Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
ubeema
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:48 am

Hypoxia suspected in disappearance of Cirrus SR22T in Gulf of Mexico

Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:49 pm

A doctor volunteering for a dog rescue operation who failed to land his small plane at an airport in Central Texas as planned and was later tracked by fighter jets flying over the Gulf of Mexico appeared unresponsive and may have been suffering from a lack of oxygen, officials said Thursday. Up to 4 fighter jets were dispatched by NORAD until the plane entered Mexican airspace. The news source does not confirm this but I wonder why Mexican Air force was not dispatched to keep watch on the plane. Very sad this happened to this gentleman on a very noble mission.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Coast ... 72363.html
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 6229
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hypoxia suspected in disappearance of Cirrus SR22T in Gulf of Mexico

Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:47 am

The Mexican AF? Really, they hardly have a fighter force, let alone a alert force. The nearest base in Monterrey flies Cessna 182s, hardly an interceptor—no radar for starters.

GF
 
bhxdtw
Posts: 1157
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:28 pm

Re: Hypoxia suspected in disappearance of Cirrus SR22T in Gulf of Mexico

Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:38 am

I find it interesting that the article states that NORAD handed over tracking to the US Coastguard who then was relying on the FlightAware website to track it.
So does the coastguard not have the ability to use radar? Was Mexico not tracking it ? Were they just hoping it didn't crash into a populated area?

Maybe dumb questions I know but it just seems weird that NORAD hands it over to the coastguard and no-one seems to be seriously watching it...

Maybe I'm just wrong...
 
User avatar
atcsundevil
Moderator
Posts: 4284
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:22 pm

Re: Hypoxia suspected in disappearance of Cirrus SR22T in Gulf of Mexico

Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:03 am

ubeema wrote:
The news source does not confirm this but I wonder why Mexican Air force was not dispatched to keep watch on the plane.

What would be the point? The aircraft doesn't really need an escort. It was confirmed to be hypoxia, at which point, the aircraft either continues on course until fuel exhaustion, or the aircraft is destroyed. Shooting down an aircraft without really good cause isn't really an option. On the US mainland, the aircraft would be escorted until fuel exhaustion, but that's just because that's how we operate. The Mexicans may not have seen the need, since the outcome was pretty clear regardless.

bhxdtw wrote:
I find it interesting that the article states that NORAD handed over tracking to the US Coastguard who then was relying on the FlightAware website to track it.
So does the coastguard not have the ability to use radar? Was Mexico not tracking it ? Were they just hoping it didn't crash into a populated area?

Maybe dumb questions I know but it just seems weird that NORAD hands it over to the coastguard and no-one seems to be seriously watching it...

Maybe I'm just wrong...

NORAD would be alerted by ATC when the aircraft went NORDO. This would have come after numerous attempts and methods to make contact with the aircraft (guard, using relays, etc.). They would have scrambled, likely seen the cockpit windscreen fogged over and the pilot unresponsive, and determined that it was due to hypoxia. If the aircraft was on course to leave US airspace, and there was no threat involved, then NORAD would no longer have an interest. Meaning, there's no national security threat, so the situation doesn't really involve them anymore.

At that point, the Coast Guard would assume responsibility, because any SAR response offshore is their purview. If the aircraft was over the Gulf of Mexico, it's largely nonradar especially at lower altitudes, even for ATC. I don't know what radar feeds the USCG utilizes, but if it uses FAA radar sites, then it very well could be a nonradar environment.

There's no reason to dedicate the resources of NORAD in a situation like this, unless there's a clear danger of the aircraft exhausting its fuel near a populated area.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos