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Seattle airliner stolen and crashed

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I’d say a 40,000lb airliner with a suicidal pilot who has already committed several felonies is closer to 9/11 than a 1,600lb Cessna wandering around NORDO. Apologies if I don’t follow your logic.

 

 

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I disagree. We didn't get lucky, our process worked. We knew the situation, the Eagle pilots and ATC fed up to date information to everyone involved, and the decision was made to NOT shoot this aircraft down based on the threat it posed. Had the threat assessment changed, then the decision to shoot it down would have changed.

 The guy crashed into Ketron Island. It’s the outer report point for departure out of Gray Army Airfield to the North. If moved a little over a mile south he would have come down in the middle of North Fort JBLM, which is filled with barracks. A mile another direction, Anderson Island. Half a mile or so East and he’s coming down in the middle of Washington University in Tacoma. 

That area he decided to have an impromptu airshow, that’s the stretch between the Nisqually outflow into the sound (Lacey) and Point Defiance (Tacoma). You go up to 35 seconds in just about any direction from where he was overwater at 100 knots over that thin stretch of water and you’re over houses.

 

He was fine up to a point, and then he was needlessly endangering any of tens of thousands of people. The first “hey look what I can do” should have been it. This wasn’t a guy tooling around while ATC deconflicts traffic needing to be talked down anymore after that.

 

 

And I’ll caveat this too for the sake of not ever getting full picture. If the Eagles were getting ready with the wheels turning to roll on this guy and we just aren’t advertising it since the outcome made it moot hey cool, I get that. But if this is somehow a “good outcome” for any other reason to us than dumb luck I think we really need to rethink what our expectations of good outcome are and publicly state them, because trough Grace of really luck alone we didn’t have this guy kill a bunch of people in his quest to end it spectacularly. And remember even if he hadn’t been doing his best Bob Hoover impressions, he was also running out of fuel without a lot of water to stay over while he did it.

 

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2 hours ago, Lawman said:

 The guy crashed into Ketron Island. It’s the outer report point for departure out of Gray Army Airfield to the North. If moved a little over a mile south he would have come down in the middle of North Fort JBLM, which is filled with barracks. A mile another direction, Anderson Island. Half a mile or so East and he’s coming down in the middle of Washington University in Tacoma. 

That area he decided to have an impromptu airshow, that’s the stretch between the Nisqually outflow into the sound (Lacey) and Point Defiance (Tacoma). You go up to 35 seconds in just about any direction from where he was overwater at 100 knots over that thin stretch of water and you’re over houses.

 

He was fine up to a point, and then he was needlessly endangering any of tens of thousands of people. The first “hey look what I can do” should have been it. This wasn’t a guy tooling around while ATC deconflicts traffic needing to be talked down anymore after that.

 

 

And I’ll caveat this too for the sake of not ever getting full picture. If the Eagles were getting ready with the wheels turning to roll on this guy and we just aren’t advertising it since the outcome made it moot hey cool, I get that. But if this is somehow a “good outcome” for any other reason to us than dumb luck I think we really need to rethink what our expectations of good outcome are and publicly state them, because trough Grace of really luck alone we didn’t have this guy kill a bunch of people in his quest to end it spectacularly. And remember even if he hadn’t been doing his best Bob Hoover impressions, he was also running out of fuel without a lot of water to stay over while he did it.

 

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I dont know your background, so I dont mean to insult, but once the Eagles picked him up on their radar, they could've shot him down at any given moment.

Guess what happens to an airliner when you shoot it down? It crashes. Probably fully in contact. Missiles cause planes to crash by sending frag through critical systems, like hydraulics. Even if they spear the aircraft, if they dont render those systems useless, the plane will probably still fly. There is a reason we shoot x2 at airline sized aircraft.

So, do we shoot a plane down with a dude who hasn't necessarily shown hostile intent and let it crash in a random place, or wait and see what happens? Not like you are controlling the crash either way, unless it was headed for a very specific target.

Did that dude crash intentionally? Was there a good point during the intercept to shoot him down and not be worried about where the plane would end up? I dont know.

I dont have a ton of ACA experience, but I have some, and i have intercepted dudes with live missiles on my jet. Things happen quick and the situation is extremely ambiguous. It's a pick up game trying to figure out WTF is going on and what the intent is. Unless I heard Rich on the radio sounding like he wanted to hurt people, or the voice of God spoke over the NORAD freq and told me this was a known terrorist plot, I'd have a difficult time shooting.

Edit to add: As a fighter pilot doing ACA, it's almost never my call to shoot. It's my job to intercept the guy, tell NORAD what is going on, and try to help make contact (over the radio or visually) or direct him away from a specific area.

Edited by Kenny Powers
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28 minutes ago, Kenny Powers said:

I dont know your background, so I dont mean to insult, but once the Eagles picked him up on their radar, they could've shot him down at any given moment.

Guess what happens to an airliner when you shoot it down? It crashes. Probably fully in contact. Missiles cause planes to crash by sending frag through critical systems, like hydraulics. Even if they spear the aircraft, if they dont render those systems useless, the plane will probably still fly. There is a reason we shoot x2 at airline sized aircraft.

So, do we shoot a plane down with a dude who hasn't necessarily shown hostile intent and let it crash in a random place, or wait and see what happens? Not like you are controlling the crash either way, unless it was headed for a very specific target.

Did that dude crash intentionally? Was there a good point during the intercept to shoot him down and not be worried about where the plane would end up? I dont know.

I dont have a ton of ACA experience, but I have some, and i have intercepted dudes with live missiles on my jet. Things happen quick and the situation is extremely ambiguous. It's a pick up game trying to figure out WTF is going on and what the intent is. Unless I heard Rich on the radio sounding like he wanted to hurt people, or the voice of God spoke over the NORAD freq and told me this was a known terrorist plot, I'd have a difficult time shooting.

Edit to add: As a fighter pilot doing ACA, it's almost never my call to shoot. It's my job to intercept the guy, tell NORAD what is going on, and try to help make contact (over the radio or visually) or direct him away from a specific area.

 

 

There is 1 direction, About a 300 that this guy could go from where he was toward a non populated area from where he started going off reservation. He didn’t turn that way.

Never at any point in the ATC discussion is there any attempt to turn the lunatic making loops and rolls over a major metro area to get him headed that way. They were still steering him to the airfields at JBLM. As I said, when this guy went from “holy crap I stole a plane... now what” to “Ya’ll watch this!” The risk to the public changed entirely. If that wouldn’t force hands to say, yeah take him over the sound before he removes that option from us, then what the hell is the point of even intercepting him with live ordnance on them in the first place. 

He was in the only place where you could pump two 120s into him and not drop him on a house when he was auditioning for the Thunderbirds 800 feet over some of my friends houses. The second that happen the discussion should have been over. Because the next time he decided to roll it inverted and “see what happens” could have been over any of a dozen cities/suburbs all within short distance of where he abandoned normalcy and demonstrated a threat to the public at large. He escalated the threat beyond rational through his actions in the air, not simply because if were gonna run an intercept might as well run it “sexy.” If we need to change methodology on tactics during the intercept to minimize the time in the kill chain so you can take a fleeting chance like this one (him being over the sound instead of anywhere else) like we would with a similar situation over say Manhattan or something, than war game that and figure it out. It’s not like every chance for this to occur is gonna be lucky enough to happen somewhere over the Arizona desert or desolate stretch of Montana or something. 

As I and others said.... we got very Lucky he killed himself without taking some poor innocent with his dumb ass.

Edited by Lawman
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8 minutes ago, Lawman said:

 

 

There is 1 direction, count it... 1 that this guy could go from where he was toward a non populated area from where he started going off reservation. He didn’t turn that way.

Never at any point in the ATC discussion is there any attempt to turn the lunatic making loops and rolls over a major metro area to get him headed that way. They were still steering him to the airfields at JBLM. As I said, when this guy went from “holy crap I stole a plane... now what” to “Ya’ll watch this!” The risk to the public changed entirely. If that wouldn’t force hands to say, yeah take him over the sound before he removes that option from us, then what the hell is the point of even intercepting him with live ordnance on them in the first place. 

He was in the only place where you could pump two 120s into him and not drop him on a house when he was auditioning for the Thunderbirds 800 feet over some of my friends houses. The second that happen the discussion should have been over. Because the next time he decided to roll it inverted and “see what happens” could have been over any of a dozen cities/suburbs all within short distance of where he abandoned normalcy and demonstrated a threat to the public at large. 

As I and others said.... we got very Lucky he killed himself without taking some poor innocent with his dumb ass.

Agree to disagree, maybe your experience with these types of situations is different than mine.

And I dont know the timeline of the above audio (is it real time?), but I clocked about 40 seconds between barrel roll and crash. So what do you think would have changed based on your arguement above?

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Agree to disagree, maybe your experience with these types of situations is different than mine.

And I dont know the timeline of the above audio (is it real time?), but I clocked about 40 seconds between barrel roll and crash. So what do you think would have changed based on your arguement above?

The fact that simply 30 seconds additional time traveling in any direction between his first attempt at a “successful” barrel roll and his second puts him overtop literally any populated area in that region. 

 

We got lucky he hit water, because for where he was that’s literally the least likely thing he could have landed on. Outside the JBLM impact area and the little bit of low density you get in the Nisqually reservation area, that places is packed with people and houses. What other kind of thing would he have to have done to demonstrate a clear and ever present threat. If “Allah Akbar” would raise the hairs as it would many for good reason, this guys actions definitely should.

CDE51A07-7AFD-4071-AAB5-55A460B4FBC2.thumb.jpeg.6b1d1033f28dae0a09ddb31ad4b8204d.jpeg

 

Edited by Lawman

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You probably won’t see airliners (etc) getting shot down until there has been demonstrated hostile intent from something larger than an individual. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lawman said:

The fact that simply 30 seconds additional time traveling in any direction between his first attempt at a “successful” barrel roll and his second puts him overtop literally any populated area in that region. 

We got lucky he hit water, because for where he was that’s literally the least likely thing he could have landed on. Outside the JBLM impact area and the little bit of low density you get in the Nisqually reservation area, that places is packed with people and houses. What other kind of thing would he have to have done to demonstrate a clear and ever present threat. If “Allah Akbar” would raise the hairs as it would many for good reason, this guys actions definitely should.

What more could he have done to demonstrate a threat?  He could have started by plowing into downtown Seattle before any scramble even had time to reach the jets.

Instead he headed towards an unpopulated area before (generally) complying with instructions to turn back towards Sea-Tac in order to stay within radio range of approach.

Then he verbally expressed his desire not to hurt anyone and voluntarily posted up over the water for his aerobatics.  Based on his behavior and flight track, this was not dumb luck.  It was a conscious decision on his part to do what he was going to do in a "safe" location.  I can imagine more threatening scenarios.

FYI, he didn't crash into the water but given the underpopulated area he had chosen, nobody on the ground was affected.

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1 hour ago, Mark1 said:

What more could he have done to demonstrate a threat?  He could have started by plowing into downtown Seattle before any scramble even had time to reach the jets.

Instead he headed towards an unpopulated area before (generally) complying with instructions to turn back towards Sea-Tac in order to stay within radio range of approach.

Then he verbally expressed his desire not to hurt anyone and voluntarily posted up over the water for his aerobatics.  Based on his behavior and flight track, this was not dumb luck.  It was a conscious decision on his part to do what he was going to do in a "safe" location.  I can imagine more threatening scenarios.

FYI, he didn't crash into the water but given the underpopulated area he had chosen, nobody on the ground was affected.

 

How many BBQs have you been too in backyards that could look up and see this guy conduct his fuckery? How many of you have spent any time in this airspace at any given altitude, much less where he was where you can look down and see kids playing from where he “posted up.”

im just curious, because I have been in some of the yards where he was doing this. DuPont is bacially off post housing for JBLM. It sits next to the Island (which is populated though barely) that he managed to slam it into. You could swim too it if so desired. You’re never going to get a better scenario than lone dude in airplane unless it is an intentional terrorist attack. 

 

Again, when he’s flying and talking... hey let’s work the guy down though god knows how that would have gone. When he starts putting that aircraft in what would be a semi controlled condition for somebody that knew what they were doing let alone an F’ing mechanic who stole the keys to it, yeah it’s time to stop playing with this A-hole. 

Edited by Lawman

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1 hour ago, Lawman said:

 

How many BBQs have you been too in backyards that could look up and see this guy conduct his fuckery? How many of you have spent any time in this airspace at any given altitude, much less where he was where you can look down and see kids playing from where he “posted up.”

im just curious, because I have been in some of the yards where he was doing this. DuPont is bacially off post housing for JBLM. It sits next to the Island (which is populated though barely) that he managed to slam it into. You could swim too it if so desired. You’re never going to get a better scenario than lone dude in airplane unless it is an intentional terrorist attack. 

You are clearly emotionally connected here, but this is irrelevant. It literally could have happened anywhere where anyone of us has lived and flown. The guys with experience in these operations are mostly logically trying to walk you through their process and provide perspective based on the known circumstances, which would similarly be taken whether it’s a stolen jet near jblm or near hill or Leavenworth.  

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8 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

You are clearly emotionally connected here, but this is irrelevant. It literally could have happened anywhere where anyone of us has lived and flown. The guys with experience in these operations are mostly logically trying to walk you through their process and provide perspective based on the known circumstances, which would similarly be taken whether it’s a stolen jet near jblm or near hill or Leavenworth.  

See this goes back to my original point, the personal side of it was more to address people who see to have an unfamiliarity with the area. People hear “Washington” or JBLM and think it’s all pine trees and crap.

We Got Lucky. That’s the whole point here. Same is if he’d been doing this around NYC/Jersey and put it into the water instead of any of the areas around it. 

None of the actions of either ATC or the Intercepting eagles really directly contributed to this outcome not taking more lives than his own. They were there and they were monitoring/communicating and had other options available, but there was no real direct threat stance or effort to keep this guy away from all those he was putting at risk. That’s the we got lucky part. Some are so insistently saying the outcome was the process working as it’s supposed to. We could have changed no actions and left it to random chance and he could have hit one of the few houses on Ketron or decided to go one way when he initiated instead of the other and put it down on Tacoma Narrows or Stielacoom, or any of a half dozen other places he was over at the time. The outcome would change (total killed) despite all the correct actions by ATC and the interceptors and people would not be insisting we didn’t get lucky unless they were trying to say “at least he hit a lone house and not the concert venue nearby.”

Edited by Lawman

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11 hours ago, Lawman said:

 

How many BBQs have you been too in backyards that could look up and see this guy conduct his fuckery? How many of you have spent any time in this airspace at any given altitude, much less where he was where you can look down and see kids playing from where he “posted up.”

im just curious, because I have been in some of the yards where he was doing this. DuPont is bacially off post housing for JBLM. It sits next to the Island (which is populated though barely) that he managed to slam it into. You could swim too it if so desired. You’re never going to get a better scenario than lone dude in airplane unless it is an intentional terrorist attack. 

 

Again, when he’s flying and talking... hey let’s work the guy down though god knows how that would have gone. When he starts putting that aircraft in what would be a semi controlled condition for somebody that knew what they were doing let alone an F’ing mechanic who stole the keys to it, yeah it’s time to stop playing with this A-hole. 

We get it...you were scared. 

 

I’ll reiterate..you aren’t going to see things getting shot down without demonstrated hostile intent from something greater than an individual.  

Edited by HossHarris

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We get it...you were scared.    I’ll reiterate..you aren’t going to see things getting shot down without demonstrated hostile intent from something greater than an individual.    

 

 

 What did the original poster I was responding to say, “an unpopulated area.” That is the height of ignorance on exactly what this A-hole was doing and where he was doing it. Again, some of you don’t have familiarity with that area and that’s fine, but stop pretending this guy just being an unqualified aviator in a multi ton airplane wasn’t a risk to a lot of people much less a demonstrated negligent threat while doing aileron rolls over them. Change the venue to something like DC and I’ll bet the conversation on willingness to engage with lethal force isn’t going to have the same threshold/trigger of hostile intent as you guys are calling acceptable in this instance. Why? Because government buildings or individuals are more important? Because of a lasting memory/scar from the last time? His means to do harm doesn’t change in that case, and neither does his actions short of getting on the radio and saying “the hell with Trump” or “Aloha Snackbar.” His intent wouldn’t have mattered in that case, only the possibility of risk he presented.

 

We’re talking about ROE ahead of time acknowledged. And just like every ROE discussion a threshold of pre-accepted risk will always exist just like it does in combat. Some here though seem to want to play with the idea that no real risk existed in this case which is nonsense. Again, we got lucky. Because as you have stated at no point was he at the Threshold that existed the day of the event. If we’re gonna continue to accept that risk fine, but don’t sit here and pretend that our system effectively created the outcome of this scenario being as clean as it was or that there is no value in addressing whether that risk level is the one we want to continue with from here on out.

 

 

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Seeing as how “they” have been evaluating risk and roe for the last 17 years or so .... yeah.... i don’t think much is going to change. 

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Seeing as how “they” have been evaluating risk and roe for the last 17 years or so .... yeah.... i don’t think much is going to change. 

 

And the terribly unfortunate nature of that game is had this gone ugly (dude lands on a preschool or something) or the next time something similar happens it wouldn’t be “they” who have to go in front of the public outcry afterward and say “we acted accordingly.” It’ll be the guys who should be empowered who are left to hold the bag.

 

This whole event should be pushing up the volume on a lot of conversations like ROE/TTPs for the mil side, mental health availability and others the more civil side. Unfortunately because the body count on this was so low it’s mostly just meme fuel.

 

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And the flip side of that conversation would be the about the due process required (or lacking) in the execution of a citizen. 

Based on our national history and professed ideals, I’d bet the roe doesn’t change much.... even had this clown planted it in a daycare 

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In my opinion, I live right by Tacoma Narrows, fly in that exact area very often and I listened to whatever available ATC recordings are out. I don't think that shooting the guy down would of made anything better, if not made things worse. I haven't seen too many Airplanes shot down midair but I am assuming there is little to no control of where they end up. Maybe a headline reading "Air Force needlessly shot down passenger jet killing hundreds on the ground". Then we would hear arguments of people saying "the guy was co-operating for what seemed to be the Majority of the time. He said he didn't want to hurt anyone and was pretty obedient when it came to direction changes to avoid flying over populated area's". I feel like if he had attempted to land at McChord that things would of ended up way worse. He could of attempted to land the Tacoma Narrows Airport and most likely would of avoided most houses. I am not sure where this "we should of shot him down" intensity is from.  When I was a Loadmaster our reaction to Hijackers is not to immediately shoot them. 

Edited by HDESP
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Agreed up until the last point. Situation dependent, obviously, but if we’re getting hijacked and you have a clear shot, fvcking shoot ‘em.

Edited by mcbush

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1 hour ago, HossHarris said:

And the flip side of that conversation would be the about the due process required (or lacking) in the execution of a citizen. 

Based on our national history and professed ideals, I’d bet the roe doesn’t change much.... even had this clown planted it in a daycare 

If the argument is there is some kind of necessary civil insert of the order to shoot/kill a US citizen, that’s kinda drawing a bit of a false standard. Put this guy in a car trying to breach an ECP on any military base or federal property and we’re gonna shoot him first. We did our due diligence of warning in that case with the big signs and civil authority is already granted. Arguably ATC could transmit the same kinds of warnings if we even viewed that as necessary when a risk is presented. Like I said if this discussion is (and should) in this case be about the standard of ROE than this instance should highlight the vulnerability we have due to time/transmit and speed of reaction of the existing kill chain. If authority/decision making is so far removed it eliminates the timely ability of the guy with the most SA (the interceptor) to effectively prevent or act in prevention than do we continue to operate that way. We asked a similar set of questions after 9/11 for good reason because we had been operating under the mindset that our posture at the time which included unarmed alert aircraft and a posture looking mostly outward was good enough. We changed because of the lesson learned and a re-evaluation.

 

Look I’m not saying I’m unhappy with the results of this particular instance. Fool kills himself and luckily the only cost was a crappy regional turboprop and some disruption to local air traffic. That’s a bargain, but again this should raise attention from those in the room of what could have been and whether our current use of force posture is where we should keep it as far as accepted risk. 

Edited by Lawman

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24 minutes ago, mcbush said:

Agreed up until the last point. Situation dependent, obviously, but if we’re getting hijacked and you have a clear shot, fvcking shoot ‘em.

I meant that, when we were trained the first step wasn't to shoot them. Like you said situation dependent. 

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6 hours ago, Lawman said:

 What did the original poster I was responding to say, “an unpopulated area.” That is the height of ignorance on exactly what this A-hole was doing and where he was doing it. Again, some of you don’t have familiarity with that area...

If you actually go back and read what I said, I wasn't referring to the crash location as unpopulated.  In fact, you'll see I chose my words quite carefully, referring it it as "underpopulated".  The "unpopulated" area being Olympic National Park, which he headed towards before being steered back by approach because they wanted him within radio range.

Since you're intimately familiar with the area, tell me what the population density is on Sentinel Peak, and then let me know if it meets a reasonable definition of "unpopulated"...that's what I thought.

6 hours ago, Lawman said:

...but stop pretending this guy just being an unqualified aviator in a multi ton airplane wasn’t a risk to a lot of people much less a demonstrated negligent threat while doing aileron rolls over them...

Stop pretending that having missiles tipped with high explosives flying around a highly populated area riddled with child daycares, followed by an aircraft with jammed flight controls careening uncontrolled towards said daycare facilities doesn't also constitute a risk.

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6 hours ago, Lawman said:

 

And the terribly unfortunate nature of that game is had this gone ugly (dude lands on a preschool or something) or the next time something similar happens it wouldn’t be “they” who have to go in front of the public outcry afterward and say “we acted accordingly.” It’ll be the guys who should be empowered who are left to hold the bag.

 

This whole event should be pushing up the volume on a lot of conversations like ROE/TTPs for the mil side, mental health availability and others the more civil side. Unfortunately because the body count on this was so low it’s mostly just meme fuel.

 

Lawman,

To begin, it’s not like we have lots of data points on such events. The variables involved probably make such an event so unique that assuming there is one good option to resolve it is not valid. There may be nothing that can be done in some cases to significantly improve the outcome. 

At least one other person has mentioned this, but it appears to be worth repeating. When aerospace vehicles get shot down, they don’t turn into harmless confetti and flutter to the ground.  

Since there were so many potential victims in close proximity to the flight path of this aircraft, there’s absolutely no guarantee that a shoot—down attempt wouldn’t have made things worse. Removing any chance of the aircraft remaining under the control of this individual who indicated he had no desire to hurt others by shooting it with air-to-air weapons certainly wouldn’t ensure it crashed somewhere desireable. Missiles don’t always hit what we shoot them at either. Setting up a shot geometry that ensured a wayward missile wouldn’t hurt someone on the ground may have been difficult, if not impossible. A mach 2+ unguided missile with a live warhead schwacking someone’s house or dropping into one of the venues you mentioned wouldn’t be any better than the possible outcomes you’re concerned about. Opting to gun him might have reduced the radius of potential problems from the inevitable rounds that didn’t find their mark - but they’re still going to fly for several miles once shot.  Based on your description of the area, it doesn’t sound like raining several hundred rounds of 20 mm HEI over the surrounding area would have been a good option either. It’s also a bitch to gun an airborne target that’s flying relatively straight and level at low speed.  “Safe” shot geometry with the gun would have probably been even more difficult to set up and execute without risk to those on the ground than a missile.  There’s a reason we test and practice with missiles and guns at White Sands or in large, over-water Warning Areas. 

This is not an ROE problem.  Making the choice to shoot him down over a population center is almost always going to be the lesser of two evils. Both options carry enough risk that it’s probably a coin toss. Once he lines up on a target with intent, the shot may diminish the result but definitely doesn’t guarantee no loss of life or property. Think about the second 9/11 airliner hitting the tower and what was in its path leading up to impact. If an F-15 was there to pump a couple of missiles into him and halt that attack a few miles short of downtown Manhattan, that obviously would have been great. But, the crash site was going to be a mess, with plenty of casualties and damage. A lesser “evil” for certain, but still an evil that wasn’t warranted in the Seattle case because the same threat wasn’t indicated to those observing and speaking with the individual involved. 

Edited by JeremiahWeed
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6 hours ago, Lawman said:

If the argument is there is some kind of necessary civil insert of the order to shoot/kill a US citizen, that’s kinda drawing a bit of a false standard. Put this guy in a car trying to breach an ECP on any military base or federal property and we’re gonna shoot him first. We did our due diligence of warning in that case with the big signs and civil authority is already granted. 

Dude there are weekly incidents of civilians running the ECP on military bases across the country (for a variety of reasons) and they don’t get shot, mainly because similarly to this guy they don’t show hostile intent thus the sky cops or MPs chase them down and arrest them.

  I honestly think that once this idiot got off the ground our processes worked.  I really think the biggest risk during this whole shitshow was when he taxied onto the runway for takeoff.  If a 777 sized aircraft would’ve been on takeoff or landing roll and he taxiied in front of them he could’ve killed hundreds of people before he even got airborne.

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Words (couldn’t get the quotes to work together right)

 

Look I don’t want this to become an issue of shouting over each other because the feel it became personally insulting. Thats not my chosen intent to say “this guy is dumb here’s my internet pecker blargh!” My point was, and this is based off a feeling I’m probably the most intimately familiar person in this discussion with that airspace, there is no clean way out of that airspace and there is little/no unpopulated place for him to have exercised his stupidity. ATC was trying to find the tastiest part of a chit sandwich. Ketron has little/nothing on it mostly due to population vs ferry availability to serve it. Even flying the least dangerous heading he’s gonna go cruising over the most densely populated area of the pacific north west. And say they could have gotten him out over Olympic National park (or even west to the Sanderson field area) would we let him come back? Should we? What do we owe this guy who places whatever/whoever he is near at risk had ATC talked him away from the ledge and he said “alright I want to try and land.” The Cold risk calculation would seem to say that is a horribly dangerous scenario to allow for the sake of some kind of self imposed morality of action.

 

 

 

 

Lawman, To begin, it’s not like we have lots of data points on such events. The variables involved probably make such an event so unique that assuming there is one good option to resolve it is not valid. There may be nothing that can be done in some cases to significantly improve the outcome. 

 

Since there were so many potential victims in close proximity to the flight path of this aircraft, there’s absolutely no guarantee that a shoot—down attempt wouldn’t have made things worse. Removing any chance of the aircraft remaining under the control of this individual who indicated he had no desire to hurt others by shooting it with air-to-air weapons certainly wouldn’t ensure it crashed somewhere desireable.

 

This is not an ROE problem.  Making the choice to shoot him down over a population center is almost always going to be the lesser of two evils. Both options carry enough risk that it’s probably a coin toss.

 

 

A phrase that came up over and over in the 9/11 commission should come to mind on this. “A failure of imagination....” that phrase was all over because exactly as you said and I agree we don’t have a host of examples of this kind of event to tailor our choices and train to. This one occurred, and like it or not it highlighted a real vulnerability in our response bottom to top with all participants not just the air intercept part of this event. I’m in absolute agreement with the poster above me that the time of the highest immediate danger and the most capable response to stop it was proactively before he pushed the throttles forward and took off. Absolutely let’s have somebody look at this event with a bunch of imaginative figures and say “what could we change to prevent this without committing to crazy overreaction.” I get what you guys are saying that you being a tool of application is a bad deal at best (the whole sledgehammer vs fly analogy) but if that’s the case then I hope and pray that is the message being fed back to the other parties AAR’ing this event because the idea that “everything is copacetic on our end,” is ignoring the real host of possible outcomes. There seems to be a deliberate attempt to make this a match between the hindsight capable best outcome of what did happen vs the worst case outcome of if you had engaged the end result is just terrible. You’re admittedly in a kind of damned either way position but if you could present as you said the scenario where now all the other possible outcomes that didn’t happen on the table and if the even had resulted in this guy hitting a school in Lacey, do you think we’d be arguing with so much resistance to the idea of at least trying to bring him down vs waiting to see where he did it himself?

 

 

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