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Re: Analysis from a JHU CS Prof

  • From: Matthew S. Hallacy
  • Date: Wed Sep 12 02:32:52 2001

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
> > 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...

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