Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
D B Cooper Unsolved Skyjacking

 

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Sluggo_Monster

Jan 28, 2008, 7:11 PM
Post #1501 of 1694 (3268 views)
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     Re: [377] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

Hey SkydiveJack, 377, and any other pilots out there!

I just figured out why the FAA, FBI, and AF won't release the Radar tapes.....

They don't want potential hijackers to see the super-secret "I'm being hijacked" squawk code Wink LOL!

Sluggo_Monster


Guru312  (C 6814)

Jan 28, 2008, 7:26 PM
Post #1502 of 1694 (3251 views)
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     Re: [Sluggo_Monster] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

In reply to:
They don't want potential hijackers to see the super-secret "I'm being hijacked" squawk code

7500

Not a secret by any means.


Sluggo_Monster

Jan 28, 2008, 7:44 PM
Post #1503 of 1694 (3241 views)
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     Re: [Guru312] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

 

Okay, Iíll get serious now.

SkydiveJack Said:
So an altitude of 10,000 ft would automatically require the plane to take this or some other coastal route.

This is where my head was last night.

I donít fly IFR, so I may be mis-interpreting what I see, but, from looking at Enroute L-1 and considering MSA (or I guess it should be OROCA, as I said, I'm not instrument rated), it looks (to me) that that there are only two logical routes south (at 10,000 MSL). They are V-23 and V-27. Weíve talked a lot about V-23 because itís the one taken, but I was trying to find a reason to eliminate V-27. That is; a reason that Cooper would have known about.

V-27 goes SW to the HQM VOR then SE to AST VOR/DME and continues down the coast, so I suspect this was the ďout over the coastĒ route discussed by NW staff. I canít come up with a reason that would eliminate V-27.

Go to http://skyvector.com/ to see what I mean.

Anybody got any ideas?

Thanx,

Sluggo_Monster

Edited to clarify Minimum Safe Altitude reference.


(This post was edited by Sluggo_Monster on Jan 28, 2008, 8:11 PM)


BGill  (D 28834)

Jan 28, 2008, 8:06 PM
Post #1504 of 1694 (3228 views)
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     Re: [SkydiveJack] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
This is big! I am a pilot. Non-pilots would not be expected to know about flight plan filing procedures. Even some licensed pilots forget that you can file in the air.

Of course we are talking about an IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan that has to be filed by every FAA Part 121 airliner, even if VFR (visual flight rules) conditions exist along the entire route of flight. A private aircraft can take off in VFR conditions and file an IFR in the air. But a pilot would know that in an emergency like a hijacking, ATC (air traffic control) would be able to route that aircraft right away.

I don't know about this one. I'm not a pilot and I interpret what Cooper says differently. "It doesn't matter, they can file it in the air" to me just sounds like an impatient individual who is trying to take command of the situation and tell people what to do. To me it sounds more like "Their procedures don't matter to me. I have a bomb. You do what I say. Stop wasting time and get in the air. You can do your paperwork later."

Does this make sense to anyone else? Or am I the only one who read it that way? This wouldn't rule out the first interpretation (that he was familiar with procedures), it just throws another possibility in the mix.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 28, 2008, 8:20 PM
Post #1505 of 1694 (3219 views)
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     Re: [BGill] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
In reply to:
This is big! I am a pilot. Non-pilots would not be expected to know about flight plan filing procedures. Even some licensed pilots forget that you can file in the air.

Of course we are talking about an IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan that has to be filed by every FAA Part 121 airliner, even if VFR (visual flight rules) conditions exist along the entire route of flight. A private aircraft can take off in VFR conditions and file an IFR in the air. But a pilot would know that in an emergency like a hijacking, ATC (air traffic control) would be able to route that aircraft right away.

I don't know about this one. I'm not a pilot and I interpret what Cooper says differently. "It doesn't matter, they can file it in the air" to me just sounds like an impatient individual who is trying to take command of the situation and tell people what to do. To me it sounds more like "Their procedures don't matter to me. I have a bomb. You do what I say. Stop wasting time and get in the air. You can do your paperwork later."

Does this make sense to anyone else? Or am I the only one who read it that way? This wouldn't rule out the first interpretation (that he was familiar with procedures), it just throws another possibility in the mix.


I think you're right.

And add to that, 'at that time' hi-jack response procedures called for the fight crew to delay delay delay...keep the aircraft on the ground for any reason even remotely believable...Cooper probably knew this and wasn't buying the excuse.


Sluggo_Monster

Jan 28, 2008, 8:26 PM
Post #1506 of 1694 (3217 views)
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     Re: [BGill] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
I don't know about this one. I'm not a pilot and I interpret what Cooper says differently. "It doesn't matter, they can file it in the air" to me just sounds like an impatient individual who is trying to take command of the situation and tell people what to do. To me it sounds more like "Their procedures don't matter to me. I have a bomb. You do what I say. Stop wasting time and get in the air. You can do your paperwork later."


Good point!

I think a more likely statement from a stressed-out non-pilot would be ďI donít care about procedures or flight plans, just get this thing in the air!Ē But, that is pure speculation. Weíll probably never know.

I guess Iím ďthinkingĒ of him as a pilot due to the instruction to fly with flaps at 15 deg AND wheels-down.

One conclusion that I am about to come to is: He didnít think his chances of surviving were very good. The more he knew, the more he would have come to the conclusion that surviving was next to impossible (assuming he didnít have a clue about where he was).

Maybe, he was terminally ill or suicidal.


Sluggo_Monster
















377  (F 666)

Jan 28, 2008, 10:35 PM
Post #1514 of 1694 (3136 views)
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     Re: [skyjack71] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Skyjack71 wrote:

'
"A flight from ATL to Frankfort Ky - in a 727. Standing in the galley -you could see out the cracks of the door and feel the air...obviously we were at a low altitude...looking at the ground - I thought - hey, I could jump that - of course I was a lot younger.
I asked a couple of pilots how high we were - we were over 10,000 ---."

Jo, How could you "see out of the cracks of the door" standing in the galley of a pressurized 727? If you were over 10,000 ft the plane was definitely pressurized. The 727 has airtight door seals on every fuselage door which all leak a tiny bit, but certainly not enough to see through. Are you 100% sure about this memory?


(This post was edited by 377 on Jan 28, 2008, 10:36 PM)


377  (F 666)

Jan 28, 2008, 11:13 PM
Post #1515 of 1694 (3128 views)
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     Re: [skyjack71] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

Jo has implied that Duane might have been a prisoner-smoke jumper or jumpmaster/loadmaster, perhaps while at Folsom. I can find no evidence that state prisoners were used as smoke jumpers ever. I have been inside Folsom and San Quentin many times meeting with prisoners. I have heard about low security prisoners from county jails being occasionally recruited for ground based fire fighting in emergency situations, but not the hardcore state felony convicts typically incarcerated at Folsom or San Quentin. One of the prisoners I spoke with at Folsom was a decorated Army Ranger and Viet Nam combat vet. He would sure have the qualifications and desire to jump, but he never saw any outside assignments nor did any convicts I met there.

See: http://www.ragingmain.com/tyee.htm
regarding prisoners being used to fight the 1994 Tyee fire in Washington (quoted below).

"Over the next three weeks, working side by side with experienced sawyers, Hot Shot crews, Smoke Jumpers and Forest Service and prisoner firefighting teams the Marine strike teams were no different than any fireman rookies turned salty. They were up at 4am and back at 8pm and they consumed five thousand calories a day."

If anyone can show me that state prisoners worked as smoke jumpers during Duane's incarceration time I'll eat some crow and some humble pie. The closest hit I get is conscientious objectors working as smoke jumpers during war as an alternative to combat duty.

Duane might have been Cooper, but I don't think Duane made any jumps while in Folsom or any other prison. Oh, and despite urban folklore, Johnny Cash never did time at Folsom.






377  (F 666)

Jan 29, 2008, 6:30 AM
Post #1518 of 1694 (3065 views)
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     Re: [skyjack71] Recovered Ransom [In reply to]  

Jo,

I have posed the question to Doug Houston who is on the Exec. Board of the National Smokejumpers Association. Is that the same Doug you refer to? Awaiting a reply to my email.


377  (F 666)

Jan 29, 2008, 6:50 AM
Post #1519 of 1694 (3052 views)
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     Re: [skyjack71] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
ABSOLUTELY SURE: You could actually see out the cracks - it was scary as hell. That plane was so old it was bucket of bolts.

I have an old hip problem and I could not sit for very long...so I stood in the galley area as much as possible to be out of the way and there is a door there ---it was scary. I was curious about how high we were and there were 2 pilots going back to home base and they answered my question about the Altitude. I had taken another plane from Pensacola to Atl.

RYODER, GURU, SKYDIVE JACK? your opinions?
Reading the www.boeing-727.com system info I see that a cockpit warning horn sounds if cabin altitude exceeds 10,000 ft. How could a 727 stay pressurized if the door seals were so ineffective that you could see the outside through the gaps???? Bleed air or airconditioning pack air can keep up with minor leaks and holes, but could it maintain cabin pressure sufficient to keep the warning horn from activating if the 727 were above 10,000 feet with daylight shining through the edges of the doors? Also, aren't the 727 doors "plug" type where you couldn't see directly out through the edges even if the seals were leaky?

Jo. I am not doing this to give you a hard time, just to test the accuracy of you memory which is important since many of your "Duane is Cooper" clues are based on your present memory of past events. This 727 door thing is just one data point though. I have been in many jet airliners and have never been able to see outside scenery through door gaps while in flight, nor even any faint light leaks. Leaky doors are noticeably noisy too, and those are tiny invisible seal leaks. I imagine that a see through gap would be roaring.


(This post was edited by 377 on Jan 29, 2008, 7:05 AM)


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Jan 29, 2008, 9:34 AM
Post #1520 of 1694 (3001 views)
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     Re: [377] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

In reply to:
In reply to:
ABSOLUTELY SURE: You could actually see out the cracks - it was scary as hell. That plane was so old it was bucket of bolts.

.........

RYODER, GURU, SKYDIVE JACK? your opinions?
Reading the www.boeing-727.com system info I see that a cockpit warning horn sounds if cabin altitude exceeds 10,000 ft. How could a 727 stay pressurized if the door seals were so ineffective that you could see the outside through the gaps???? Bleed air or airconditioning pack air can keep up with minor leaks and holes, but could it maintain cabin pressure sufficient to keep the warning horn from activating if the 727 were above 10,000 feet with daylight shining through the edges of the doors? Also, aren't the 727 doors "plug" type where you couldn't see directly out through the edges even if the seals were leaky?

I am not familiar with the 727 door seals in particular, but in general there is a rubber seal on the door unit itself that extends and overlaps the ajoining frame around the door. There can also be inflatable seals within the door frame that get their pressure from bleed air when the engines are started. I have had door seals leak on Lear Jets and it is very, very loud.

From my experience there is no way to see through a gap in an airliner door because there is a metal to metal overlap as well as the rubber seals.


Ckret

Jan 29, 2008, 10:17 AM
Post #1521 of 1694 (2980 views)
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     Re: [SkydiveJack] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Some info to recreate Coopers money bag. Cooper cut all of the line from the chest pack where it was connected into the pack, separating the chute from the pack. By the way, the rubber bands in the pack show no signs of wear. By separating the chute from the pack he must have planned to put the money in the container. When he realized it would not fit, he then cut two lines, one 14'5" and the other 14'6". He then used the line to secure the bag and according to Mucklow to himself.

The bag was described as 12"x12"x9"


SafecrackingPLF

Jan 29, 2008, 11:24 AM
Post #1522 of 1694 (2948 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Dimensions of Money Bag [In reply to]  

This is good information.

12x12x9 and it weighs 22 lbs.

1296 cubic inches and it occupies 5.6 gallons of space.

Rubber inside the pack left behind show no signs of wear... again, what causes rubber to become brittle? The Seattle FBI office apparently does not meet the climate conditions required.

Tina watched him perform the cuts/packing of the money, she watched him secure the bag to his person... what else did she see him do? How was he wearing his clothes? How long did it take to harness up? Did he loosen his collar or keep it buttoned?


(This post was edited by SafecrackingPLF on Jan 29, 2008, 12:27 PM)


377  (F 666)

Jan 29, 2008, 1:07 PM
Post #1523 of 1694 (2912 views)
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     Re: [Ckret] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Did the money bag have a drawstring to cinch up the opening? What was the bag made of?

If it did have a drawstring then possibly you could cinch it up really tight, knot the drawstring and tie the bag to your body perhaps with some shroud lines looping though the drawstring and trouser belt loops. You might hen have a wildly flopping and fluttering bag but it might still stay attached. If there was not some way to very securely keep the bag closed and tightly affixed to your body I'd bet you'd lose it upon or shortly after exit from a 727 going 150-170 knots. I have a photo of my normally tight and stable container with the flaps bowed way out just trying to pop open right after exiting the Perris DC 9 at a speed I am sure was slower than Cooper experienced. There are strong wind forces at work during an above terminal velocity exit. These forces are trying to tear things open, inflate them, tear them off and generally mess things up.

Good info on the rubber band stability in a controlled sun shielded environment. The deterioration of the bands on the found money might be due to different composition than the pack rubber bands, but I'll bet sun and outdoor conditions account for the difference. I don't think the money was underwater from 71 to when it was found. I theorize that the money hit the ground somewhere from which it could be transported by natural means to where it was found.

Can you imagine what a complete bummer it would been to have survived the jump but lost the money in freefall? That very well may have occurred.

I still think if Cooper died on the jump somebody somewhere would tie a missing person with any aviation background to the caper and gossip would have started. Could Cooper have been such a total loner that if he died NOBODY would have noticed his disappearance?


(This post was edited by 377 on Jan 29, 2008, 1:10 PM)


Sluggo_Monster

Jan 29, 2008, 1:35 PM
Post #1524 of 1694 (2896 views)
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     Re: [377] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Iím just thinking out loud here:

Once again, this is just wild-a$$ speculation, but if the whole purpose of the hijacking was to settle a score with the airline (or its insurance company); the hijacker would be better off without the money. He took it from the airline/insurance carrier, so he would have gotten what he wanted. It would be hard for law enforcement to obtain a conviction, even if the guyís alibi was weak, if the money wasnít ever found in his possession and never showed up anywhere. Somewhere on this board someone said that $200,000 was the insurance companyís maximum liability? Was that fact or fiction?

If he was terminally ill, or thought he was terminally ill, the money wouldnít mean squat anyway (or maybe less squat than if he wasnít ill).

Hey! We said it was time to think out-of-the-box. Thatís enough OOTB to make some sort of twisted logical sense.


SafecrackingPLF

Jan 29, 2008, 1:41 PM
Post #1525 of 1694 (2891 views)
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     Re: [377] Popular Cooper Myths Debunked [In reply to]  

Quote:
Can you imagine what a complete bummer it would been to have survived the jump but lost the money in freefall? That very well may have occurred.
I guess some people don't want to admit the impossibilty that has been shown.


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