35 comments on “How does this work?

  1. Yes, I wondered the same thing myself. Presumably they were using it as a training exercise for the “terrorists take over a plane” scenario.

  2. A 25-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and endangering an aircraft after it landed.

    There is an offence of “endangering an aircraft after it landed”?

  3. Billbaobpy

    Which is a lot more than the Fleet Air Arm.

    Perhaps they were rehearsig for a remake of Executive Decision

  4. Apart from the fact that the photograph does NOT show “Two RAF Typhoon jets”, but a Typhoon and a Russian Sukoi from some other incident, nothing.

    FD

  5. “What are they going to do?”
    If the incident is part of a hijack, and the plane is taken over, then they can shoot it down before it is steered into a building.
    That must be a great comfor for the passengers…

  6. @NDReader
    But quite comforting for the building occupants
    If that is the terrorists’ intent the plane occupants are going to die anyway
    Anyway the authorities have no idea of this woman’s motivations or whether she is acting alone

  7. Pilots and planes have to a minimum amount of flying time – it used to be monthly but not sure what it is now. RAF fighter controllers need training and systems tested.

    Might as well get that done on this sort of incident that faffing about on a pretend one.

  8. I suspect standing orders are send up the QRA (and I live four miles from RAF Conningsby so we know when they’ve gone up) in case it’s some nutters hijacking it and planning to land it on 10 Downing street or Porton Down/Nuclear power station etc..

    I imagine if the pilot can’t send a special codeword or hit some kind of transponder, the orders are to as the Yanks so prosaically say “Light it up”. Bit rough on the passengers though…

  9. Apart from the fact that the photograph does NOT show “Two RAF Typhoon jets”, but a Typhoon and a Russian Sukoi from some other incident, nothing.

    And their readers don’t even need any basic military expertise to see the caption is wrong – they are clearly two fucking different aircraft. What happened to the sub-editors at the Telegraph – were they all shot or something?

  10. Journalism is “a profession whose business it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand”. – Lord Harmsworth

  11. In the event a terrorist seizes control of an aircraft then the RAF jets would be required to shoot it down. Before it crashes into a major road, a shopping centre, a building etc.
    11/9 should not be allowed to happen again.

    Sure, bad news for the passengers on the plane being shot down. They’d die anyway however if the plane was used to kill hundreds or thousands more.
    Least shooting it down in the event control of it is lost means that some choice about where can be done.

  12. It also has a salutary effect on the person making the disturbance of demonstrating just how high the stakes now are. “Stop, or they have orders to open fire. Do you really feel *that* invincible?”

  13. BiND,

    Why waste the chance to get the “intercept and escort a civilian airliner” box on your training matrix updated? (And it saves the effort of setting up an exercise…)

    A scenario like this has the advantage of being unplanned, unexpected and unscripted, so even if it’s only “drunken idiot kicking off aboard plane” it’s a good test for the small-but-worrying hijack/suicide dive threat – how well did the QRA do when they were actually reacting to an alert, rather than a scheduled exercise?

  14. Concentrates the minds of the passengers:
    – if the terrorist has taken control of the plane and dive bombs into Seal Sands, the passengers die
    – if the RAF act before this happens, the passengers die
    – if the passengers get organised and take back control of the aircraft from the terrorists, some of the passengers won’t die

    Hey Rory – can you organise some training for the UK public in how to do this?

  15. I say shoot the plane down to set an example to other disruptive passengers.

    Yes, some innocent people will die as collateral damage, but at least some of them will be socialists happy to sacrifice themselves to the greater good. The ends justify the means and all that.

  16. Battery Chicken,

    I don’t suppose socialists fly budget airlines. That said, neither do MrsBud and I, and we are most certainly not socialists. Budget airlines tend to treat their passengers like shit, presumably because they believe that, if you are cheap enough to fly with them, you are towards the bottom end of humanity.

  17. @ JuliaM – Sorry, but she would immediately identify as a Greenpiss supporter, rendering her (it?) immune from being manhandled. Er, sorry, “Person-handled”.

    As for shooting an airliner down, it’s hard to think of many places over the South East UK where you could do this without a fair chance of collateral damage on the ground. Unless the pilots effectively blew it to pieces they can only second guess how far it’s going to travel, and even the pieces will go some distance from 20,000ft + The best bet is to try and do it over the sea, but that would probably reek havoc with the bloody windfarms – which would be a damn good thing….

  18. What are they going to do?

    If she runs away (jumps out) try and make her land on their wing?

  19. @DocBud June 23, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Seems so:

    Endangering safety of an aircraft
    240. A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.

    Endangering safety of any person or property
    241. A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.

  20. In the event a terrorist seizes control of an aircraft then the RAF jets would be required to shoot it down. Before it crashes into a major road, a shopping centre, a building etc.

    Its what happened to United 93.

  21. Horrible job for the pilot. Presumably they get some psychological support in their training.

    Real world trolleyology

  22. The pilot of one of the F-16s tasked to bring down Flight 93 on 9-11 knew that there was a very good chance her father was the airline pilot. He wasn’t, and she was spared the suicide mission of ramming the aircraft (they had no ammo) due to the passengers forming up into the Militia and rushing the Islamic terrorists. Don’t think you can train for that.

  23. A person must not recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property

    Does that include accidentally knocking your neighbour’s gin and orange off their tray? Bit over the top to scramble two fighter jets for that.

  24. ‘Its what happened to United 93.’

    Odd that RAF jets would be in Pennsylvania.

    Anywho, it crashed while passengers fought for control. It wasn’t shot down.

  25. @Gamecock June 24, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Chap who wrote/directed movie of United 93 deliberately chose relatively unknown British actors for most parts for two main reasons:

    1. They were unknown in USA thus not perceived as “playing a part”
    2. Less likely to find it “traumatising” as not Americans

  26. @ Gamecock
    We can never know but it is plausible that some passengers chose a high risk of dying stopping the hijackers and/or crashing in a field to living a few extra minutes and crashing where it would kill hundreds.
    That attitude is not exclusive to British Public School Boys – there was an incident in France recently where some decent *unarmed* Yanks took down the terrorist.

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