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Re: Analysis from a JHU CS Prof
From: Petr Swedock <petr () ai mit edu>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2001 23:47:20 -0400 (EDT)


 : Delivered-To: nanog-outgoing () trapdoor merit edu
 : Delivered-To: nanog () trapdoor merit edu
 : Delivered-To: nanog () merit edu

 : 
 : 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
 : > > pilots,
 : > 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...
 : 
 : Sorry... I have to respond to this one.  I have actually flown a number
 : of
 : single engine airplanes, and I have some time in the cockpit of an
 : Airbus
 : A-319 (jumpseat, but still a good education).
 : 
 : All they really had to do was put a waypoint into the FMS (maybe they
 : had
 : the flight crew do this for them before they killed them), but if they
 : didn't,
 : that's not too hard, and I bet half the people on this mailng list could
 : figure it out.  It's more like configuring a router than flying an
 : airplane :-)  Once the waypoint was in, the only other thing they
 : needed to do was dial down the altitude preselect on the autopilot.
 : Then, sit back and enjoy the ride. If they were slightly more
 : sophisticated,
 : they could have switched the autopilot to heading mode and used the
 : heading
 : select knob to fine tune the direction of flight.  From what I saw of
 : the
 : footage for the second airplane into the tower, it flew a very straight
 : level course directly into the side of the tower.  It is not at all
 : unlikely that this was done by programming the autopilot.
 

I disagree. CNN.com had some video that showed the second plane in a
shallow dive with just an edge of bank. It's clear to me that the
pilot of the plane was making minor adjustments and corrections right
up until the impact.

Peace,

Petr

-- 
Systems, Networks and Gadgets, done with Artful Intelligence
                  -<>-<_>-<__>-<_>-<>-
Policy: ASCII/text attchmnts alway read. PDF maybe read. Others, by 
necessity, may be ignored. Don't take it personally, it's a time issue.



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