad. No indication that anyone else was killed.
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  • ATC audio can be found on this link. Sounds almost like a bipolar mania episode. So sad.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08- ... ghter-jets
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  • Yep, surprised he was able to take off safely with how busy sea-tac is.
    That’s also a fairly big plane to fly for a non-pilot.
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  • They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.
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  • Sports Hernia wrote:Yep, surprised he was able to take off safely with how busy sea-tac is.
    That’s also a fairly big plane to fly for a non-pilot.


    he flipped that thing upside down, then back again before skimming the lake and climbing. he had to be a pilot...
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  • Would somebody that wasn't a pilot even be able to start the thing?
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  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Sports Hernia wrote:Yep, surprised he was able to take off safely with how busy sea-tac is.
    That’s also a fairly big plane to fly for a non-pilot.


    he flipped that thing upside down, then back again before skimming the lake and climbing. he had to be a pilot...

    Fair point.
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  • getnasty wrote:Would somebody that wasn't a pilot even be able to start the thing?

    Don’t know, I never been in a cockpit of a commercial aircraft.
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  • Hard to say if the guy was a pilot or not. According to the reports, which may or may not be an accurate reflection of the truth, he was a mechanic, which would give him some measure of familiarity with the aircraft controls and instruments. In the ATC audio, you could tell he was struggling with control over the aircraft and in fact he nearly plunged it in to the sound at one point, managing to pull out of his dive within only a few hundred feet of the water.

    Getting a plane in the air is pretty easy to do. Put on the wheel brakes, flaps out, ramp up the thrust, then release the wheel brake. This plane in particular would be easy to take off due to prop wash over the wings. Q400s are frequently used at regional airports with short runways.

    I suspect they shot him down once his course turned away from populated areas, and the USAF would be absolutely within their rights to do so. We all know far too well the damage a plane crash can cause.
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  • Hmm. Plot thickens.

    I, too, find myself now wondering how a ground service agent would know how to secure the cabin, fire up the engines, reverse thrust, maneuver the aircraft away, and get it in the air.

    This stinks to high heaven.
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  • Lot's of info in this thread.





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  • I'm sure the procedure to fire it up can be researched easily enough, but I dunno. Still really suspicious.
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  • Wow, just unbelievable. As reckless and dangerous as this was, a part of me just feels really sorry for the guy. By the sound of the ATC dialogue, he seemed like he wasn't a bad guy at all, just got caught up with whatever mounting mental/emotional issues he was dealing with. It seems clear he wasn't wanting to cause harm to anyone but himself (and well that multi-million-dollar airplane). It will be very interesting to find out how he was able to pull it off.

    He made light of his experience (video games) but I have no doubt he knew enough about system procedures and flight experience to get the engines started, successfully takeoff and fly (even coordinated turns) for an hour. I have thousands of hours on flight simulators, some of which are extraordinarily sophisticated and realistic. I have no doubt I could at least start up, takeoff, fly and even land a full scale aircraft I had numerous hours on the flight simulator. I would bet money he too was similarly experienced with flight simulators.

    Barrel rolls, loops...Not to make light of what could have been a far worse outcome (innocent people being killed) but if that were me in that plane, for whatever reason, you had better believe I am doing some acrobatics before I leave the earth.
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  • To see what I mean, here's but just one example of how to perform the start up sequence for the Q400 for FSX (Microsoft's Flight Simulator)...Real pilots use this type of software to stay brushed up...

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  • 911 proved that you can learn to fly a commercial plane with simulators and computers and the internet, being a employee I would bet he had asked many questions and may have even had the chance to fly with some guys and observe. Who knows if he had taken classes earlier in life as well.
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  • chris98251 wrote:911 proved that you can learn to fly a commercial plane with simulators and computers and the internet, being a employee I would bet he had asked many questions and may have even had the chance to fly with some guys and observe. Who knows if he had taken classes earlier in life as well.


    I don't think 9/11 proved that whatsoever. The alleged hijackers were professionally trained. That said, we still haven't been given the full story on what truly happened that day.
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  • pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.
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  • OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.


    Not so sure that's true. Watch carefully at 0:13 in this video, in the lower-left hand corner. Looks like a missile was possibly fired at it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/us/s ... tolen.html
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  • I am doubtful it was a missile because at that point he was banking in towards land which could have caused a major catastrophe. I think in this case Occam's Razor applies. As he stated himself to ATC, he was shocked how quickly he was running out of fuel. He was down to 2,100 pounds (from over 30,000 at takeoff). This suggests the most likely event was that the plane simply ran out of fuel where he chose to nose-dive it (assumably since he was suicidal and probably feared spending much of his life in prison) into what appeared to be a dense, un-populated small island.

    From the ATC audio:

    “I think I’m going to land it,” he says later. “Like, uh, in a safe kind of manner. I think I’m going to try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good, I’m just going to go nose down and call it a night.”
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  • Identified:

    The Seattle Times has identified the Horizon employee as Richard Russell of Sumner, a quiet man who was well liked by coworkers. He was married, religious, and went by the nickname of “Beebo.”

    Russell had a blog as part of a college communications course where he states he was born in Key West, Florida and moved to Wasilla, Alaska when he was seven. He met his wife in Oregon in 2010. The couple ran a bakery for a time before moving to Sumner. The Bakery was featured in an article in Coos Bay’s The World newspaper.

    The blog, last updated in 2017, features photos from his travels and a video about his work as a baggage handler at Sea-Tac. It also includes audio clips of interviews with fellow ground service agents, or merely just sounds of aircraft. He states that he went to work for Horizon because it allowed him to fly to Alaska and visit family.

    Gary Beck, CEO of Horizon Air said questions remain as to how Russell was able to fly the plane from Sea-Tac in the first place. A Horizon twin propeller aircraft, such as the one that was stolen, is a turboprop airplane used for short trips in the Northwest, such as from Seattle to Spokane or Oregon. It seats about 76 passengers, and cruises at 414 mph. It is nearly 108 feet long with a 93 foot wingspan.

    “Commercial aircraft are complex machines, they are not as easy to fly as say a Cessna 150,” Beck said. “So I don’t know how he achieved the experience that he did.”

    Tildon also provided more details about Russell, and said he was vetted for security. Russell worked as a ground service agent, which does everything from de-ice airplanes to handling baggage and guiding planes on the runway. He worked for the company since February 2015. The Times reports that Russell worked on a tow team, which moves planes in and out of the runway. A tow team has two members — one that drives a tow truck, and another in the cockpit of the airplane who communicates with the tower. That person can operate the plane’s brakes.

    “There was a couple different criminal background checks we run on our employees, he had a CETA badge with the Port of Seattle, so that’s another,” Tildon said. “He worked his shift yesterday, we believe he was in uniform. His job is to be around airplanes. He was tow certified. Airports have a non-secure side and a secure side; he’s meant to be on the secure side. That’s part of the fulfillment of his job responsibilities.”

    Audio recordings from the air traffic control tower at Sea-Tac feature the conversation between the tower and the man in the airplane, referred to as “Rich.” Pilots in the tower attempted to instruct the man how to operate the airplane and use the instruments in the cockpit.

    “Alright Rich, congratulations, you did that,” an air traffic controller can be heard on the recording. “Now let’s turn and land that airplane safely and not hurt anybody on the ground”

    “Alright,” the man in the airplane responds. “Ah damn it, I don’t know, man. I don’t know! I don’t want to. I was hoping that was going to be it, ya know.”

    “I just kind of want to do a couple maneuvers and see what it can do, before I put her down, ya know,” he says.

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    The man later said he felt light headed and dizzy and that he threw up a little bit. He apologized for the trouble and hoped it didn’t ruin the controller’s day. He also said that he didn’t have enough fuel. He mentions that he didn’t know how to “land it” and that he didn’t initially plan to. He does say that flying the plane was “a blast” and that he played video games before, so he had an idea of how to fly it.

    “I got a lot of people that care about me,” he said on the recording. “And, uh, it’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this. I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy. Got a few screws loose, I guess. Never really knew it until now.”

    At other portions of the recording the man notes he can see the Olympic Mountains and comments on how beautiful they are. The air traffic controller asks him to turn the plane around because if he goes too far, he won’t be able to keep talking with him. The man in the airplane then asks, “Hey pilot guy, can this thing do, uh, back flip thing?”

    “I think I’m going to land it,” he says later. “Like, uh, in a safe kind of manner. I think I’m going to try to do a barrel roll and if that goes good, I’m just going to go nose down and call it a night.”

    The man frequently said he wanted to do a barrel roll and the tower encouraged him to make a turn instead.

    KIRO 7’s Gary Horcher spoke with Sea-Tac employees who described Rich as “super normal” and nice. They said he didn’t show any signs he would steal an airplane like this.
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  • Having worked for Horizon for 18 years (retired in Oct 2017) I can see how something like this could happen, ground service knows what to do to untether the aircraft, mechanics routinely do high speed taxi's (I used to ride along sometimes) engine runs, prop balancing, so the knowledge on how to start it could be learned very easily just bullshitting in the smoking section with other mechanics or mechanics that are friends of yours, I am shocked he snuck thru SEATAC ATC, thats the real head scratcher here. Terrible day for my company, absolutely terrible. We do have a lot of ground service agents who go on to become pilots and the reason why is their foot is already in the door with the company, I would say over the years I have seen about 30 ground service agents become pilots.
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  • SmokinHawk wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.


    Not so sure that's true. Watch carefully at 0:13 in this video, in the lower-left hand corner. Looks like a missile was possibly fired at it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/us/s ... tolen.html


    I see what your seeing at 13 seconds, but the Aim 9 or AMRAM usually leave quite a trail behind them, and I promise you if they wanted to hit him there is no possibility they would miss, the only thing I could think of that might look like that is a rocket, which there is no possible way they would fire an unguided rocket, and in addition to working for Horizon, I worked weapons on the F-16 for 4 years in the air force. And in all my years working right next to the guard base at pdx I never saw there f15s with rockets loaded. strictly Air to Air Configurations.

    *Edit* I suppose it could be the 20mm gun, but those fire a burst that is probably 50 rounds at a time (just guessing) but I also know about every 5th round is a tracer round, I don't think it is possible to just squeeze off 1 and again if you wanted to bring that plane down you would have fired a burst, a very big one I would guess.
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  • I was at Pearl Jam at Safeco. About an hour AFTER it crashed, me and the person next to me saw (it was dark) lights of 6 small aircraft moving VERY FAST traveling South as we looked due West towards Alki (West Seattle).
    More military aircraft?
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  • OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.



    You guarantee it because of the risk to civilians?


    What would that risk be if he flew it in the “public market” downtown?

    Come on man.
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  • pmedic920 wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.



    You guarantee it because of the risk to civilians?


    What would that risk be if he flew it in the “public market” downtown?

    Come on man.


    I've been with the military my entire adult life, to include now as civil service working on the same air frame I fixed for the bulk of my 20 year career. An aircraft whose sole purpose was to direct combat, and I've been onboard during real world situations so I say again, they would not fire in that kind of situation, period.

    The risk for civilian casualties outweighs everything else. I'm sorry if you don't believe that, but that doesn't make it any less true.
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  • OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.



    You guarantee it because of the risk to civilians?


    What would that risk be if he flew it in the “public market” downtown?

    Come on man.


    I've been with the military my entire adult life, to include now as civil service working on the same air frame I fixed for the bulk of my 20 year career. An aircraft whose sole purpose was to direct combat, and I've been onboard during real world situations so I say again, they would not fire in that kind of situation, period.

    The risk for civilian casualties outweighs everything else. I'm sorry if you don't believe that, but that doesn't make it any less true.


    I would agree also (with Okie)
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  • OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:They say he crashed it.

    I’m truly thinking they may have shot him down.

    Wonder if we’ll ever know what actually happened.


    Shooting him down would have been 100% justified IMHO.


    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.



    You guarantee it because of the risk to civilians?


    What would that risk be if he flew it in the “public market” downtown?

    Come on man.


    I've been with the military my entire adult life, to include now as civil service working on the same air frame I fixed for the bulk of my 20 year career. An aircraft whose sole purpose was to direct combat, and I've been onboard during real world situations so I say again, they would not fire in that kind of situation, period.

    The risk for civilian casualties outweighs everything else. I'm sorry if you don't believe that, but that doesn't make it any less true.



    Risk to civilians is the reason that I thought they may have, or they may in similar situations.

    It’s a different climate these days.

    I’m not saying they did shoot it down.


    I am saying there is/was a possibility.

    Now that we know more about the dialogue that took place, I think it’s not likely myself.

    But if you think for 1 second that our military under the umbrella of national security wouldn’t shoot down a commercial aircraft to SAVE lives. you’re bat shit crazy.

    It’s all a matter of the scenario at hand.


    Why do you think they scrambled fighter jets ?

    I “GUARANTEE” it wasn’t just to get a better look.
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  • pmedic920 wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:
    OkieHawk wrote:
    I guarantee they didn't shoot him down, too much risk of things going wrong with that over civilian airspace.



    You guarantee it because of the risk to civilians?


    What would that risk be if he flew it in the “public market” downtown?

    Come on man.


    I've been with the military my entire adult life, to include now as civil service working on the same air frame I fixed for the bulk of my 20 year career. An aircraft whose sole purpose was to direct combat, and I've been onboard during real world situations so I say again, they would not fire in that kind of situation, period.

    The risk for civilian casualties outweighs everything else. I'm sorry if you don't believe that, but that doesn't make it any less true.



    Risk to civilians is the reason that I thought they may have, or they may in similar situations.

    It’s a different climate these days.

    I’m not saying they did shoot it down.


    I am saying there is/was a possibility.

    Now that we know more about the dialogue that took place, I think it’s not likely myself.

    But if you think for 1 second that our military under the umbrella of national security wouldn’t shoot down a commercial aircraft to SAVE lives. you’re bat shit crazy.

    It’s all a matter of the scenario at hand.


    Why do you think they scrambled fighter jets ?

    I “GUARANTEE” it wasn’t just to get a better look.


    I know you were not talking to me, but I think it was to herd him away from populated areas, dude was on bingo fuel and i don't think he wanted to hurt anyone including the guys in the F-15's
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  • pmedic920 wrote:

    Risk to civilians is the reason that I thought they may have, or they may in similar situations.

    It’s a different climate these days.

    I’m not saying they did shoot it down.


    I am saying there is/was a possibility.

    Now that we know more about the dialogue that took place, I think it’s not likely myself.

    But if you think for 1 second that our military under the umbrella of national security wouldn’t shoot down a commercial aircraft to SAVE lives. you’re bat shit crazy.

    It’s all a matter of the scenario at hand.


    Why do you think they scrambled fighter jets ?

    I “GUARANTEE” it wasn’t just to get a better look.


    When I require an opinion on EMT issues you'll be the first I'd ask, but your ignorance of how things work in this regard is glaring.

    It. Wouldn't. Happen.
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  • Sports Hernia wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    Sports Hernia wrote:Yep, surprised he was able to take off safely with how busy sea-tac is.
    That’s also a fairly big plane to fly for a non-pilot.


    he flipped that thing upside down, then back again before skimming the lake and climbing. he had to be a pilot...

    Fair point.


    Turns out I was wrong.

    Guy just did it. No pilots license.
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  • Im just glad his intentions weren't to take as many people with him as he could.
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  • Lon we love you brother but you are off on this one. Those F-15s were there as interceptors, not to engage the plane with armament. Video CLEARLY shows they were NOT armed. They were their to intercept and control the situation by pushing the plane as far away from populated areas as possible. In that regard they did their job well.

    Now it helps that the person in question had no desire to harm others. He spent most of his time flying over water. It seems clear to me that he had NO intention to kill anyone other than himself. I believe the F-15 pilots received that intel as well mid flight.

    Rich Russell admitted he was floored by how quickly the plane had exhausted fuel resources. Like I said before, Occams's Razor applies brilliantly here. Sometimes it's not a conspiracy. Sometimes, it is exactly what it appears to be. In this case, the man ran out of fuel where he told ATC he was going to nose dive in. That's precisely what happened.
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  • Aros wrote:Lon we love you brother but you are off on this one. Those F-15s were there as interceptors, not to engage the plane with armament. Video CLEARLY shows they were NOT armed. They were their to intercept and control the situation by pushing the plane as far away from populated areas as possible. In that regard they did their job well.

    Now it helps that the person in question had no desire to harm others. He spent most of his time flying over water. It seems clear to me that he had NO intention to kill anyone other than himself. I believe the F-15 pilots received that intel as well mid flight.

    Rich Russell admitted he was floored by how quickly the plane had exhausted fuel resources. Like I said before, Occams's Razor applies brilliantly here. Sometimes it's not a conspiracy. Sometimes, it is exactly what it appears to be. In this case, the man ran out of fuel where he told ATC he was going to nose dive in. That's precisely what happened.


    Already said that after hearing the audio that I didn’t think they shot him down.

    My point to Okie is, that given the correct scenario, we/they would absolutely “shoot down”a civilian aircraft.

    I’ll admit that it’s not likely but the realistic possibility does exist. To say it doesn’t is pretty much having your head in the sand.

    Here’s a link to a decent little article.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/articles.m ... n_nash.amp

    It has some quotes by one of the pilots that scrambled to Manhattan on 9/11/01. Now Lt. Col. Dan Nash clearly states that it would take an order from very high up. It’s just as clear that the possibility does exist.
    Image

    Again, I don’t think that this guy was shot down, that was speculation on my part prior to having all the information that is now available.

    This is a very sad story, it highlights just how bad things can get within some people’s head.
    It really sucks that we don’t have a rock solid way of identifying an “at risk” individual so that they can get the help they need before they resort to something like this.

    I don’t want to argue, that just messes up an otherwise good thread but we should be as factual as we possibly can be, and speaking in absolutes is not good when we really are just stating our opinion on the topic.

    Some opinions may be that “we” would “never” shoot down a civilian aircraft. We would “never” risk the life of civilians.

    Fact is, the possibility does exist, making user of “never” the one that is wrong.

    Todd, thanks for your kindness while engaging me on this. It’s a great example of how I should have worded many of my posts over the years.
    Mental note has been made, hopefully I filed it in a place that’s easy to access.
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  • Aros wrote:Lon we love you brother but you are off on this one. Those F-15s were there as interceptors, not to engage the plane with armament. Video CLEARLY shows they were NOT armed. They were their to intercept and control the situation by pushing the plane as far away from populated areas as possible. In that regard they did their job well.



    No they were 100 % armed, I would bet you they had tone on him until he hit the ground.
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  • pmedic920 wrote:Some opinions may be that “we” would “never” shoot down a civilian aircraft. We would “never” risk the life of civilians.

    Fact is, the possibility does exist, making user of “never” the one that is wrong.



    I'm just going to leave this here. A quote from the article, emphasis mine:

    For special events like the Super Bowl or last month's Inauguration, the Secret Service runs the show, and its senior agent on the ground will be the one to authorize action. “It will only happen when everything else has been tried,” says Bucci, and everything else usually works. To date, a civilian plane has never been shot down in the US, not even the gyrocopter a publicity seeker landed on the lawn of the US Capitol in 2015—in some of the most restricted airspace in the country.


    If your only objection is my use of the word never, get over it. Of course there is a possibility of things happening, but it has never happened yet, and won't happen in the future.

    Hell, we've only shot down one civilian airliner, and that was towards the end of the Korean war. We just don't do those things man, especially now.
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  • OkieHawk wrote:
    pmedic920 wrote:Some opinions may be that “we” would “never” shoot down a civilian aircraft. We would “never” risk the life of civilians.

    Fact is, the possibility does exist, making user of “never” the one that is wrong.



    I'm just going to leave this here. A quote from the article, emphasis mine:

    For special events like the Super Bowl or last month's Inauguration, the Secret Service runs the show, and its senior agent on the ground will be the one to authorize action. “It will only happen when everything else has been tried,” says Bucci, and everything else usually works. To date, a civilian plane has never been shot down in the US, not even the gyrocopter a publicity seeker landed on the lawn of the US Capitol in 2015—in some of the most restricted airspace in the country.


    If your only objection is my use of the word never, get over it. Of course there is a possibility of things happening, but it has never happened yet, and won't happen in the future.

    Hell, we've only shot down one civilian airliner, and that was towards the end of the Korean war. We just don't do those things man, especially now.


    Your opinion is not fact.
    You stated your opinion as fact.

    That is my objection.

    I don’t fault you. I assume this kind of information is handled on a “need to know” basis.
    Many jobs/ workers in the military don’t “need to know”, you probably fall into that category.
    It’s ok though, you are still very important, and so is the job you do/did.

    Have a great day Sir, or not if that’s more to your liking.
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  • Okay turning the convo as it's getting testy...

    As an avid Simmer, I can tell you without a doubt that FSX with the proper add-ons can absolutely teach a person how to fly this sophisticated airplane. How well is another matter. But it can be done. I believe that is how he was able to do what he did.

    https://komonews.com/news/local/a-myste ... the-ground
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  • pmedic920 wrote:
    I don’t fault you. I assume this kind of information is handled on a “need to know” basis.
    Many jobs/ workers in the military don’t “need to know”, you probably fall into that category.
    It’s ok though, you are still very important, and so is the job you do/did.

    Have a great day Sir, or not if that’s more to your liking.


    Keep your sanctimonious attitude and shove it.
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  • Alright boys, back down. We are all on the same team. Be nice.

    Here's a quick and unedited takeoff sequence of the Q400. I just downloaded the add-on in the past hour and wanted to show how easy it is to get in the air. Now granted, this is not a payware (top shelf) version with all the bells and whistles but it still presents a level of realism you can expect with many add-ons out there. Flight dynamics are within the realm of what you might expect with the real thing.

    I am not proving anything with this video but I do want to make the statement that software exists that can absolutely bridge the gap between "video game" and the real thing. I am 100% convinced if you can takeoff, fly and land multiple aircraft in FSX, you can do the same thing in the real thing. Well, minus landings...That is by FAR the hardest thing to do when piloting an aircraft.

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  • SmokinHawk wrote:
    chris98251 wrote:911 proved that you can learn to fly a commercial plane with simulators and computers and the internet, being a employee I would bet he had asked many questions and may have even had the chance to fly with some guys and observe. Who knows if he had taken classes earlier in life as well.


    I don't think 9/11 proved that whatsoever. The alleged hijackers were professionally trained. That said, we still haven't been given the full story on what truly happened that day.



    Well Aros just showed that my thoughts are not as extreme as you think and the 911 people had a lot of avenues they used, but software and simulators were definitely part of it.
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  • Man this whole story is a trip. I didn’t see it until late in the day Saturday and was totally intrigued. As soon as I read he referenced playing some video games, I figured it was something like MFS or FSX. Wouldn’t be shocked at all if that’s how he learned how to fire it up and get it moving, beyond the first hand experience he might have had with other parts of the ground crew and mechanics.

    For me it’s extra weird because my mom has been a Horizon employee for the better part of 15 years. I know she’s been on that exact plane probably dozens of times, and I have probably rode on it a few times in all my short flights in and out of SeaTac. I’m just glad he was the only casualty. Very sad story in the end.
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  • It really is sad and I too can't help but be intrigued on a multitude of levels. I may be looking at it differently from the average person due to my experience with flight simulation software, RC flying, some training in a Cessna 172 and my overall obsession with aviation and aircraft in general. Although not a pilot, I know a lot about flying and aerodynamics and I can't get over how incredible this reckless act truly was.

    He said he had "video game" experience but I would bet you if you pressed him to be more specific he would have clarified flight simulator experience. I know I have said it many times in this thread but I cannot impress enough on you guys how much you can truly learn how to fly aircraft of all types with just the right software, your computer and some peripheral gear like a joy stick, rudder pedals, etc.

    God how I wish he would have landed safely somewhere. Given himself up and done the time. He would likely have served less than 10 years (just a guess). He sounded like a good human being, but like he said, maybe "broken". But broke can be fixed. Unfortunately most that get to that stage do not feel being fixed is any kind of an option.

    I give thanks to all the people that were NOT hurt in this event. I give my thoughts and prayers to those who were effected directly such as the family and friends, co-workers and least of which Rich himself that felt he was so "broken" his only recourse (in his mind) was to steal a commercial plane, go for a joy ride and kill himself with it.
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  • Yep. My point exactly.
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  • If you look at the guys original longer video, he states that it was designed for 2 pilots. Makes it even a bit more astounding with what he did. But I guess most bigger planes would be easier to fly with two people instead of one.
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