The pilot says that stealing an airplane is incredibly easy for an airline employee

Most of us know that the trip to the joy of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday evening ended in a fiery crash about 40 miles southwest of the island of Ketron. The improvised pilot did not survive.

First, understand that almost all airline employees have access to aircraft in some capacity. If an employee is based on ground services, he or she has access to the ramp area. Prior to obtaining this access, both the employer and the airport administrator get background check. The criminal history, potential links to terrorist activities and fingerprints are all part of the process. Once the employee is verified, an airline identifier is issued accompanied by the Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA).
answer to the burning question of whether to pass a test for mental illness, will be "no." If the background check does not prepare documentation for the treatment of mental illness, the airline will not know.

So, what would prevent an unskilled employee from managing a complex regional airliner with turbo charging? In addition to colleagues observing unusual activities, absolutely nothing. The protocol does not prohibit an authorized SIDA employee on the form to gain access to the aircraft on the ramp. This is not an unusual activity, if the description of this person's work is never related to access to the aircraft.

And an employee who climbs aboard in the dark is likely to go unnoticed. In addition, most airlines do not block airplanes, because access can only be obtained by personnel who have passed security checks, through bridges for jet bridges and access to a doorway with a combination lock.

Refusal of air traffic control (ATC) to start aircraft engines is not required. Also, there is no need for assistance from the ground crew if the aircraft is parked from the gate and does not require pushing. It is assumed that either the crew or two mechanics were in the cockpit.

And, apparently, this employee found a clear path for a taxi to one of the runways in SeaTac, where unobstructed takeoff could occur without the permission of ATC. The only risk is a collision with another aircraft, which adhered to standard protocols.

During my career, I listened to the hyperbole from non-pilots expressing the fantasy of flying an airliner and performing aerobatic tricks. The discussions included a wink and a nod, and none of these people even offered a hint of the true implementation of such a scheme. In addition to legal danger, the fear of death seems to discourage most people.

In this respect, a Horizon Air employee would be in a mood that most of us could not understand. Even with the qualifications that I received as an airline pilot, I could not imagine the unauthorized use of my company's aircraft, not to mention the jumps in an airplane that was never part of my experience. Of course, my colleagues are familiar with the axiom: "If you can start it, you can fly it," but none of us would have considered such stupidity without proper preparation.

That's why this event is so incredibly disturbing. Obviously, Russell possessed more than basic knowledge not only about flying planes, but also about the Q-400. Not only did he manage to fly, but he also fulfilled basic flight maneuvers.
Where did he get such knowledge? At the moment, this is pure speculation, but the likelihood that he has gained experience with the desktop simulator will make the script plausible. During the recording of the transcript he did quick link play video games".
Do you scoff at this notion? Well, it so happened that in a "fake plane" flies a very passionate group of fans. The sophistication of modeling is limited only by the amount of money that you are willing to spend. Computer programs proposes Virtual experience in everything: from Piper Cubs to Boeing 777s.

The simulator itself can only include a desktop screen and a mouse or a full-scale steering and steering device. In addition, the subscription can be obtained from various online companies that provide air traffic controllers, interacting in real time, as if the simulated flight was an actual journey.

I was present on a fake plane in Hartford, Connecticut, with my friend, who is participating in his own complex desktop simulator. It was impressive to observe the level of professionalism that these amateurs supported. Interestingly, I gave my friend the opportunity to fly on all three small planes that I owned for a certain period of time, and he performed above the average only based on his fake plane. This, as they say, with my friend and the most sensible people, that's where the fantasy ends.

Judging by the unorthodox communication of a Horizon Air officer with the Internal Affairs Directorate, it would seem that he was not familiar with with many aspects of the US air environment. Of course, he had worries about landing the plane. He was sufficiently familiar with his fuel status to know that the aircraft can not remain in the air for very long. Based on my knowledge of the Q-400, I believe that he had less than an hour of fuel in the tanks.

It is possible that one engine evaporated first, and since Russell did not have training to control the asymmetric thrust situation, the aircraft became uncontrollable and crashed into trees. Of course, it is likely that the employee decided to accelerate his demise by pushing his nose into the landscape.

So should the security procedures change? Perhaps, but not significantly.

I have a simple solution: always close the cab door and give access only to authorized personnel via key and / or door code. For most airlines, this procedure can be easily implemented, since systems already exist.

In any case, this is a joyful trip, which will be thoroughly researched from many sides. As a retired professional, I ask you to try this at home on your simulator on the desktop, and not in a real airplane.

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