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Jet Fighters Pursue Cessna Stolen by Flight Student

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by tritone, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7273710&page=1

    Jet Fighters Pursue Cessna Stolen by Flight Student
    Plane Could Be Shot Down If It Is Deemed a Threat

    WASHINGTON, April 6, 2009

    Over the skies of the Midwest, two F-16 fighter jets are escorting a private Cessna 172 aircraft stolen from a flight school in Ontario, Canada, whose pilot has been unresponsive to multiple requests that he establish communications with ground controllers.


    Authorities says two F-16 fighters were dispatched to track a single-engine plane over Wisconsin that was believed stolen in Canada by a student pilot.

    A Customs and Border Protection aircraft was also closely monitoring the Cessna.

    The plane entered American airspace over Michigan's Upper Peninsula at 3:25 p.m. today and has been trailed by the military aircraft since 4:43 p.m. as it has flown over Minnesota, south through Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

    The aircraft went past St. Louis flew south over eastern Missouri towards Arkansas. At one point, the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison was evacuated as a precaution as the plane flew over the city.

    Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ontario, confirmed to ABC News that one of its aircraft was stolen today and flown out of Thunder Bay International Airport at 2:55 p.m.

    In a statement released later today, the college said it was working with local police "to recover the airplane and identify the individual flying the airplane."

    Details are scarce as to the identity of the pilot, but NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said the pilot is a student at the flight school and that his motives are unknown.


    The F-16 pilots have made visual contact with the pilot and "know that the person that's flying the aircraft knows that the [F-16] aircraft are there, [he] is unresponsive to their non-verbal directions and is not in contact with the FAA controllers," Kucharek said.

    FAA officials also said the Cessna's pilot has not responded to their repeated efforts to hail him on all radio frequencies.

    When asked if the fighter jets might have to shoot down the aircraft if it shows hostile intent, Kucharek told ABC News that could happen.

    "NORAD pilots, once authorized by higher authority, are authorized to use everything within their power to protect U.S. citizens, up to and including lethal force," he said.
     
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  3. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    "The single engine Cessna 172 landed on U.S. Highway 60 in Missouri around 9 p.m. CT, and according to sources the pilot ran from the plane"

    Boy, that FBO is going to be pissed!
     
  4. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    not quite as exciting ending as XX years ago when the German student 'soloed' to Red Square......
     
  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    How far can a 172 go on a tank of gas?

    From Thunder Bay to MO?
     
  6. GuyIncognito

    GuyIncognito Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    that does seem a bit far, no?
     
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  8. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Had that happen on a night sortie in an F-111D in the late 70s. We were flying towards a low level entry point when ATC asked us if we could intercept a light aircraft they thought was smuggling drugs into the US. Answering affirmative, we picked up the aircraft on radar and made a couple of passes over the aircraft, which became quite agitated at having a 70,000+ lb fighter appearing to want to ram them. Even though we were unarmed, the aircraft's pilot was severely spooked and landed at the nearest lighted airport, where local officials quickly surrounded the aircraft, we were told. We received a thanks from ATC and a question of what type of aircraft we were flying. When told an F-111, ATC was flabbergasted and said they would never have asked had they realized we were an aircraft with virtually no low speed and very limited air-to-air capabilities. Nowadays the computers tell ATC who you are, what type of aircraft you are flying and all kinds of other data. Back then, they only knew we were a fighter.

    Cessna 172 actually has pretty good legs if you are going downwind, which it sounds like the student pilot was. We never did find out exactly what the outcome of our little interception was.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  9. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    An interesting account, Terry. With wings extended and dirty, what was Vmc on the F-111? It was probably 50 mph faster then the target. Having a big jet fighter sneaking up and taking a look at you would indeed be rattling.
    Switches
     
  10. VWH3RD

    VWH3RD Formula Junior

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    wonderful! more for the dopes in Congress to complain about. GA doesnt need any more bad press
     
  11. zygomatic

    zygomatic F1 Rookie
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    #9 zygomatic, Apr 7, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
    Saw a similar incident in the wake of September 11th, when a 152 came too close to a Connecticut nuclear facility and F-16s were scrambled to intercept. They 'buzzed' the 152 a few times, and then, in an attempt to slow down to its speed while the 152 landed, did a few high AOA slow flight maneuvers. Difficult stuff, but they watched the 'lil bird 'til it was safely on the ground, where the police had a few questions for the pilot.

    No word on what happened to the pilot's ticket after that encounter.



    I also have to wonder, how do you show 'hostile intent' in a 172?
     
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  13. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
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    #10 teak360, Apr 7, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009

    As soon as he lays down napalm and strafes the Wisconsin capital building?
    Seriously, what a bunch of over-reacting weenies. The world has gone mad. This is another nail in the coffin of GA.
    A 172, the size of a Honda Accord? Why not track and search every Ryder rental truck that comes within a mile of
    any government building?
     
  14. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Been going on for a long time. It's just newsworthy post 911.

    A coworker popped up unexpectedly on radar 25 or 30 years ago on the coast of Northern California and he wound up with a pair of F4's on his butt seeing if he was some type of threat.

    The event yesterday was a stolen plane from a foerign country being flown by a Turkish National.
     
  15. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    The 172 I fly has 53 Gallons, 110 Kts. at 7.5 GPH.
     
  16. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Rob- Allowing 10% for TTOL and reserve plus the typical 20 knot tailwind that is about 6 hrs and 20 mins at 130 KGS or ~825 nm or ~950 statute miles. A far piece.

    Bob- Final approach speed on an F-111 with wings between 16 and 26 degrees and full flaps and slats was 130 KCAS plus fuel weight in thousands. No way we were going to squirrel around at low speed at night, dirty with T/O trim set. We used about 250 KCAS and 26 degrees wing sweep. Plane flies fine there, but you have virtually no g capability at that airspeed. I am sure he got a good dose of of wake turbulence from our passes. Funny thing was, he was not too bright and had his lights on.

    Which reminds me of day 2 in desert Storm. Flying along on terrain following radar going north at 400' AGL and 570 KTAS (656 mph), I looked up and saw a fighter pass above us at about 5000'. I pointed it out to my pilot, who could not believe it. It was an Iraqi fighter with all the lights, including rotating beacon, turned on. Nobody had told them when you fly night combat, turn your lights off. Apparently this guy was about as bright as the supposed drug smuggler. Talking to some of my F-15 buddies, they said they had shot down several Iraqi aircraft at night with all their lights illuminated. Talk about making yourself a sitting duck.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  17. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Thanks for the info. You have done some real flying and I hope that you are writing it all down. Re lights on. It takes all kinds...lights on, brain off.
     
  18. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- Nobody really cares about this stuff. I am just happy you folks I respect enjoy the stories. A much larger audience, unbelievably, for the WW-I aviation articles and books I write. That is a really small enthusiast following.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  19. 10boom

    10boom Karting

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    #16 10boom, Apr 7, 2009
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    Taz: One of the greatest F-111 photos ever taken. RAAF. I have a few more F-111 Air Refueling pics I'll have to dig out from my KC-10 days.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  20. RacerX_GTO

    RacerX_GTO F1 World Champ
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    Iraqi FOF recognition system? :D
     
  21. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #18 tazandjan, Apr 7, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
    Don- Great photo of an F-111C. Missed a sortie in one because of an unlucky coin toss while based at McClellan AFB in Sacramento (we were helping them integrate Pave Tack), so have only flown the F-111A/E/D/F. My favorites are the photos of RAAF F-111s torching. All F-111s could do that (and I have, too, but never admitted it) because the dump mast was between the afterburner cans. Dump some fuel, light the burners, and make a torch of burning fuel extending two to three times the length of the aircraft. Frowned upon severely by the USAF. We actually caused an international incident in the UK when we torched one very dark and very clear night. They thought it was 1) a UFO, 2) the start of WW-III, or 3) the end of the world. Made all the British dailies. If you were having a hard time finding your leader, a short torch would do it. If too close, though, your night vision was ruined for quite a long time.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  22. 10boom

    10boom Karting

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    Terry-I got to see the dump and run up close when we dragged these guys back to RAAF Amberley in Brisbane. I've been around airplanes a loong time, but it was still one of the coolest things that I've seen up close. The pilot said the dump and run is actually quite celebrated and that they basically flip the dump switch, count down and then go into full AB. I have some A/R pics with some Cannon EF-111's somewhere I'll post.
     
  23. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    I know plenty of people who care about this stuff but they don't say much. It is special and important to record.
    I grew up in the 20's cutting my teeth on WW1 aviation and I'm still interested in it and the early mailplane pioneers. I have flown airplanes from that era and they are miserable pieces of machinery but great fun to fly. I have done some art of WW1 planes www.parkzart.com
    I would like to see and read some of your books if possible.
    The F-111 incidents are great to hear. please keep them coming.
    Bob
     
  24. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    isnt that like sending an Enzo to pursue a Segway ? :)
     
  25. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Bob- Too bad I did not find you during my art acquisition period. I have ~ 60 original paintings and watercolors of WW-I aviation including 5 by Jim Dietz, and several by Russ Smith, Steve Anderson, Mike O'Neal, Dan-San Abbott, and Bill Marsalko. Send me a PM with an address and I will see what I can do for you on one of my books.

    William- It is always better to be in the fighter than in the Cessna. Nobody else back then could intercept a light aircraft at night except a fighter. Anybody who wants an even fight in aircraft does not do it for a living or is not using live ammunition. All we had on board were 25 lb and 50 lb practice bombs (MK 106 and BDU 33) and I did not stand much of a chance of hitting an inflight Cessna with one of those. We had an M61 Vulcan 20 mm Gatling gun onboard, but it was not armed. We never used the gun much, which is a shame because the F-111 could carry 2000 rounds of ammunition, nearly three times the 750 rounds carried on an F-4E.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  26. saleenfan

    saleenfan Formula Junior

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    As for the legs of a C172 you can make it easily 850-900 miles, For isntance i can make it from Grand forks ND to Salt lake city on a single tank. With a decent wind you could make it further.

    I still dont get why he took the plane anyone know?
     
  27. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
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    Sounds like a test run to me.
     
  28. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Daniel- It was actually a suicide attempt. After they took him into custody, he said he thought the fighters would shoot him down. He flew over six hours before running out of fuel and doing a forced landing.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     

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