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Posted: 6/11/2003 2:59:25 AM EDT
Yesterday evening I was watching ABC's evening news (something I rarely do for obvious reasons) after my local news was over. They reported that on May 25, a Boeing 727 jetliner was stolen in Angola. No details were given as to whether this was a passenger jet or if it had been converted to serve as mainly a cargo transport. But evidently authorities (perhaps some from the US) have been desperately searching for this plane ever since. So far the possible suspects may be smugglers of drugs and weapons or possibly a terrorist group such as Al Qaida. My question, if this was terrorists, could they get such a plane into this country under some false reasons? I know Al Qaida has boats and some ships, but could they now be trying to develop their own air force as well? It just seems weird that someone was well trained enough to steal a plane, fly it outta the area and keep it hidden for so many days. While it may not be related to any terror group, it sure makes you wonder. Has anyone else heard anything about this situation? -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:05:01 AM EDT
Terrorists aren't just sitting around in mountain caves picking sand out of their ass-crack. A lot of these groups have friends in upper tiers of Arab governments (specifically the Suadi). This can get them more than money. My guess would be to try and pack the airliner with something nasty, paint it to match a commercial airline and get a valid transponder code to follow a commercial flight path to a major city. Use your imagination and realize what you could do if you had the resourcces to do it.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:15:01 AM EDT
If it's that simple, then they better be dragging out the Stingers and Avengers and placing them around high risk targets. But you would think this would be rather complicated...requiring detailed flight plans, etc. Is this something that your average Muhammed could pull off?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:23:36 AM EDT
You mean the same average muhammeds that trained in the US flight schools, commandeered airliners and flew them into the side of Americas most recognizable sky-line? Yup. Complicated does not mean impossible. To try and sneak it into the US undetected would be the hard part. Flying it straight in with a legit flight plan hacked into an approved foreign national airline, not so hard when you think about it. All you have to have really is a mole that could clear your pilots onto the flight deck of a foreign airliner that's making a legit flight. But, much better boom-boom if you can use your own plane that you've "customized".
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:24:39 AM EDT
I know very little about how planes are monitored via radar using squawk codes, however, I know the US Customs watch our borders for suspicious activity pretty closely. I was impressed with how they can monitor the air traffic at their command center shown on History Channel. I just hope 9/11 has increased these detection measures.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:32:45 AM EDT
Me too. Especially considering that Iraq did at one time have WMD and we gave them 14 months to put them somewhere else. Hell, I'm not surprised they aren't finding nothin'. Give me a frickin' year+ and I could hide em' too. Or better yet, ship them off to someplace else for later (or sooner) use. Hmm, a missing 727, un-accounted for Chemical and Bio toxins plus a healthy dose of sealed nuclear material. Add a buttload of pipe for a crop dusting set-up and a flight plan taking you through the jet-stream over the mid-west enroute to a major metro. And fun was had by all. Besides, terrorism is cheap. Look at the disarray they can cause just by talking over the phone about stuff they'd LIKE to do.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:35:14 AM EDT
I guess a better question to ask is what's the range of the 727? This is actually a small jet in comparison to the 747's, 757's, 767's, L-1011's, etc that make up much of the international flights. I may be mistaken, but I don't think the 727 would be capable of carrying enough fuel to make it here from any far away country. To get into the US with it, it would seem they would have to come in from Canada or Mexico, and getting it to either of those nations would be just as difficult as far as distance in concerned . While not impossible, it would seem more difficult to get this level of clearance there also as opposed to in an Arab country. Maybe the biggest threat would be our interests overseas. Or perhaps this is nothing more than some drug runners who needed transportation. Who knows?
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:42:47 AM EDT
PERFORMANCE: Max Level Speed at altitude: 630 mph (1,010 km/h) at 20,500 ft (6,250 m) at sea level: unknown cruise speed: 570 mph (915 km/h) at 24,600 ft (7,530 m) Initial Climb Rate unknown Service Ceiling 35,000 ft (10,700 m) Cruise Altitude (727-200) 24,700 ft (7,530 m) (727-200 Advanced) 30,000 to 40,000 ft (9,145 to 12,190 m) Range max fuel: 2,175 nm (4,020 km) max payload: 1,490 nm (2,750 km) g-Limits unknown From [url]http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/jetliner/b727/index.shtml[/url]
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:43:21 AM EDT
Stolen or insurance fraud ? It is angola
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:56:14 AM EDT
Youy can bet the alphabet agencies are scouring the continent with satellites. Of course if it's in a hangar...
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:58:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By u-baddog: Stolen or insurance fraud ? It is angola
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That's another excellent point. If their security is so poor that someone could walk in and fly off in one of their jets, maybe someone should build and market "The Club For Jets" to them! Good grief. This insurance fraud angle may make more sense than anything else.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 5:56:53 AM EDT
But... You are looking for something that makes sense (is rational). Terrorists are not rational. That's why our civilized, rational society was caught unawares on 9/11.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:15:12 AM EDT
wow....we are assuming that al quida knows how to land a plane now.... -HS
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:39:39 AM EDT
Those specs are probably for a Standard 727-200 They have Supplemental Type Certificates where they install bladder tanks into the cargo bays for an extra 6000 lbs of fuel. It probably only gives them and extra 4-500 mi of range, but the thought is scary.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:48:56 AM EDT
Here's the post I made when it was reported in the news [url]http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=188944[/url]
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A senior U.S. official confirms that the government of Angola has reported a missing Boeing 727 aircraft. The plane apparently departed from Angola several days ago on a flight to Burkina Faso, in northwestern Africa, but it never made it to its destination, and its whereabouts are unknown, this official said. The official said there is "no evidence or information to suggest this is terrorist-related," and suggested "it is most likely criminal." According to this official, the plane was leased, and the people involved were behind in their payments. U.S. law enforcement and the intelligence community are working with the Angolan government to help determine what happened to the plane. When asked if there had been any intelligence from the region suggesting any terrorist activity related to a plane, the official said, "Nothing I'm aware of." U.S. officials have recently expressed concern that al Qaeda could use aircraft to carry out a terrorist attack against U.S. interests overseas. Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory to the U.S. aviation community citing "recent reliable reports" indicating al Qaeda was in the final stages of planning an aerial suicide attack against the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan. According to a source who read the notice, it noted "al Qaeda's continuing fixation with using explosive-laden small aircraft."
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Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:50:32 AM EDT
I'm having trouble accepting the al Qaida angle on this story. Angola is a country in the midst of a civil war, and all types of fraud are rampant in the region. I do strongly suspect that this is an "organized" crime, if you will, but I do not think that it is necessarily terrorist-related. Well, at least with respect to the original disappearance of the jet. From Angola, there are a number of possible destinations for the jet, but the most likely would be Rwanda, Nigeria, Congo or perhaps even Gabon. The motive for the original theft was most probably insurance fraud, but a strong possibility exists for drug smuggling as well. Where the terrorist link comes into play is after the jet lands. Once back on the ground, the thieves need to fence the jet, and who else has virtually unlimited cash (and by that I mean American greenbacks) to pay for stolen goods? Any number of terrorist organizations could make a case for the need for such a craft. I still think that the [b]most[/b] likely scenario for the disappearance of this jet is a crash into the Atlantic.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 6:56:54 AM EDT
We stole a Twin Travel Air once. The guy was doing some sort of insurence scam, and the insurence people told us to repo it. hehehe
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:09:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HillBillySasquatch: wow....we are assuming that al quida knows how to land a plane now....
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[LOLabove]
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:13:15 AM EDT
I would suspect that this plane will be used in a terrorist attack as a flying bomb, somewhere in Europe or the middle east. Europe is a closer target. Easier to get to from Africa or the middle east and a much more target rich environment. The excessive amount of logistical problems involved in trying to fly this to America make it too risky of a proposition.
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