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Thread: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

  1. #121

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    It has always been in our cultural DNA to "make-sure" and be more "kiasu" than necessary when dealing with matters of importance. But when dealing with national security, isn't being kiasu a good thing?

    Granted it was "only" a small plane.. but the boat that damaged the warship USS Cole was pretty darn small too - only problem was that it was packed with explosives.

    Yeah, traffic controllers could see the plane and identify it as only a little cessna plane but I'm not aware of any radar technology out there that can scan and identify what's inside the plane.

    So what if the plane had been packed with explosives? Does that scenerio sound too impossible? Personally, I don't think so.

    So why divert such a potentially explosive package to Changi? Well, my own thinking is that it is the only place that the plane can land without flying over any more of spore's land than necessary. If they had to shoot it down, at least most of the debris would prob fall into the sea.

  2. #122

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Convenience is not the only consideration the authorities have to consider. They have to consider security, safety, efficiency and let us not forget, the Sovereignty of Singapore. Avoiding disruption of commercial airliners doesn't take the highest precedence, emergency aircraft do look up the airlaw and you will find this in plain black and white. I would think that the cessna pilot may have a bitter sweet experience, firstly having scrambled the fighters, and then there is also the relief feeling of being escorted to a good landing strip after their ordeal.
    Last edited by Sonicboom; 29th January 2008 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #123

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Hi ricohflex,

    Look, their minister already stated his reasons. His staff/people must have got the facts fast, analysed the risks, told him the various scenarios and all the options they can take.
    Obviously they decided that no further action was necessary.
    Being a minister of MLY this decision was well within his authority.
    As events turned out, he was absolutely right.
    Any conjecture from the minister's public statement of they spotted it , evaluated it and let it happily fly through its air space is at best your perception of what happened. Luckily it turn out well. I am not sure many Malaysian feel like you do.

    I don't know why we got this superior attitude. As though others are in a way inferior because they did not over-react.
    We react according to our perception of the threat , there is no superior attitude involved . May I put it that it is your inferiority complex that made you feel so ?

    Getting what was obviously an amphibious plane to land on the runway of a Changi airport runway disrupted commercial flights for some time.
    There is no way to be certain of what aircraft type base on a radar blip, though the Malaysian was reported to have informed its Singaporean counterpart that it is an amphibious aircraft . I am not sure how the Malaysian Air Force did this without visual confirmation, but I am sure we do not purely base our security and safety on others interpretation/ assessment. I am sure all factors were taken into consideration in the scrambling of air defense fighters for a visual identification. Upper most in the mind of the Ministry of Defense is the safety of our people and infrastructure, delaying of flights from Changi is a secondary consideration.

    Maybe they were following the SOP format. Going by the book. Don't know if that was the case. Some one already wrote to the ST why could they not divert the plane to Seletar airbase.
    Yes they are following well defined SOPs to preclude the possibility of half informed people like you from making an uninformed decision. The plane flew through so many airfields along the way down the eastern coast of Malaysia . It is a premeditated flight and not an aircraft experiencing an emergency as what was reported by some paper. An aircraft experiencing emergency will land at the closest airport and not flying all the way from Koh Samui to Singapore. I am very sure the Malaysian with Pasir Gudang on the northen approach path and people staying on the housing estate on the southern approach/ departure path will welcome your suggestion for it to land on Seletar Airport.

    And why could they not get the pilot to land on the water since the plane was obviously amphibious. Then no need to disrupt Changi airport.
    If you open your eyes you will know that landing on water will pose unacceptable risk to the marine traffic and vessels moored at our anchorage .

    Not sure if this is just a brain dead way of strictly following the SOP format. The format says so, so must follow no matter what.
    It is at times better to be "brain dead " as you described it by following well thought out and tested SOPs , than having the notion that you know all the considerations and go and screw it all up.

    Just because we choose to do it this way, does not mean that others who coolly chose not to react, are bochap. They have done their risk evaluation. People just react differently. And they choose to do things the way they like in their own country. Which they are completely entitled to.
    Unless your are privy to what happened when it transited through Malaysia airspace , what the relevant minister had said publicly , we better take it with a big pinch of belachan.

    Certainly, our own air force and relevant civil organisations will do a careful post-mortem. Maybe draw some lessons from it.
    It appears that you are very well versed in defense matters and very opinionated , perhaps you can tell us which area to " post-mortem "in your expert opinion.


    Cheers!
    Last edited by Bluesteel; 29th January 2008 at 03:51 PM.

  4. #124

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Bluesteel, I admire that you put in effort to give your views which I think it is sensible and logical but why not save your energy? Some people just might not get it!

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Dovedo View Post
    Just read some of the tread postings and wanted to clear up some doubts

    1 Different cessna model of planes have different height limits. There was NO way that this plane was travelling at 32000ft since planes of this type usually travel at about 20000ft. My theory is he managed to avoid the radar detection in malaysia because he was flying around the mountains and at the same time deliberately flying very low as it is not possible for malaysian authorities to track aircraft below a certain height and malaysia does not have radar equipment that are so advanced as compared to singapore. The malaysian minister was just pulling a fast one on the journalists.
    it's interesting to read your replies to this thread and i agree to some of them.

    however, for point #1, can really justify your claims that the malaysian radar equipment is less superior to that of singapore's?

    not that i want to bring this up... but i think this is another case of "I am more superior" mentality.

    no hard feelings dude. just want to avoid tension between the malaysians and singaporeans.

  6. #126

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by mohgui View Post
    it's interesting to read your replies to this thread and i agree to some of them.

    however, for point #1, can really justify your claims that the malaysian radar equipment is less superior to that of singapore's?
    Yes, this problem is well known among air traffic controllers, air operations staff and pilots. I have also already mentioned the reasons in point 1 already. There are certain "black spots" including places near mountainous regions where the radar is not able to track the planes. Thus it is also common for planes to suddenly disappear from the radar screen and that is the reason why if you are a pilot, you have to fly at a certain height level.

    A recent case would be the Sikorsy S61 Nuri helicopter of the RMAF went down along with a crew of six near Genting Sempah, Genting Highlands because it was flying below radar.

  7. #127

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by mohgui View Post
    it's interesting to read your replies to this thread and i agree to some of them.

    however, for point #1, can really justify your claims that the malaysian radar equipment is less superior to that of singapore's?

    not that i want to bring this up... but i think this is another case of "I am more superior" mentality.

    no hard feelings dude. just want to avoid tension between the malaysians and singaporeans.

    Most Malaysian radars are located to west of the dividing range running down central Malayan Peninsula. Radar cannot look thru hills or mountains hence it has many blind spots, furthermore due to their physical locations they have limited low level coverage over the east coast and into the South China Seas.

    Surveillance Radars on the east coast airfields are limited to short range equipments and have no over-the-horizon capabilities to detect low level aircraft beyond 25 nm due to the curvature of the earth

    It is not a matter of feeling superior , the fact of the matter here is that RSAF E2C Hawkeye "Eye in the sky" beats any land base radars hands down, including our own land based radars in early detection of low level aircraft.

    For those intending to discuss the subject matters please get your facts right before pulling the trigger, as it really reflects on your ignorance while trying to stick the so called " I am more superior mentality " to whatever Singapore do!

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Bluesteel; 29th January 2008 at 11:21 PM.

  8. #128

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbesyeo View Post
    It has always been in our cultural DNA to "make-sure" and be more "kiasu" than necessary when dealing with matters of importance. But when dealing with national security, isn't being kiasu a good thing?

    Granted it was "only" a small plane.. but the boat that damaged the warship USS Cole was pretty darn small too - only problem was that it was packed with explosives.

    Yeah, traffic controllers could see the plane and identify it as only a little cessna plane but I'm not aware of any radar technology out there that can scan and identify what's inside the plane.

    So what if the plane had been packed with explosives? Does that scenerio sound too impossible? Personally, I don't think so.

    So why divert such a potentially explosive package to Changi? Well, my own thinking is that it is the only place that the plane can land without flying over any more of spore's land than necessary. If they had to shoot it down, at least most of the debris would prob fall into the sea.
    I don't why they were brought it to Changi. They must have a reason.

    I agree with your opinion. They are trying to minimise the loss of lives if situation only allow them to shoot down the plane.

    It is an understanding of all pilots that should they encounter problem, they would have to divert the plane(crashing) to less populated area .e.g. the sea.

  9. #129

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    It is not reflective of true war scenario.
    The little propeller plane was spotted very long ago. Since as early as in Thai airspace, must have been many hours ago. Given the slow speed of propeller planes. It was spotted by the Thai and then Malaysian ATC. This message was then likely passed to Sing ATC.

    So they had many hours of forward notice.
    Dunno what "scramble" they are talking about.

    Scramble is when your got enemy jets fast approaching at > Mach 1 unannounced beforehand and within a few minutes or seconds they are upon you over Sing.

    A slow moving propeller civilian plane already spotted by 2 other countries' ATC hours ago? What scramble?

    The effect of 2 F16s rushing to meet a slow moving propeller civilian plane is analogous to High Speed gunboats being mobilised to meet a one man small wooden sampan rowed by an elderly fisherman, the sampan being spotted hours ago through long range binoculars.

    I really don't understand "scramble" in this case. They knew HOURS ago. And dunno why we are congratulating RSAF. It's a cake walk they can do blindfolded.

    It is different if they scrambled to take on heavily armed enemy jets at less than a minute's notice and in a dogfight, shot down the enemy planes without any loss on our side.
    What if the pilots decide to switch off the engine and send the plane down.
    What will be the speed of the plane like?
    What if it is loaded with explosive?
    We cannot have different SOP as we have no time to think.
    We need to react according to SOP as our land area is different from the Thai and the Malaysian. They can wait but we can't!

  10. #130
    Senior Member xtemujin's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    The Straits Times, 070208(Wed)

    Flight history: No permit to leave Thai airspace
    Plane's history: Two owners in a few weeks
    Pilot's history: What is his background?

    A POLICE investigation into the airspace intrusion that shut down Changi Airport for close to an hour on Jan 22 has turned to how the pilot of the plane got his aircraft.

    The Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian seaplane, said to be worth US$1.2 million (S$1.7 million), has been impounded.

    Singapore police are holding on to the passports of the pilot, Mr Rhys Thomas, said to be in his late 50s or early 60s, and his sole passenger, Mr Darren Johnson, said to be a flight engineer in his 40s, and both Australians are still 'assisting with investigations'.

    The Straits Times understands that the police are looking into three suspicious areas.

    First, the flight. The plane did not have permission to leave Thai airspace for its flight from Koh Samui airport that day.

    It had been cleared only for a 50-minute test flight in the vicinity of the airport.

    Instead, the pilots went on a 1,000km, six-hour trip-without getting immigration clearance or filing a flight plan, which is required under international aviation rules.

    The history of the plane has also thrown up some questions.

    Records showed the plane changed owners twice in a few weeks recently.

    Ownership was first transferred last December to a Mrs Mali Sadd.

    Barely a month later, it was sold to some Australians-supposedly on the cheap-and was registered as belonging to a Ms Mary Cummins.

    Ms Cummins and Mr Thomas run a tour agency called Horizontal Falls Adventure Tours in Broome, a coastal resort town in Western Australia.

    They also operate a company called Kimberley Seaplanes, which has two other Cessnas of the type that was piloted by Mr Thomas.

    Before these transfers, the plane had been owned by Coco Seaplanes, which was in turn owned by Coco International Properties, a company set up to develop beachfront real estate on Koh Samui.

    The company was headed by a Mr Alan Sadd-the husband of Mrs Mali Sadd.

    As it turns out, Mr Sadd had been in trouble with the authorities in Bangkok for failing to pay 750,000 baht (S$34,000) to a construction firm. He was arrested on Jan 15 as he attempted to leave Koh Samui for Taiwan.

    Finally, Mr Thomas' background is also being looked into. It has emerged that Singapore police have contacted an Australian aviator who once flew for him.

    The aviator, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times when contacted that he was arrested in the Seychelles while piloting a plane for Mr Thomas that had false registration.

    The airspace intrusion on Jan 22 sparked an air defence response, and the episode ended when two missile-armed Republic of Singapore Air Force F16D jets forced the Cessna to land at Changi Airport's central runway.

    The resulting lockdown of Singapore's airspace triggered by the intrusion affected 17 inbound flights, which were forced into holding patterns. Six departures were delayed.

    The two Aussies were questioned immediately upon landing, and it is understood that Mr Thomas initially claimed that he had problems with the landing gear of his seaplane.

    He claimed that was the reason for the diversion to Singapore.

    But as the investigations progressed, the new details surrounding the flight aroused the police's suspicions.

    A defence source noted that the current probe has gone on longer than the investigation into the last reported airspace intrusion in August 2003.

    The source said that probe was 'wrapped up within a day' after the authorities learnt that an electrical fault prevented a Portuguese pilot from talking to air traffic controllers.

    dboey@sph.com.sg
    Last edited by xtemujin; 7th February 2008 at 04:08 PM.

  11. #131

    Default Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Quote Originally Posted by xtemujin View Post
    The Straits Times, 070208(Wed)

    Flight history: No permit to leave Thai airspace
    Plane's history: Two owners in a few weeks
    Pilot's history: What is his background?

    A POLICE investigation into the airspace intrusion that shut down Changi Airport for close to an hour on Jan 22 has turned to how the pilot of the plane got his aircraft.

    The Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian seaplane, said to be worth US$1.2 million (S$1.7 million), has been impounded.

    Singapore police are holding on to the passports of the pilot, Mr Rhys Thomas, said to be in his late 50s or early 60s, and his sole passenger, Mr Darren Johnson, said to be a flight engineer in his 40s, and both Australians are still 'assisting with investigations'.

    The Straits Times understands that the police are looking into three suspicious areas.

    First, the flight. The plane did not have permission to leave Thai airspace for its flight from Koh Samui airport that day.

    It had been cleared only for a 50-minute test flight in the vicinity of the airport.

    Instead, the pilots went on a 1,000km, six-hour trip-without getting immigration clearance or filing a flight plan, which is required under international aviation rules.

    The history of the plane has also thrown up some questions.

    Records showed the plane changed owners twice in a few weeks recently.

    Ownership was first transferred last December to a Mrs Mali Sadd.

    Barely a month later, it was sold to some Australians-supposedly on the cheap-and was registered as belonging to a Ms Mary Cummins.

    Ms Cummins and Mr Thomas run a tour agency called Horizontal Falls Adventure Tours in Broome, a coastal resort town in Western Australia.

    They also operate a company called Kimberley Seaplanes, which has two other Cessnas of the type that was piloted by Mr Thomas.

    Before these transfers, the plane had been owned by Coco Seaplanes, which was in turn owned by Coco International Properties, a company set up to develop beachfront real estate on Koh Samui.

    The company was headed by a Mr Alan Sadd-the husband of Mrs Mali Sadd.

    As it turns out, Mr Sadd had been in trouble with the authorities in Bangkok for failing to pay 750,000 baht (S$34,000) to a construction firm. He was arrested on Jan 15 as he attempted to leave Koh Samui for Taiwan.

    Finally, Mr Thomas' background is also being looked into. It has emerged that Singapore police have contacted an Australian aviator who once flew for him.

    The aviator, who declined to be named, told The Straits Times when contacted that he was arrested in the Seychelles while piloting a plane for Mr Thomas that had false registration.

    The airspace intrusion on Jan 22 sparked an air defence response, and the episode ended when two missile-armed Republic of Singapore Air Force F16D jets forced the Cessna to land at Changi Airport's central runway.

    The resulting lockdown of Singapore's airspace triggered by the intrusion affected 17 inbound flights, which were forced into holding patterns. Six departures were delayed.

    The two Aussies were questioned immediately upon landing, and it is understood that Mr Thomas initially claimed that he had problems with the landing gear of his seaplane.

    He claimed that was the reason for the diversion to Singapore.

    But as the investigations progressed, the new details surrounding the flight aroused the police's suspicions.

    A defence source noted that the current probe has gone on longer than the investigation into the last reported airspace intrusion in August 2003.

    The source said that probe was 'wrapped up within a day' after the authorities learnt that an electrical fault prevented a Portuguese pilot from talking to air traffic controllers.

    dboey@sph.com.sg
    reminds me of this song ....

    "Transformers, more than meets the eyes"


  12. #132
    Senior Member xtemujin's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane

    Feb 28, 2008
    Aussie pilot charged with unauthorised flight into S'pore

    AN AUSTRALIAN who flew into Singapore last month on a Cessna 208 without an approved flight plan was charged in a district court on Thursday (feb28) with flying without a certificate of airworthiness.

    Rhys Henry Thomas, 59, is alleged to have piloted the 1998 Australian-registered Caravan amphibious seaplane without the valid certificate issued by the Australian authority at about 7.20pm on Jan 22.

    He is believed to have flown in from Koh Samui, Thailand, with a passenger.

    Clad in a short-sleeve blue shirt and tie and khaki trousers, Thomas was calm when the charge under the Air Navigation Order was read to him.

    If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $5,000 or a year's jail, or both.

    His lawyer, Mr Salem Ibrahim, applied for the case to be adjourned to make representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers.

    The prosecution sought bail of $15,000 but counsel asked for the bail to be reduced to a third.

    Mr Ibrahim said his client had been here for the past five weeks and had his passport with him. He assured the court that there was no flight risk.

    But Inspector Leow Teck Wee disagreed. As a foreigner, he said Thomas had no links or ties in Singapore and his attendance must be compelled with an appropriate amount of bail.

    District Judge John Ng set bail at $10,000 and impounded his passport.

    The case has been fixed for a pre-trial conference on March 13.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2...ry_211362.html

    Photos of the Cessna at Changi Airport.

    http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...70&page=2tp://

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