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Re: Analysis from a JHU CS Prof
From: "Matthew S. Hallacy" <poptix () techmonkeys org>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 23:35:04 -0600

On Wed, Sep 12, 2001 at 12:22:42AM +0100, David Howe wrote:

Also, it's worth remembering that airplanes aren't all that easy to
fly. This means that the perpetrators needed to find five adequate
Hmm. not actually sure about this - not having ever flown anything at
all, but how much skill exactly does it take to keep something already
pointed in more or less the right direction on target for two-three
minutes until impact? ok, you couldn't expect a clean landing or even a
halfway-smooth flight path from someone who has played a MS-Windows
flight sim for a few months, but - if he was going from switching off
autopilot to keeping the plane pointed at something the size of the
WTC....... I would imagine it would all be on the yoke too, no throttles
or concerns about airspeed given you are not really going to care that
much what speed or acceleration you have on impact...

Actually, according to the pretty pictures on ABC the flight path for one
of the planes at least required a 45 degree turn, and involved a lot of
accelleration/slowing, the slow replays also show some not-so-good flying
skills, or perhaps a goodbye roll..

which in turn means that they needed to know *in advance* which kinds
of planes they would be hijacking. While a lot of the pilot training
could be done using Flight  Simulator, you still need to know what to
train for.
... or train for the two/three more common types, then pick a flight *on
the day* that actually is flying that type of plane. book seats at the
last minute (not a problem for domestic flights) or pre-book three or
four different seats per attacker, and each picks a flight with the
right sort of plane from the "pool" of available flights.

Just about every airline with a website displays the kind of plane you'll
be in, months in advance.

                                Matthew S. Hallacy

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