BradThe Real Story of Flight 93Sun Apr 30, 2006 05:01
The Real Story of Flight 93
Flight 93 is the flight known to the public as the Flight of the Heroes, because of the CellPhoneCalls that were alleged to have been made from the flight, and the story it spins of the Heros trying to take back control before it crashed in rural Pennsylvania. We will look at just 2 aspects of that flight: the cockpit voice recordings, and the witness accounts of the crash. The main web site is United Flight 93 Crash Theory Home Page - The Real Story of Flight 93
Unlike Flight 77, the NTSB has allowed people to hear the CVR from Flight 93, although there is something that smells: it appears that the tape the NTSB played for the families of the victims ends 3 minutes early: (from Paul Thompson's Flight 93 timeline)
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Cell Phone Calls
The phone calls from the passengers of the doomed plans forms the basis of much of what we think we know about the events of 9/11. We have a lot of problems with a number of the phone calls allegedly made from many of the doomed flights, not the least of which is that cell phones don't work from airplanes at cruise altitudes; see Sept11 Physics Cell Phones.
For example, the Flight 93 calls report in two instances that the hijackers wore red bandannas or headbands (see Paul Thompson's Flight 93 timeline). Red sets of all kinds of bells in the American mindset: "Better Dead than Red" etc. But no Muslim man would wear red: green is the color of Islam, and there is a tradition (Hadith) of the Prophet Mohammed (on whom be peace) that explicitly deprecates the wearing of red by men. It sounds to us as if there may have been a screwup at central casting, or that there are no Muslims at the NSA. See "Let's Roll!" On United Flight 93 - The Saddest Lie Of All
In the case of CellPhoneCallsFlight77 there are simply too many inconsistencies in this story to for it to be credible. The idea that an ex-military pilot, an ex-Navy Captain and combat fighter veteran having flown F-4s in Vietnam, would be standing around the toilet at the back of a plane asking a Republican political commentator what to do is absurd. It implies that the pilots were alive, which would mean that they were herded to the back of an airplane without having time to punch in a universally agreed upon code into the transponder to signal a hijacking.
cell phones and 911 the unsolved mystery
So were the cell phone calls real ???
Maybe, just not from a plane at 35,000ft. Which is what the flight maps told us.
So are we to believe the flight maps, or the calls ?
Is the answer here???
Airgames - what do we know about the flight maps from 911 ?
In response to a new article about new pico cells aboard aricraft,
and comments following i wanted to put something together...
First let me clarify a few points about cell phones on aircraft, I have heard a few people say that they have heard a cell phone ringing while they were aboard a flight. This may not be that uncommon. Though, there
is a big difference between the phone seeing a signal (the ring) and the ability to connect and hold that call. For a ring to occur, the phone just has to see the signal, for it to connect, a whole series of events have to take place. The phone has to talk back to the cell site (a
handshake), then a traffic channel has to be setup. After this, the phone does several things. It adjusts its power accordingly, and looks for other cell sites, or signals it can hand off to. It keeps a list of the strongest ones and takes into consideration the signal to noise
ratio (Ec/Io in CDMA). IThese sites have a neighbor list. If a strong site seen by the phone is not on this list, it wil not be able to handoff to that site. At several thousand feet in the air, travelling hundereds of miles an hour, the sites the phone sees will change very
rapidly, as will the power level coming from those sites. This, not to mention that the sites may be miles from each other, and not on the neighbor list of the current site being used by the phone. This is a problem for engineers, when a phone is on a hilltop, then dips down below, loosing the original signal, or if a phone being used in a car
goes behind a building (just a couple of examples).
We have all had dropped calls, this is why.
Media Release - Professor says 9-11 Cellphone Calls 'Impossible'
Subject: New story on picocell for onboard GSM, Part 2
A follow up story:
Comment from reader...
This guy pretty much demolishes the claim that cell phones in general can disrupt a plane's avionics, from the fact that so many people unwittingly or lazily leave their phones on, therefore they should be blasting periodically, at least, at full power to call home to the cell, correct?
Or do most phones once they find themselves "not in service" stop trying to find a cell until the user forces it to try again? But, he also makes a claim that he constantly hears phones ringing in the overhead luggage
bins. However, he doesn't state whether this is at altitude or while either just on or near the ground. I don't fly very
much anymore, but I never recall hearing a cell phone ring in the plane once in the air.
And if a large number of cell phones were simply trying to register (much less have conversations) on a number of cells due to the increased in flight altitude llowing 'seeing' more cell antennas, wouldn't this be a
large concern to the cell industry and hence a common topic of discussion? Or does some cell arbitration housekeeping function automatically hide this issue?
Interesting that they don't go into an explanation of why exactly a picocell is needed (other than to save battery life) if their 2W max GSM phones can reliably (which they also don't explicitly assert) connect with the ground network. Unless, they are depending upon the brief
mention of the possible interference with the plane's avionics? Otherwise, the only other benefit would be from transcontinental flights, no small thing, but it seems that they deliberately left in place the excuses for why
cell calls (at least GSM) could work otherwise.
Interesting too, that they need this jamming mechanism to block non-roaming phones from searching outside the plane. Why not just have the picocell accept and register the non-roaming phone, but prevent it from connecting calls?
The FCC, not the FAA, is who put the ban on cell phones. The FAA did have some concerns about them, but then, the FAA dont have RF engineers to tell them if it is a real threat or not. I am sure they have hired independent contractors to determine if there is a danger. As a contractor, they probabally would say (as I would) that the possibility is extremely remote, but dont want to sign their name on it. Why leave yourself open to a lawsuit if you dont have to?
I did an RF study once to determine if we (Sprint) could put a cell site on a roof of a hospital. I had to take into consideration the equipment used in the hospital (heart monitors, diagnostics, MRI, pacemakers etc...).
Then i had to determine how much power was used by the base station, and total RF out of the base station antennas. The equipment and antennas were 2 floors above the hospital equipment. I did all the calculations, and there would be no effect on the equipment.
The base station equipment puts out 16watts per antenna, with 3 antennas. If you include all antennas and the gain from the antennas themselves, this was over 10000 watts. A cell phone operates at a max of .6 watts max per FCC guidelines.
So what Airbus did was magic. They installed a system that reduces the emissions of the cell phone to such a low level that they are undetectable by anything except another cell phone.
The only way they can do that is to send a signal to the phone strong enough for the phone to see it as the overriding siganl. In that case, they are doing the same thing the phone does. transmitting power.
Ive said it before, there is NO effect on the planes systems from a cell phone. I dont know that much about the systems, but mst everything is hard wired, which means stray RF has no impact comparitavely.
The RF parts on the plane would be the radio, and stuff like ACARS and transponders. To think a cell phone could interfere with this is absurd.
Cell phones genereally put out .4watts max
(.6max by the FCC but most cant even get this at peak power out). They are also on different frequencies, not even close to cell phones. Your microwave oven interfering with your cell would be more likely than a cell interfering with onboard aircraft equipment. A microwave oven is closer in frequency to your cell than anything on an aircraft.
Equipment used in aircraft, or for that matter, any equipment meant to transmit or recieve siganls have a front end. This dis-regards any frequency operating out of band, and stops it from reaching the equipment. For the equipment itself, there is a metal box to sheild it
from outside interference.
The problem OnAir faces is what to do with a phone which doesn't have roaming enabled. Such a phone will try to register itself with the aircraft's picocell, and be rejected. It would then search for another
service provider's antenna, and normally, would be able to pick up the (far weaker) signals of other ground-based cells. To prevent this, a very low-level "noise" signal will be generated in the aircraft, blanketing the remote cells
This again shows that this equipment has to transmit power. The same fear that we have from cell phones ?
It says a "low level" noise will be generated in the aircraft. Well, it has to be stronger than the ground stations that the phone ususally talks to ! Otherwise the whole premise is defeated.
There is no real way for the engineer at a provider (IE: Sprint, Verizon etc...) to tell if an anomaly in statistics comes from an aircraft or not. There are several statistics we look at, drop calls , failed attempts etc.... many times i notice the cell site that is near the airport has worse stats, probabally due to people dropping calls while
taking off, or attempting calls just after being airborne.
Why not just have the picocell accept and register the non-roaming phone, but prevent it from connecting calls?
Well, you cant "regiter" the phone unless it talks to its home network.
This is needed to provide billing and other info.
A roaming phone will go into a "sleep mode" but it wakes itself up every couple of mins to "poll" signals and see if it can connect. When it does this , it starts at low power, then increases to max power, tries a few times, if it doesnt see something that will accept the signal, it goes
back to sleep.
Most of those parameters are settable by the engineer, to some extent.
This is the FCC stance of cellular phones and aircraft useage.
Note: the mention about Aircell and it not interfering with ground stations. It says nothing about onboard electronics of the aircraft...
Section 22.925 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR Part 22, provides that cellular telephones installed in, or carried aboard airplanes, balloons, or any other type of aircraft, must not be operated while the aircraft is off the ground. The following notice must be posted on or near each cellular telephone installed in any aircraft: "The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is airborne is prohibited by FCC rules, and the violation of this rule could result in suspension of service and/or a fine. The use of cellular telephones while this aircraft is on the ground is subject to FAA regulations."
However, the Commission has granted AirCell, Inc. (AirCell) and certain participating cellular carriers limited waivers of Section 22.925, to allow the use of AirCell equipment while airborne, subject to certain conditions. The AirCell equipment, which includes a modified cellular mobile telephone and specially designed aircraft antenna, is designed to avoid causing significant interference to terrestrial cellular systems.
Pursuant to appeals filed by certain cellular licensees opposing the Commission's grant of such waivers, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected petitioners' claim that the Commission's
grant of the waivers unlawfully modified their licenses, but remanded the case to the Commission to further explain certain of the technical grounds for its decision. See AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., v. FCC, 270 F.3d 959 (D.C. Cir. 2001). This remand, as well as a separate request by AirCell to extend the duration of the waivers, are currently pending before the Commission. Section 91.21 of the FAA rules (14. C.F.R. 91.21) prohibits the use of (with some exceptions) portable electronic devices while on board U.S. registered civil aircraft operated by the holder of an air carrier operating certificate, or operating certificate, or any other aircraft operated under instrument flight rules. The FAA has issued an advisory circular offering information and guidance for assistance in compliance with Section 91.21.
RF safty calculator...
FCC License # PG - GB - 0004xx
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