zrb2
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Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:07 pm

The Washington Post is reporting today that the security scare during Reagan's casket viewing last month (in the Capital building) nearly resulted in the Governor of Kentucky being shot down over D.C. It was darn close. He was flying in a King Air with a broken transponder. The article goes on to say that the pilot notified the FAA over Ohio about the problem but the FAA failed to notify military and homeland security officials. The scary thing is that a fighter plane was sent to intercept the King Air and the order to shoot down was on the Lips of the Air Force NORAD commander except cloud cover prevented the fighter jet from making visual contact....otherwise the order to shoot was at least 50/50 according to sources.

I don't know about this whole thing. I think they need evidence that a plane is definitely under control of a hijacker before they go shooting down planes that "might" be a threat. I don't want to be on a CRJ for instance that might be having transponder or radio problems and get blasted out of the sky coming into D.C. by a trigger happy and paranoid government.

http://www.nbc4.com/news/3505772/detail.html
 
contrails
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:55 pm

What I am wondering is how the pilot of a plane carrying a governor wandered into restricted airspace. The pilot should have known where the plane was, working transponder or not.

I don't think the government is paranoid. What better opportunity for a terrorist to make a statement than during the time President Reagan was lying in state and all sorts of politicians and foreign leaders were coming into town. If it had been a terrorist intent on crashing into the Capitol and the military missed an opportunity to shoot the plane down there would be an enormous uproar demanding that the military act sooner in such cases.

I'll side with the military in this case. Nobody got hurt, and the incident will be a good learning experience for the FAA as well as the military. If there is a next time I hope the FAA will have learned to talk to the military and let them know what's going on.



Flying Colors Forever!
 
luisca
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:56 pm

Its better to have that than to have another 9/11
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desertjets
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:58 pm

The Post article was still a little lacking on the details. But what I can figure out from the article was that the plane did not break the no-fly zone, but rather the 16-mile restricted airspace around DC.



What confuses me is that the King Air would have been in constant communication with Washington Center and National Approach. So it seems that the FAA knew what the plane was doing, and not the air defense system.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
jetav8r
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 1:21 am

"What I am wondering is how the pilot of a plane carrying a governor wandered into restricted airspace. The pilot should have known where the plane was, working transponder or not. "

He was cleared into the airspace in the first place. His transponder went out for a couple seconds....
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:20 am

Why would a governor willingly fly to the nation's capital in an aircraft knowing that such an important piece of equipment was malfunctioning? Turning off the transponder was one of the first acts the hijackers did on 9/11. Didn't he think no one would notice or care that his wasn't working?

The State of Kentucky should have selected another aircraft from their fleet to fly their leader to the most security-sensitive city in the world.
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
jetav8r
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:51 am

They didn't know it was broken. It was working until they got into the airspace, then it malfuctioned for a matter of seconds.
 
iluv2pilot
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:16 am

This story has been widely reported and updated. The pilots did nothing wrong.
They had a failing transponders and did everything by the book. The controllers were unsure about what to do, and the military over reacted. Now they have new regs to cover this.

Kentucky doesn't have another plane, and this aircraft has been serviced for this before.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:49 am

The scary thing is that a fighter plane was sent to intercept the King Air and the order to shoot down was on the Lips of the Air Force NORAD commander except cloud cover prevented the fighter jet from making visual contact....otherwise the order to shoot was at least 50/50 according to sources.

This doesn't make any sense... maybe it's just bad wording so I'm just curious for some clarification.

Why would an F-15 or F-16 (and I don't know which it was) need a visual in order to shoot down a plane? They wouldn't. Radar and heat-seeking missiles work in both clouds and fair weather.

The statement above seems to suggest that because they couldn't get a visual, they couldn't fire. But if they had been able to get a visual, the chances of them getting the order to fire would have been 50/50.

This implies one of two things: 1. that if they saw the aircraft, they would have become even more convinced that it was hostile (a King Air?), or 2. that not having a visual was some sort of technical barrier to being able to fire.

I can understand their needing visual confirmation before shooting down an aircraft that they're not sure is hostile. But that just means a visual confirmation would have confirmed the King Air as friendly. The wording above suggests that the only reason they didn't fire was that they couldn't get a visual - if they were sure the plane was hostile, that would have been no impedement whatsoever, so the only reason they'd need a visual would be to confirm hostile, and in that case they would have been able to confirm exactly the opposite.

It sounds to me like this story is way overblown and the military did exactly what they were supposed to do. The FAA may have been at fault for not relaying the broken transponder info, but it doesn't sound to me like the military came that close to firing.
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2912n
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:56 am

While the fighter is certainly capable of shooting at the "intruder" with missiles the idea is that they actually get up and take a look at what is going on. Before they shoot they will probably try to make visual contact with the flight crew and, using hand signals, instruct them to turn/land/follow etc...

Just because he may have had permission to shoot does not mean they were telling him to do so. Pilots understand equipment failures/navigation failures etc...The fighter pilot is going to have to be sure in his own mind that the a/c is a threat before he pulls the trigger.

Of course that is no fun and everyone wants to run off in hysterics.
 
zrb2
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 4:08 am

Probably a poor choice of words on my part....the Post article stated that because they could not make visual contact, the order to shoot down the King Air was not issued. Rules of engagement are classified. I'm sure it had something to do with what the poster above is saying. My point was that I felt this was too close to shooting down a harmless plane. Maybe this incident will save a larger tragedy from happening someday because they will modify the procedures.
 
707lvr
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:09 pm

The actual article is:

here.

I find it hard to believe that FAA and NORAD were not communicating about the plane, especially since it was DC. The article doesn't make it sound quite like General Eberhart had his finger on the button as some of the reprints of the story seem to do.
 
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jetpixx
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:11 pm

This mistake would never be made with the Governor of Florida  Smile
 
aviationwiz
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:28 pm

his mistake would never be made with the Governor of Florida

Now that was one of the dumbest things I've heard. It was am equipment failure, and can happen on any a/c, at any time
Proudly from the Home of the Red Tail.
 
mattbna
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:41 pm


Uhhhmmmm.....I don't think you were following him there, Aviationwiz... I'm pretty sure that he was trying to say that it never would have happened with the Governor of Florida because that happens to be President Bush's brother.

Then again, I could be wrong....


Matt

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Navion
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:04 pm

AOPA (Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association) ripped the FAA and military a new ass over this total screwup on their part. AOPA had a detailed explanation on their website of what happened and IT WAS ABSOLUTELY NO FAULT OF THE KENTUCKY GOVERNORS CREW. They did everything properly and there was proper notice to all of the aviation regulatory authorities, it was the channels of communication that distorted the situation. It is a blessing in disguise as now everyone has a concrete example of what to fix to avoid this in the future.
 
777ualsfo
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:10 am

One question I had - why doens't the good Governor fly on a commerical airliner? If he picked a legacy carrier, he might learn about what the changes in the industry are doing to his constituents who worked for these companies and what this is doing to his constituent airports and other companies who rely on the airlines for business. He could also fly on a one fo the new LCC and learn the same.

I think if they want to solve the security problem, they should not have excemptions and not allow private airplanes into DCA, they can fly to Dulles and let us allow our governmental leaders fly our commerical airlines into DCA so they can understand the challenges facing this important transportation system. In fact, I think all our governmental leaders should be required to fly commerical - except the president. I'll be if they did, the lines for security would instantly disappear, the safety would go up immensely, and the long list of needed improvements in our airports and ACA systesm would also immediatlely be implemented.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:05 pm

777UALSFO,
Fat chance that will ever happen. They wouldn't want to lower themselves to OUR standards.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
dbo861
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:49 pm

"I find it hard to believe that FAA and NORAD were not communicating about the plane, especially since it was DC."

I wasn't able to read the article because it wanted me to sign up for it...so excuse me if the article clears this up. But, if the transponder instaneously fails(transponders must only be checked every 24 months so a failure is not unlikely) center might not have had a chance to notify the military of the failure. It also depends on how quickly the flight crew noticed the failure...either way, it might not be that ATC was slacking when they heard of the failure but it could be that the military responded quickly to an aircraft that wasn't supposed to be there.

"One question I had - why doens't the good Governor fly on a commerical airliner?"

It's the same reason the President has his own fleet: safety, privacy, ease of use. You think a governor would want to go to the airport like us, wait in lines and risk having a delayed flight or cancelled flight when he could put our tax dollars to use and buy himself a nice new King Air and fly where ever the hell he wants whenever the hell he wants.

~Dbo861
 
L-188
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:31 pm

I would find it more unlikely that the FAA and NORAD where talking.

Actually in a way it might have been a good thing, The outrage over a governer accidently getting shot down might have shut down some of the foolishness we Americans have had to suffer through the past 3 years.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:31 pm

Jetpixx I was thinking the same thing. It would be quite ironic had that plane been Jeb Bush's plane and Bush's Homeland Security almost taken that down, it would have made the news everywhere with egg all over George's face. Being that it was just the governor of Kentucky, the media didn't really care.

The other question is, how close proximity were the fighters to the funeral? Being that you can see the capital from DCA, it wouldnt take very long to stray into Capital airspace. Could jets get there soon enough.

Also, I think you would need visual for it because if you just fired a heat seeker blindly it might run astray and nail an MD-80 landing at DCA.
 
COSPN
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:11 pm

Why not fly an Airline His State has about 20 Daily non stops to DC area from SDF CVG and LEX and even WN SDF BWI...!!
 
elwood64151
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:57 pm

Why would a governor willingly fly to the nation's capital in an aircraft knowing that such an important piece of equipment was malfunctioning? Turning off the transponder was one of the first acts the hijackers did on 9/11. Didn't he think no one would notice or care that his wasn't working?

The State of Kentucky should have selected another aircraft from their fleet to fly their leader to the most security-sensitive city in the world.


1) The transponder went down during flight
2) The governor probably doesn't have a clue about how the aircraft operates.
3) He probably wasn't even aware of the problem.
4) How many aircraft do you think the State of Kentucky owns? If the Gov. is flying in a King Air, I doubt they've got a significant supply of 747s or even Cessna 404s to choose from.

if they were sure the plane was hostile, that would have been no impedement whatsoever, so the only reason they'd need a visual would be to confirm hostile, and in that case they would have been able to confirm exactly the opposite.

Actually, all the pilot would have needed to do to confirm "friendly" status was contact the pilot and direct him to take certain steps to show he really was a "friendly." Then the fighter pilot could simply escort the aircraft to its destination airport.

One question I had - why doens't the good Governor fly on a commerical airliner?

So his State Police escort can get boloxed up at security while they prove to everyone there that they really are police officers with a reason to carry guns on board? I don't think so.

Actually in a way it might have been a good thing, The outrage over a governer accidently getting shot down might have shut down some of the foolishness we Americans have had to suffer through the past 3 years.

I think the fact that he wasn't shut down should show you that it's not that foolish. But let's leave politics out of this, okay?

Why not fly an Airline His State has about 20 Daily non stops to DC area from SDF CVG and LEX and even WN SDF BWI...!!

Because if the governor is flying commercially, he cannot conduct confidential business. If he is flying his own airplane, he can. Should the State of Kentucky face an emergency situation, I doubt DL, WN, US, UA, or other airline would turn the aircraft around just so the Gov. can get back more quickly.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
Slcpilot
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:23 am

OT: to some extent...

Can heat seeking missles work in IMC? I'm not certain, but my intuition would tend to say "no".

I would hope any rules of engagement would require some sort of confirmation that the proper target was selected (visual or ground radar confirmation).

Fly Safe!

SLCPilot
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Lt-AWACS
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RE: Governor's Plane Nearly Shot Down Last Month

Sun Jul 11, 2004 12:55 am

"Can heat seeking missles work in IMC? I'm not certain, but my intuition would tend to say "no""

They can. Normally a specific IR source can be targeted as well.
Note: This was all unclassified info.

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