dmanmtl
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:44 pm

Might sound like a really stupid questions but do modern aircraft have anything similar to a Key like we would have in a car? Is there some device that has to be inserted to get the plane to power up? A code that must be entered to start the computer system?

D in mtl
 
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zeke
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:36 pm

Simple answer is no.
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wilco737
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:02 pm

Quoting Dmanmtl (Thread starter):

On the MD11F we have a key in the cockpit door, but I never saw it looked, but for powering up: NO

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 
 
CoolGuy
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:30 pm

Well then how is an aircraft started?
 
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HAWK21M
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:09 pm

There is a key to the cockpit door.Only used if the Door is shut from Inside.Although most times Mx personnell gets into the Flight deck thru the Emergency Access.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
boeingfixer
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:10 pm

Quoting CoolGuy (Reply 3):
Well then how is an aircraft started?

Not with a key....... An answer to your question would have to be aircraft specific but it is not complicated.

Cheers,

John
Cheers, John YYC
 
roseflyer
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:11 pm

Small airplanes like Cessnas do have keys. You have to insert them in the door and also to engage the starter, although unlike a car its pretty easy to pick a lock in a Cessna.

For jets,there have been ceremonial handing over of the keys, but that's just a ceremony. You can enter the plane by just opening the door. There are no locks usually, but I'm sure some airlines have made it impossible to get in overnight. Then the flight deck door is often open, but if it isn't you will need to enter a passcode or use some sort of key depending on the plane. Once you are in the flight deck, you are free to start up the plane as you wish. Of course you have to know the proper procedure, but if you hunt around, you can find an operational manual somewhere.

Quoting CoolGuy (Reply 3):
Well then how is an aircraft started?

Turn on the APU
Engage the starters with Bleed Air
Add fuel

You have a startup in a nutshell.

[Edited 2007-07-13 16:13:03]
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
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HAWK21M
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:05 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
Turn on the APU
Engage the starters with Bleed Air
Add fuel

What about Ignition  Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
jhooper
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:30 am

I read a story about a commercial jet that was stolen (I think it was in Africa). And of course, they're repo'd all the time. I guess the manufacturers didn't worry too much about it when building the airplanes because they're usually parked in secure locations. Of course, not always--I've seen large jets parked at small airports totally unsecured which is lunacy in my opinion, but then again, where would somebody hide something like that if they were to steal it?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
zenarcade
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:50 am

Imagine having to explain that you lost the keys.
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UAL747
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:57 am

My dad's Cessna 335 has two keys, (I think). One for each engine. But the engines aren't started by the keys. It's push-button start. (Don't quote me on that, I haven't been in the front of that plane in a long time, neither has my dad). The entry door also has a key.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
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HAWK21M
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:33 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 10):
One for each engine.

Where do the Engine keys go.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
san747
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:05 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
You can enter the plane by just opening the door. There are no locks usually, but I'm sure some airlines have made it impossible to get in overnight.

True. Just grab a stair truck and open the door! But most airline policies are that pieces of red tape are placed on doors and cargo doors or RON aircraft in order to prevent tampering... or to provide evidence of tampering if it has taken place.
Scotty doesn't know...
 
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HAWK21M
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:43 pm

Quoting San747 (Reply 12):
But most airline policies are that pieces of red tape are placed on doors and cargo doors or RON aircraft in order to prevent tampering... or to provide evidence of tampering if it has taken place.

We use a Security Tape for long halts.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
UAL747
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:11 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 11):
Where do the Engine keys go.

I believe, they are located directly under each red start button. Side by side.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
GoingAround
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:06 am

I remember someone once asking me 'but if planes don't have keys, why don't people steal them more often'

It took a while to run through the fact that not only would they have to get past security, through the locked jetbridge doors, manage to start the aircraft, get push back, get ATC clearance, and just about everything else would be near impossible at a commercial airport unless it was a scheduled flight.  Big grin  Yeah sure

Alex
 
TheCol
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Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:04 am

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 8):
I guess the manufacturers didn't worry too much about it when building the airplanes because they're usually parked in secure locations. Of course, not always--I've seen large jets parked at small airports totally unsecured which is lunacy in my opinion



Quoting GoingAround (Reply 15):

It took a while to run through the fact that not only would they have to get past security, through the locked jetbridge doors, manage to start the aircraft, get push back, get ATC clearance, and just about everything else would be near impossible at a commercial airport unless it was a scheduled flight.

In this day and age, a thief wouldn't get very far. The minute you'd take off without a flight plan and clearance from ATC, which goes hand in hand, the nearest fighter squadrons will be alerted and dispatched.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Key

Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:06 am

Quoting GoingAround (Reply 15):
It took a while to run through the fact that not only would they have to get past security, through the locked jetbridge doors, manage to start the aircraft, get push back, get ATC clearance, and just about everything else would be near impossible at a commercial airport unless it was a scheduled flight.

Many RONs are not parked at a gate, thus negating the need for push back, and the need to get past a locked door. Some RONs are at uncontrolled airports, thus negating the need for ATC clearance. Some airports where RONs are at are deserted at night, not exactly hard to get into the airplane. Starting it wouldn't be very hard for anyone that knew the basics of research.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 16):
In this day and age, a thief wouldn't get very far. The minute you'd take off without a flight plan and clearance from ATC, which goes hand in hand, the nearest fighter squadrons will be alerted and dispatched.

What exactly would stop them from filing a flight plan and then getting the clearance from ATC? For that matter they wouldn't even need a flight plan, just tell ATC they're departing VFR and they'll be long gone.

It would actually be very easy to steal an airliner, you just need to pick the right time of day and the right airport.

[Edited 2007-07-16 22:07:09]
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KELPkid
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 16):

In this day and age, a thief wouldn't get very far. The minute you'd take off without a flight plan and clearance from ATC, which goes hand in hand, the nearest fighter squadrons will be alerted and dispatched.

What, you mean taking off VFR and squawking 1200 in an airliner would arrouse suspicion? Big grin Wonder if John Travolta ever does this...
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
Ralgha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:27 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
What, you mean taking off VFR and squawking 1200 in an airliner would arrouse suspicion?

No, actually, it wouldn't. It's not THAT uncommon.
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57AZ
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:22 am

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 10):
My dad's Cessna 335 has two keys, (I think). One for each engine. But the engines aren't started by the keys. It's push-button start. (Don't quote me on that, I haven't been in the front of that plane in a long time, neither has my dad). The entry door also has a key.

Keys on the Cessnas won't stop a determined thief from taking one. If they know what they're doing, they'll have a set of factory master keys and be able get in. As for ignition, it's possible to bypass that too. Remember that with electronics, anything is possible if you have the right tools. As for push-button starts, I don't know about the 335 but everything from the 340 up is push button start. Turn on the electrical master, alternators, pumps and start. Know what you're doing and you can be in and rolling in less than five minutes.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
KPIE172
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:37 am

There was a young man at PIE who stole a Cessna... He did have the keys, but took off without a clearance. The Coast Guard Dolphins caught up with him but moments later he plowed into a building in downtown Tampa.

I suppose it brings up the point that given most commercial airports are right on top of big cities, someone could takeoff and be downtown before an F-16/15 interuppted. I've seen this topic come up before on the boards.
Blue side up!
 
ConjureMe
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:22 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 17):
What exactly would stop them from filing a flight plan and then getting the clearance from ATC? For that matter they wouldn't even need a flight plan, just tell ATC they're departing VFR and they'll be long gone.

It would actually be very easy to steal an airliner, you just need to pick the right time of day and the right airport.

ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS? First off, what the heck are you a captain of and do you have any understanding of the Avionics of that aircraft? Second, if someone was stupid enough to try and steal an airliner do you really think they would try to obtain an ATC clearance? Anyway, even though there might not be someone directly watching an airliner while it sits at a small airport, there is ALWAYS someone that is tracking it. Now, stealing a small airplane would be different. However, still quite rare. I believe it is only about a dozen reports per year.

Alright, heart rate is coming back down, now back to hoping some of you guys are just joking.
Never let the plane take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes ago.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:14 am

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS? First off, what the heck are you a captain of and do you have any understanding of the Avionics of that aircraft?

Alright, I'll bite, I'm bored. I'm a captain of an EMB-120, and I have a very good understanding of the avionics of that aircraft, but that's beside the point.

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
Second, if someone was stupid enough to try and steal an airliner do you really think they would try to obtain an ATC clearance?

ATC wouldn't know that they were stealing it. Charging out of a controlled airport without talking to ATC would draw much unwanted attention. Call up ATC and they'll blend right in with everyone else.

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
Anyway, even though there might not be someone directly watching an airliner while it sits at a small airport, there is ALWAYS someone that is tracking it.

Flight trackers work off the ATC system, which tracks aircraft by a discrete transponder code. Can't track a VFR aircraft squawking 1200 that way. In my airplane the company can track via the FMS, but that's easily circumvented. Similar systems for other airliners can be similarly circumvented.

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
Now, stealing a small airplane would be different. However, still quite rare. I believe it is only about a dozen reports per year.

Of course it's rare. There's little reason to steal them, but it's not hard. Any pre-1990s Cessna can be opened and started with a screwdriver (or less). I don't know if the new production run airplanes are more secure or not.

Like I said, stealing an airliner would not be hard. Hiding it after the fact would be harder.

[Edited 2007-07-17 02:37:08]
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Jetlagged
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:30 am

Boeing always used to provide a set of keys with each aircraft on customer acceptance. Presumably they still do. I don't think they actualy unlocked anything though, purely symbolic.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
jetstar
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:03 am

All corporate jets have keys, because they overnight at many airports that do not have airline service and therefore less security. The locks are on the entry door and any external baggage compartment doors.

On the Lockheed JetStar we had locks on the entry door, the radar dome because it unlocks and slides forward where almost all the avionics are located and a small access door just aft of the speed brake which where the release handle was to release the uplock for the speed brake and gain access to the aft equipment bay, also known as the boiler room or hell hole.

Cessna I think used only about 75 different keys for all their products. A friend of mine had a Cessna 310 and his key and my C-150’s key were the same. At the FBO where I worked as a mechanic we had a large key ring with about 75 keys and we were able to unlock almost all single and twin engine Cessna’s.

I worked on all the 300 series Cessna twins, along with Barons, Aztecs and Queen Airs and I do not remember ever using a key to start the engines on these twins, just to open the door. Cessna twins used a separate starter button for each engine while Barons and Queen Airs used the magneto switch with a start position past both, I don’t remember Aztecs, but I think they used the same magneto start switch.

JetStar Trivia,

The JetStar only had one starter switch for all 4 engines on the overhead panel, there was adjacent to the start switch, which was a spring loaded rocker switch a 5 position rotary switch with off the first position.
 
57AZ
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:31 pm

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
I believe it is only about a dozen reports per year.

I'd wager that the number of reports are a bit higher than that. The Bahamas are a favorite area for aircraft theft as are areas that run along the Mexican border. When we flew our C414 back from the Bahamas, we performed a complete inspection of the aircraft prior to departure to check for any contraband that may have been stashed aboard. Both engine had the cowlings opened, each gear bay was checked and all vents were inspected. Any panel or door that could be opened and inspected was.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 23):
Of course it's rare. There's little reason to steal them, but it's not hard. Any pre-1990s Cessna can be opened and started with a screwdriver (or less). I don't know if the new production run airplanes are more secure or not.

Actually there is a big reason to steal them-narcotics. As you say, just about any Cessna can be broken into and started with a screwdriver-unless it has an aftermarket security system or is kept in a secure hanger. Ours have always stayed in secured hangers whenever possible-including layovers away from home port.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
bablackpilot
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:00 pm

I'm sitting here laughing at most of you cessna piston and other general aviation piston pilots.....
You all are making the entry and starting of the aircraft much harder then you need to.
First off, in most older cessnas they used a half ass locking system that almost could be defeated by the wind. You could put your key to your car in there just to jiggle the lock open.....To start it, you damn sure don't need a key at all.
Just pop the cowling open, pop the P-lead on the magnito, close the cowling.
Set the parking brake on the aircraft, mixture rich, throttle 1/4, prime 6-8 times, and then.....HANDPROP the aircraft.
There, engine running.....Not that big of a deal.
I used to do it about once or twice a month when I worked for a loan agency. Yes, Yes, I was that guy that would come out and repo the airplanes. Did I hate doing it....hell yes, but at the same time, what else would a 18 year old do for there first job......
Note, don't anyone try that procedure above, it's very dangerous and stupid. I will not be help responsible if you get your arm cut off.......
My arrogance is only an issue between you and your self-esteem!"
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:05 pm

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 24):
Boeing always used to provide a set of keys with each aircraft on customer acceptance. Presumably they still do. I don't think they actualy unlocked anything though, purely symbolic

The earlier B737s had a cockpit door key. Smile
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Mender
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:03 pm

Quoting Bablackpilot (Reply 27):
Just pop the cowling open, pop the P-lead on the magnito, close the cowling.
Set the parking brake on the aircraft, mixture rich, throttle 1/4, prime 6-8 times, and then.....HANDPROP the aircraft.
There, engine running.....Not that big of a deal.
I used to do it about once or twice a month when I worked for a loan agency.

Did you really fly the aircraft away without the instrument panel and radios powered. You might have had a handheld radio but this sounds like you should have your pilots licence taken away.

Glad I don't live within flying range of you.

Mender ;0)
 
KELPkid
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:39 pm

Quoting Mender (Reply 29):
Did you really fly the aircraft away without the instrument panel and radios powered. You might have had a handheld radio but this sounds like you should have your pilots licence taken away.

Glad I don't live within flying range of you.

Mender ;0)

I have yet to see a Cessna whose master switch is protected by the key...you can turn the master on and off all day long without the key  Wink
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
Ralgha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting Mender (Reply 29):
Did you really fly the aircraft away without the instrument panel and radios powered. You might have had a handheld radio but this sounds like you should have your pilots licence taken away.

Nothing says you have to turn on the avionics as long as you stay outside of airspace that requires it. Whether it's smart or not depends on the situation, but it's usually not a big deal. Regardless, I've never been in an airplane that required a key to turn on the master switch or radios.
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GoingAround
Posts: 121
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:19 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 17):
Many RONs are not parked at a gate, thus negating the need for push back, and the need to get past a locked door. Some RONs are at uncontrolled airports, thus negating the need for ATC clearance. Some airports where RONs are at are deserted at night, not exactly hard to get into the airplane. Starting it wouldn't be very hard for anyone that knew the basics of research.

I was talking about stealing a Commercial Aircraft, and you would be hard pressed to fly one of them out of a commercial airport without permission and not arouse suspicion.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 17):
Many RONs are not parked at a gate, thus negating the need for push back

Things may be different here in the UK, but look for instance at the parking at Heathrow. Clicky
It would be just as hard to leave that parking position as it would be to leave a gate without pushback. Let alone getting in the aircraft and opening the door without stairs.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 17):
It would actually be very easy to steal an airliner, you just need to pick the right time of day and the right airport.

I struggle to see this ever happening, any airport that accepts commercial traffic (one would hope) would have full time security, and ATC services, otherwise I doubt any airline would fly to an airport where one of their million dollar airplanes is sitting unprotected on the tarmac.

If you were talking about stealing a GA aircraft, or for instance an EMB-120 from a very small regional airport I could understand some of your points.

Stealing a T7 from Heathrow? Not anytime soon.


Alex


Some more Parking arrangements:
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1204296/M/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0597696/M/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1196543/M/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0946066/M/

[Edited 2007-07-17 20:25:17]
 
Ralgha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:37 am

Quoting GoingAround (Reply 32):
I was talking about stealing a Commercial Aircraft, and you would be hard pressed to fly one of them out of a commercial airport without permission and not arouse suspicion.

At John Wayne, for example, many RONs (737s, A320s, etc.) are parked on taxiways overnight because there isn't enough gate space. Other airports have similar setups, parked at remote locations overnight, Portland as another example. There is security, but it's not exactly ironclad.

Quoting GoingAround (Reply 32):
Things may be different here in the UK, but look for instance at the parking at Heathrow. Clicky
It would be just as hard to leave that parking position as it would be to leave a gate without pushback. Let alone getting in the aircraft and opening the door without stairs.

As I said, you would have to pick the correct airport. Some would be easier than others. Stairs and opening doors are the least of your worries, you can get into pretty much any airplane without stairs if you know what you're doing. Pushing back is pretty much a non-issue as well, just bring along another person to drive the tug. There are tugs everywhere.

Quoting GoingAround (Reply 32):
I struggle to see this ever happening, any airport that accepts commercial traffic (one would hope) would have full time security, and ATC services, otherwise I doubt any airline would fly to an airport where one of their million dollar airplanes is sitting unprotected on the tarmac.

ATC isn't going to do a thing to stop you from stealing an airplane. If they KNEW you were stealing it, they might be able to help stop you, but they're not even going to KNOW. Mobile airport security is really the only obstacle to stealing an airliner, and with careful planning it can be bypassed. If you get into the airplane, without letting security know that you're not supposed to be there, nobody will stop you.

The trick is getting into the airplane without alerting anyone, and I don't think it would be very hard to do. You don't have to do it without being seen, you just have to make it look like you're supposed to be there. Hell, if you really had your act together and a small bit of luck, with a small group of people you could probably jack an airliner in broad daylight from a gate.

[Edited 2007-07-17 20:40:30]
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57AZ
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:13 am

Quoting GoingAround (Reply 32):
I was talking about stealing a Commercial Aircraft, and you would be hard pressed to fly one of them out of a commercial airport without permission and not arouse suspicion

Stealing a jet airliner might be a bit of a task but stealing something like a B1900D could be done. Just find where one RONs at a small airfield-preferably without a 24 hour tower. King Airs are fairly popular aircraft for the drug runners to steal, so finding a willing pilot (in criminal circles) wouldn't be that hard.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
TheCol
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 17):
What exactly would stop them from filing a flight plan and then getting the clearance from ATC? For that matter they wouldn't even need a flight plan, just tell ATC they're departing VFR and they'll be long gone.

I imagine it would be difficult for an average Joe/Jane to a flight plan for a commercial airliner without arousing some kind of suspicion. Especially if he/she does it in person.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 23):
Flight trackers work off the ATC system, which tracks aircraft by a discrete transponder code. Can't track a VFR aircraft squawking 1200 that way. In my airplane the company can track via the FMS, but that's easily circumvented. Similar systems for other airliners can be similarly circumvented.

From the conversations I've had with the AME's I work with, a number of airlines make sure you cannot disable the tracking software on their planes. Some even have the computers programmed to detect mistakes made by the pilots in flight.

Note that I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think its safe to say its unlikely a person can get away with it in a timely fashion.
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:33 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 35):
I imagine it would be difficult for an average Joe/Jane to a flight plan for a commercial airliner without arousing some kind of suspicion. Especially if he/she does it in person.

I'm assuming that said persons who would be abducting the airliner would have some knowledge of what they're attempting to do.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 35):
From the conversations I've had with the AME's I work with, a number of airlines make sure you cannot disable the tracking software on their planes. Some even have the computers programmed to detect mistakes made by the pilots in flight.

Everything has a circuit breaker. It's simply a matter of knowing where it is.
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jhooper
Posts: 5560
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:13 pm

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?

Chill dude...As a CFII, I'm sure you have a higher tolerance for stress than this.

Quoting TheCol (Reply 16):
The minute you'd take off without a flight plan and clearance from ATC, which goes hand in hand, the nearest fighter squadrons will be alerted and dispatched.

Not necessarily. There are a disturbing number of large unsecured commercial jets at small airports around the country. Many of these small airports have part-time towers or no towers where one could simply and legally depart under VFR without talking to anybody. Alot of these airplanes I see are old, third-hand DC-9s, 737-200s, L-1011s; airplanes that can be bought "off the street" for 3-10 Million bucks. Some of them are unairworthy, but many of them are flown privately or for charters, etc. And who has to worry about FMS or ACARS tracking when these older planes aren't so equipped. Nobody is going to get away with stealing a brand new 777 from LAX or JFK or any high-profile place where credentials are required to be on the ramp and adequate security measures to ensure everyone there belongs. A person would need to be qualifed to fly the airplane (a scheme where you're trying to learn "on the job" isn't going to work) they want to steal, as well as how to operate the various systems and have the crime carefully planned out and timed right.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 18):
What, you mean taking off VFR and squawking 1200 in an airliner would arrouse suspicion?

Nope. Unless you're operating near an ADIZ, or in airspace where you should be talking to someone, you're "off the radar" so to speak. ATC has enough to worry about besides all the guys out there squawking 1200. For an old jetliner equipped with a basic Mode C transponder, they wouldn't know you from Adam. It's possible to fly VFR in a jet; just stay out of Class A and observe the 250 KIAS speed limit below 10,000ft and you're home free!

Quoting KPIE172 (Reply 21):
He did have the keys, but took off without a clearance. The Coast Guard Dolphins caught up with him but moments later he plowed into a building in downtown Tampa.

I remember that; kid had issues. There was another guy who had issues who stole a Cessna and crashed it into the White House lawn a few years ago killing only himself. Not that anyone would make it that close to the Prez's office today.

Quoting ConjureMe (Reply 22):
Second, if someone was stupid enough to try and steal an airliner do you really think they would try to obtain an ATC clearance?

Probably not. He was just trying to make the point that it's not rocket science to file a flight plan as whoever you want to be and then call up ATC for clearance.
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TheCol
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:03 pm

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 36):
Everything has a circuit breaker. It's simply a matter of knowing where it is.

Maybe, I'm not sure about how secure those systems can be designed. I imagine the airlines could rig something up where the tracking system couldn't be disabled without disabling other automated systems. But, again, I have no idea if this is done or not.

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 37):
Not necessarily. There are a disturbing number of large unsecured commercial jets at small airports around the country. Many of these small airports have part-time towers or no towers where one could simply and legally depart under VFR without talking to anybody. Alot of these airplanes I see are old, third-hand DC-9s, 737-200s, L-1011s; airplanes that can be bought "off the street" for 3-10 Million bucks. Some of them are unairworthy, but many of them are flown privately or for charters, etc. And who has to worry about FMS or ACARS tracking when these older planes aren't so equipped. Nobody is going to get away with stealing a brand new 777 from LAX or JFK or any high-profile place where credentials are required to be on the ramp and adequate security measures to ensure everyone there belongs. A person would need to be qualifed to fly the airplane (a scheme where you're trying to learn "on the job" isn't going to work) they want to steal, as well as how to operate the various systems and have the crime carefully planned out and timed right.

Isn't there mandatory regulations on how secure airports have to be?
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:11 pm


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9VSIO
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:18 pm

It's about to be stolen  wink 
P.S. wow Ralgha! capt at 25 or less?! I'm now green with envy!
PPS. Isn't it part of ATPL and a/c type rating to know your a/c systems?
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SEPilot
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:22 pm

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 23):
Like I said, stealing an airliner would not be hard. Hiding it after the fact would be harder.

I think that this is the real issue. The bigger the plane, the fewer available places to park it. An airliner disappearing would certainly make news; if you cross any international border with it it will be tracked and documented, even if it is VFR (and if done without clearance it WILL be tracked down). Staying within the country it was stolen in means that the number of places it could be is very finite. Nobody is going to be successful in trying to land (and take off again) a 737 in their back field.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:15 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 41):
An airliner disappearing would certainly make news;

Any stats available on stolen Aircraft.
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MEL
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Sasha
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:24 pm

I suppose taxiing out of a parking slot backwards wouldn't be a prob for airliners capable of powerback. Witnessed personally on a Do 328 (it wasn't being stolen this time!  Smile ) and heard MD-80s/DC-9 were able to do it. So again... no tug guy required.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:11 am

Out here there is a Security person for each Aircraft.
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MEL
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FighterPilot
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:04 am

If someone was to steal something like a KingAir, what would you all have to do to hide it? You'd have to repaint it and create a fake reg. What else?

Cal  airplane 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:53 am

Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 45):
You'd have to repaint it and create a fake reg.

Is the latter that easy  Smile
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MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
SEPilot
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 45):
If someone was to steal something like a KingAir, what would you all have to do to hide it? You'd have to repaint it and create a fake reg. What else?

As soon as you try and fly it IFR I suspect the fake registration would show up as fake. When you register an aircraft you have to give the serial number, and if you alter it it would show up as fake. If you use a real serial number from a crashed plane it would show up as crashed. With computers today it is much harder to get away with stealing large things like airplanes than it used to be. As others have said, most stolen planes are used for drug running, and probably not used more than once or twice.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
SBBRTech
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:31 pm

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 8):
And of course, they're repo'd all the time

You mean like a leasing agent going down to the planes location and stealing it back?
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Do Airplanes Have Keys?

Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:38 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 47):
Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 45):
If someone was to steal something like a KingAir, what would you all have to do to hide it? You'd have to repaint it and create a fake reg. What else?

As soon as you try and fly it IFR I suspect the fake registration would show up as fake. When you register an aircraft you have to give the serial number, and if you alter it it would show up as fake. If you use a real serial number from a crashed plane it would show up as crashed. With computers today it is much harder to get away with stealing large things like airplanes than it used to be. As others have said, most stolen planes are used for drug running, and probably not used more than once or twice.

Not if you fly outside your own country. A few years ago in Germany a visiting FAA inspector on vacation noticed a registration number on an N-registered GA plane, he knew from back home. Only problem was that this registration number belonged to a police helicopter from his hometown in the US.
He informed the German LBA, who did an investigation with the local FAA field office.
The owner of this plane had simply sprayed a phantsy N-registration on his plane and got away with it since several years. The German LBA left the plane alone, assuming that it would be controlled by the FAA. Only thing, since this plane was never flown inside the US, nobody noticed the fraud. If the visiting FAA inspector wouldn't have noticed the false registration number, nobody would have noticed, unless the pilot caused an accident.
This way the pilot was able to save paying taxes, insurance and maintenance bills (e.g. the 100 hour inspection).
Needless to day that the owner and pilot faced serious charges, including falsification of official documents, operating an unairworthy aircraft without insurance cover, tax fraud etc. from both Germany and the US.

Jan
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