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Old 22nd February 2017, 16:37   #496
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
That said, I am not sure if anyone will be ready to shoot down a hijacked commercial airliner full of passengers instead of waiting for them to crash it somewhere. End result may be same, but the political and moral dilemma of ordering a jetliner to be shoot down may over shadow any decision making.
from your post...
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Once it is determined that the plane will be used as a missile to target strategic buildings or thickly populated buildings,
That's the reasoning. Just think 9/11. Yes, people would be ready to take that decision: they would have to. Of course, the ramifications of taking it and being wrong don't bare thinking about.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 20:29   #497
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.....But is it common there for one plane to be able to. have a visual contact with another plane?
I've seen it happen a few times, and would think it's fairly common to notice another plane a few (or several, actually) flight levels away on a clear day on a busy sector.

I clicked this while crossing the pond (London Heathrow to Boston Logan). Kept company for a good 30 mins before it hung a left and went away.

Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review-20140719_155150.jpg

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Old 22nd February 2017, 20:37   #498
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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That said, I am not sure if anyone will be ready to shoot down a hijacked commercial airliner full of passengers instead of waiting for them to crash it somewhere. End result may be same, but the political and moral dilemma of ordering a jetliner to be shoot down may over shadow any decision making.
Well, since the time has never arrived to test the orders, we don't know.

But from what SearchingHeaven has said, and we can reasonably deduce, is if the plane is determined to be hijacked and risks being used as a missile to cause greater destruction, the decision MAY be taken to shoot it down.

Of course determining if a plane has been hijacked would involve multiple checks/verifications - such as trying to get a visual with the pilots and signalling them etc. Remember all those fancy tricks used in movies like the Executive Decision? Who knows, they may be the SOP in such cases to prove that the plane has not been hijacked or does not pose a threat.

Also I do not think the decision to shoot down a passenger plane would be taken by the pilots or even their ground level superiors - It would have to be from much higher up, probably the president himself/herself of the nation that has scrambled the fighters.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 23:17   #499
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This happened over Germany and in German airspace. Apperently, the Germans have decided that they will not shoot down a plane under these circumstances. It's an official decreet/law. It went all the way up to their constitutional court. In essence it ruled that it is against human dignity, to count up the lives of those on board against those of a potentially endangered public (no matter what the ratio of numbers is).

There is an interesting German movie where a German Eurofighter takes the decision himself to destroy a highjacked airliner that is about to crash into a huge stadium with 70.000 people.

I sincerely hope that nobody will ever be put into a position you have to make that call.

Jeroen
Not sure if other countries have made such decisions.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 23:35   #500
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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In essence it ruled that it is against human dignity, to count up the lives of those on board against those of a potentially endangered public (no matter what the ratio of numbers is).
Wow. That is a very humane mindset. In its essence, it comes down to "don't be evil, don't do evil".

I think this is a real-life implementation of the trolley problem ethical thought experiment, which is framed as:

Quote:
There is a runaway trolley barrelling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:
1. Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
Which is the most ethical choice?
In this experiment (and its variations - what if the 'one person' is terminally ill, the fat man, etc.), a lot of people baulked at taking an explicit action that would cause the death of a few innocent people, even if it meant more innocent lives were saved.

On an unrelated (but still automotive) note, this thought experiment has come back to the fore when it comes to decision making and accident avoidance for self-driving cars.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 23:40   #501
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The other thing is, that there is some serious doubt as to whether a fighter pilot would actually execute such an order. Throwing bombs from 30.000 feet, going air to air with an adversary is one thing, but shooting down an airliner with hundreds of innocent people onboard might be an issue, even for military types.

Jeroen
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Old 23rd February 2017, 14:52   #502
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
The other thing is, that there is some serious doubt as to whether a fighter pilot would actually execute such an order. Throwing bombs from 30.000 feet, going air to air with an adversary is one thing, but shooting down an airliner with hundreds of innocent people onboard might be an issue, even for military types.

Jeroen
As you have rightly said Jeroen, hope this sort of situation never ever happens. However, I have interacted with a few armed forces people and firmly believe if ever it were required to be done, these people would do it.

They have (99.9% of them I would think) very different mindsets from ordinary people. An order is an order is an order, that's it. If there happens to be a weak link in the chain then the person would be out and someone else would take care of the situation. Of course, the identity of who actually opened fire would always be classified.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 15:21   #503
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

This is a truly gruesome topic. I'll be happy to move on!

But... Didn't some of the 9/11 passengers on one [or more] of the other plane[s] take action to crash the plane before it reached its target? Hats off to them.

By the way. I watched the 9/11 news at work in London. None of us in Europe needed to interact with them, but our Japanese expat bosses knew their colleagues working in that building.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 17:50   #504
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
One thing I noticed in the video from a following plane, is the wake/hot air leaving the plane's engines. Never noticed it from within the plane on the few occasions I had to sit behind the wing portion. Is this wake visible only from afar, i.e. either from the ground or another plane?
Contrails are formed when the water in jet exhaust (and thereís quite a lot of it, like car exhaust on a cold day) mixes with wet cold air, and condenses and freezes into ice crystals. Some aircrafts leave contrails, some do not. It depends on a lot of factors, for eg. high bypass vs low bypass engines, humidity level of air, altitude of the aircraft etc. As far as visibility is concerned, if it is visible from another aircraft, it will be visible from the ground as well, assuming perfect visibility condition.

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
That said, I am not sure if anyone will be ready to shoot down a hijacked commercial airliner full of passengers instead of waiting for them to crash it somewhere. End result may be same, but the political and moral dilemma of ordering a jetliner to be shoot down may over shadow any decision making.
In my time I have learned that, in principle, politicians have little enough objection to loss of life, provided that they personally cannot be seen publicly to have had anything to do with it

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Another thing is the airspace seemed crowded. I have rarely seen another aircraft in air in my brief experience of flying, but then I have never flown westward. So no idea of the Middle Eastern or European or American airspaces. But is it common there for one plane to be able to. have a visual contact with another plane?
Especially in the US and Europe, it is quite common. In fact we are often asked to identify traffic and report if it is sight.

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Well, since the time has never arrived to test the orders, we don't know.

But from what SearchingHeaven has said, and we can reasonably deduce, is if the plane is determined to be hijacked and risks being used as a missile to cause greater destruction, the decision MAY be taken to shoot it down.

---------------------------

Also I do not think the decision to shoot down a passenger plane would be taken by the pilots or even their ground level superiors - It would have to be from much higher up, probably the president himself/herself of the nation that has scrambled the fighters.
If you ever have time, read through this article on shootdown.. The radio transcripts give me chills.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I sincerely hope that nobody will ever be put into a position you have to make that call. The other thing is, that there is some serious doubt as to whether a fighter pilot would actually execute such an order. Throwing bombs from 30.000 feet, going air to air with an adversary is one thing, but shooting down an airliner with hundreds of innocent people onboard might be an issue, even for military types.
Korean Air Lines flight KE007 was shot down by Soviet fighter-jets on September 1, 1983. On that fateful night, 240 unsuspecting passengers and crew members were shot down like an innocent sparrow in flight. The trigger-man for the Soviet Union was Major Osipovich, a pilot who wasnít originally scheduled to be in the air during this international travesty.

The Major was slated to give a talk about peace at his daughterís school so he volunteered for night duty to free up enough time to speak during school hours. This adjustment in flight time put him in the position of patrolling the eastern skies when that Korean passenger-jet strayed into Soviet air space. In the end, Major Osipovich followed orders and shot down the commercial airliner. How tragic that 240 lives were lost, and world powers were pushed dangerously close to catastrophic results because military missiles were fired at a civilian airplane by a pilot who was preparing to teach children about peace.

Character can only be supported by actions, not merely words.

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Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
As you have rightly said Jeroen, hope this sort of situation never ever happens. However, I have interacted with a few armed forces people and firmly believe if ever it were required to be done, these people would do it.

They have (99.9% of them I would think) very different mindsets from ordinary people. An order is an order is an order, that's it. If there happens to be a weak link in the chain then the person would be out and someone else would take care of the situation. Of course, the identity of who actually opened fire would always be classified.
I agree with this completely. War desensitizes people, and more so the ones in the military. My own brother, who serves in the armed forces of the United States, has changed in a way my parents never thought he would. As a child, he was a very gentle fellow. A person who would be sad if he stepped on an ant by mistake. But after four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, he talks about violence, murder, death, and fighting in such a calm manner to the point that it seems unsettling to me and my parents.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 17:51   #505
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

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Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
However, I have interacted with a few armed forces people and firmly believe if ever it were required to be done, these people would do it.

They have (99.9% of them I would think) very different mindsets from ordinary people. An order is an order is an order, that's it. If there happens to be a weak link in the chain then the person would be out and someone else would take care of the situation. Of course, the identity of who actually opened fire would always be classified.
Couple of thoughts, yes the military would say that and would like you to believe so. But the truth is a little different. Ask them for their research into this area and it will show that it is not so straightforward. If they have no research they are most likely lying, if they donít want to share it, it proves my point.

Killing a real enemy is difficult enough. Killing hundreds of civilians to possibly safe several thousand is a relative easy decision, but carrying it out might be a bigger problem than some military types would like you to believe.

Under this circumstances there is no sending a person out. There will be two fighter with two pilots on the scene. If the order would come, itís up to them.

The notion that the identity would be classified is correct, but laughable as well. With current social media I would say the world would know within 24 hours who pulled the trigger. Not difficult to figure out at all. It starts with the simple roster for who is on scramble duty. Lots of people know and that includes friends and family.

I have read some of the research into this topic and one thing I havent come across is that those involved had any worries about their names being out in the public. It went much deeper than this.

I spend several weeks at Santa Fe, New Mexico, a few years ago at the Science Museum on a course. Santa Fe was the entry point so to speak for all those who worked on the Manhattan project. We met with some folks who were close to the project and the subsequent follow up.

At the time one of their big worries was whether the crew would actually drop the A bomb on the intended spot. History has shown us, they did, twice actually. But ever since the military has been dealing with how to deal with this particular topic.

One other thing to bear in mind is that very few military pilots in (western) Europe have any combat experience. A few will have dropped some bombs here and there as part of NATO involvements around the world.

Most (European) military pilots only experience with live rounds is on the firing range.

Actually, the Netherlands armed forces has just launched an initiative. They are bringing back a number of retired officers to help teach, understand and fight current and potential future conflicts as they are likely to be different from the current oversea type of Nato involvements. Current batch of officers does not have any such experience.

There is lots of stuff that you can simulate as part of combat (flight) training. Not sure if anybody gets trained in actually killing civilians as a pre-caution.

Attached article shows the ďofficial stanceĒ if you like, of the USAF. So they select and train their pilots. What you can read in between the lines, is exactly the point Iím eluding too. Itís simply not an exact science.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/03/us...cked-jets.html

Jeroen
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Old 23rd February 2017, 19:01   #506
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But after four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, he talks about violence, murder, death, and fighting in such a calm manner to the point that it seems unsettling to me and my parents.
Searchingheaven (perfect choice of handle and sounds great too),
Four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan!! HATS OFF to your brother!!!
Most people would be out of their minds in just one. Its just goes to show his integrity, character and the power of his mind. Salute!

Jeroen,
Once it has been established that the aircraft has been taken over and is to be used as a weapon to cause an exponential increase in loss of life and damage, the military WILL bring it down under any circumstances. It is never going to be an easy decision, but, it simply has to be done or the military has FAILED in its duty to protect its country.

The chain of command in the military is sacred, it cannot and should never be compromised or there will be anarchy. There may be bad apples from time to time, but as long as decisions are taken for the greater good, its as close to perfection as you will ever get.

Normally the military will never confirm the trigger finger, the press may scream themselves hoarse - who cares. This whole "freedom of the press" has become too much nowadays. They are MOSTLY self serving and not interested in the truth.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 21:40   #507
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

I doubt if the pilots would care. First off, it's their duty, and second, they follow orders. Like in the case of the pilots of the planes which dropped the N-bombs on Japan, they were following orders. The individual conscience of the person rarely comes into play. They are trained to follow orders (borrowing the line from Jack Nicholson).

Again this was a one-off incident where the Russians were already off their rockers due to the cold war and the repeated incursions by the US military planes - so they were already trigger happy.

Today a person who takes such a decision will face global scrutiny and persecution, even his masters would. So at least that should prevent such drastic decisions being taken without due protocol. But at the end, in such a situation it all boils down to what the pilot of the fighter plane will do.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 23:07   #508
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Once it has been established that the aircraft has been taken over and is to be used as a weapon to cause an exponential increase in loss of life and damage, the military WILL bring it down under any circumstances. It is never going to be an easy decision, but, it simply has to be done or the military has FAILED in its duty to protect its country.
You put this as where it a fact. That is simply not the case. For instance, it would not happen in Germany. It is down to what a society/nation considers to be an appropriate action. The Germans believe individual lives canít be sacrificed for the greater good so to speak. Iím sure there are many more people who could well think alike. Just as I can imagine there are many people who would feel the end justifies the means. If sacrificying a few, safes many, that is ok for them. To some extend dropping the A-bomb was like that. Although, admittedly, the parameters were a bit biassed. It was sacrificing Japanese civilians to safe US military.

I donít think it is a military decision, itís a political one, carried out by the military.
In practice the politicians need to give the military a protocol (boundaries) within they need to operate.

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The chain of command in the military is sacred, it cannot and should never be compromised or there will be anarchy. There may be bad apples from time to time, but as long as decisions are taken for the greater good, its as close to perfection as you will ever get.
If I go by your first statement, this one follows of course.

However,
History has shown that it rarely is that straightforward. Itís not just ďthe charge of the Light BrigadeĒ (they knew someone had blundered).
Many examples where it would have been better if orders had not been followed. (Ever heard of the second world war and the guy who started it. All those atrocities were done on the basis of soldiers following orders or so many claimed. (the others claimed they werenít aware of what was happening)

I donít claim to have the answer. I am interested in human behaviour. Very often, not just the military, but also in business, these sort of decisions are taken in a very mechanical/process driven way. Iím always more interest in the human factor as I believe that to be the weakest link.

We were discussing would the pilot shoot the airliner down if ordered so. But you might as well turn it around; the pilot is ordered not to shoot and still does.

Situation like that have taken place. The most recent one, is perhaps what happened with the Israeli soldier shooting the Palestinian assailant. For some this was a soldier doing his job, for others he is killer.

I donít want to open a debate about this soldier. Merely illustrating that what is good, what is expected from the army/soldier can be very different, depending on your point of view.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.762927

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Normally the military will never confirm the trigger finger, the press may scream themselves hoarse - who cares. This whole "freedom of the press" has become too much nowadays. They are MOSTLY self serving and not interested in the truth.
As I said, we donít need a confirmation from the military to find out who pulled the trigger. I have very different feelings about what is happening to the freedom of the press. I see it being ridiculed, doubted and curtailed by certain individuals and parties in several countries in this world. Just for asking a question, people are being dismissed. By not agreeing, people get fired etc.

Iím no great historian, but I believe the freedom of the press is pretty fundamental to most of todayís democracies. Check history who ridiculed and curtailed the press and you end up with some pretty unsavoury folks whom to date, are universally seen as some of the worst examples of the human species ever produced.

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I doubt if the pilots would care. First off, it's their duty, and second, they follow orders. Like in the case of the pilots of the planes which dropped the N-bombs on Japan, they were following orders. The individual conscience of the person rarely comes into play. They are trained to follow orders (borrowing the line from Jack Nicholson).
Well, I for one think pilots should care. I know for a fact (because I was part of it) officers in the Nato get training in topics such as ethics and morality. The actually discuss these sort of scenarioís too.

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Again this was a one-off incident where the Russians were already off their rockers due to the cold war and the repeated incursions by the US military planes - so they were already trigger happy.
Point proven, chain of command or not, protocol or not. You have to take notion of what individuals might be doing under these circumstances. You can never be a hundred percent sure.

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Today a person who takes such a decision will face global scrutiny and persecution, even his masters would. So at least that should prevent such drastic decisions being taken without due protocol. But at the end, in such a situation it all boils down to what the pilot of the fighter plane will do.
Agree and you can never ever predict fully what he/she will do.

Back to aviation now!

Jeroen
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Old 24th February 2017, 00:06   #509
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Default Re: Boeing 777 - Pilot's Review

As Jeroen & Thad said, we should probably come back to aviation.

So I got my 787 type rating last week, complete with checkrides and LOFT. Took me 10 days, roughly 70 hours. It was a differences course, because the 777 and the 787 have a common type rating. When I first started flying the 777, I used to think that it was too automated, too computer controlled etc. But the 787 is a different beast altogether. Some significant changes that I noticed.

1. Computers, computers everywhere.
2. Redundancy redefined. Everything, every system has multiple backups. Primary hydraulic, 1st backup electric, 2nd backup using generators, 3rd backup 28VDC battery and so on.
3. No circuit breakers in cockpit at all.
4. Brighter, white LED dome lights.
5. No ugly looking certificates and paperwork hanging on cabin walls.
6. Softer seats, well organized compartments, along with cup holders.
7. HUD is a good addition. To be honest, I never held a high opinion of the HUD until I used it.
8. A lot of manual switches like GPWS overrides, transponder, radio panels have been moved to a single large display on both sides.
9. No crossfeed switching to worry about. Press fuel balance switch and it balances it automatically.
10. Rudder pedals and that area is well illuminated.
11. BIG MFD's and almost every display is interchangeable.
12. Trackpad is good.
13. Overhead panel is greatly simplified.
14. All in all, fewer buttons.

Conclusion: Too early to say anything, although it is a great aircraft no doubt. Comparing 777 and 787, I would rather have the 777. The 787 feels like an airbus to be honest, and I hate that level of automation. I may be young, but I am certainly old school when it comes to aircrafts.

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th February 2017 at 11:19. Reason: Small typo :)
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Old 24th February 2017, 10:28   #510
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So I got my 787 type rating last week, complete with checkrides and LOFT.
Congratulations

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The 787 feels like an airbus to be honest, and I hate that level of automation. I may be young, but I am certainly old school when it comes to aircrafts.
After reading your comparison, this is exactly what I felt. Even though Boeing keeps telling otherwise, they are going the automation way, which Airbus started doing years ago.
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