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Subject: Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?
American Kafir    4/9/2003 6:16:42 AM
Read the St. Louis Post Dispatch news article at the link below, and the "related story" link to the Toledo Blade in the article. It is about a cargo jet that crashed into the Mississippi River north of the McKinley Bridge near downtown St. Louis last night. The pilots were Arab-hyphenated Americans. The same type of cargo plane owned by the same company (Grand Aire) crashed near Toledo Express Airport yesterday afternoon. The president and CEO of Grand Aire is also an Arab-hyphenated American. Keep in mind that 9-11 hijack attack planner Khalid Sheikh Muhammad recently spilled that terror ops were planned to attack bridges in New York City, San Francisco, and St. Louis. Hmmmmm.
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Elbandeedo    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 7:00:50 AM
I think it was just weird coinkydink. These guys are not atta or moosesawi - they were professional pilots. If atta and his psycho friends could drive planes into targets like the WTC and the Pentagon I doubt that professionals would miss their targets like this. still... Interesting, thanks for the info AK. E.
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American Kafir    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 9:27:12 AM
Elbandeedo, It just doesn't sit right with me. Maybe my personal terror fear-o-meter is at code supernova red. It doesn't make sense to me that these pilots, allegedly running out of fuel, would claim visibility was low at Lambert (light rain yesterday, but absolutely no fog) and then fly their plane away from the airport and towards downtown St. Louis.) It seems to me that if you're an Arab-hyphenated American flying a plane that's running low on fuel, you don't head away from the airport and towards bright city lights and tall buildings. Or declared terror targets.
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Elbandeedo    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 9:47:29 AM
Perhaps i read the article poorly - it was my understanding they were doing a "fly-by" - coming around (which requires a large circle to clear other air traffic(??) which could at any point have them pointed at ???whatever??? you know? I don't know, but if they were trying to hit the bridge they were totally incompetent pilots AND terrorists! I'd say - FAILED! ;o) Right now, with what little info we have it's just not possible to make a valid judgement. is it a possibility? oh yeah! were they really low on fuel? ??? we'll see. I hope. E.
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American Kafir    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 11:33:37 AM
Just looking over the web for the flight range of the Falcon 20 (1300 nautical miles) and the distance from Del Rio, TX to St. Louis, MO (1034 miles by highway driving, probably less with straight line flying) it would seem to me that if they had left Del Rio with a full tank, they could at least fly another 300 miles or so before running out of gas. I don't know how tight or wide their circle to make a second approach was, but they crashed around 10 miles from the airport. Also, another thing than makes me go hmmmm is that the Falcon 20 has a wing design that is supposed to make it easy for it to make slow speed landings on short runways, they could have landed at Weiss or Spirit of St. Louis - two small strips away from downtown. If it's not terrorism, it's the next best thing - reckless stupidity.
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American Kafir    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 11:50:04 AM
Another thought - there are airspace restrictions around the Gateway Arch (630 ft. tall), which they crashed around a mile or so upstream from. I just don't see air traffic controllers directing them towards that, especially if they were low on fuel. The picture of the plane in the river in front of the Casino Queen is downstream about a mile, almost directly across from the Arch (I presume the plane floated down-river a bit)
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Elbandeedo    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 12:06:57 PM
I've been there twice AK, loved the view. It is very interesting and as more facts surface, I'm starting to wonder too. (please allow me to play devils advocate for a minute) in these economically tight times, keeping weight down on a flight to save on fuel consumption - for a cargo craft loaded to the gills, would leave only one thing to cut back on weight - the fuel. what if? what if they made a BAD guess (as you said, criminal stupidity) as to how much fuel they would need - failing to leave themselves enough for emergencies. 10 miles IS a bit far, in my opinion - but i'd need to talk to a couple of pilot friends about that... how hard is the arch to see at night? from a plane? is it occupied? was it open to tourists at the time of the crash? perhaps the bridge was just close, and in actuality the Arch was the target? Oh sure, there you go, getting me to think it's terrorist related!! Sheesh! pretty soon you'll have me thinking every arab-hyphenated-American is a potential meat-bomber! ;o) Ok, completely serious now - I still just don't know. but the more info you come up with (sources? links?) the more it sounds like a reasonable guess that it was terrorism gone bad rather than bad luck or sheer incompetence. E.
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Final Historian    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?-what if...   4/9/2003 3:16:40 PM
the attack wasn't a failure, but rather was foiled... by a Stinger missile or something. A stinger has a range of 5 miles or so, so perhaps the DoHS realized these guys were making a run for the Arch and shot them down. A stinger doesn't pack a huge warhead, so perhaps the plane would remain intact until it crashed. If memory serves stingers don't show up well even at night, so perhaps people didn't notice. This is all rampant speculation of course, but you never know...
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SGTObvious    Perhaps they weren't incompetent...   4/9/2003 3:40:04 PM
Each crew just wanted to get in a practice crash before the actual run on the target. Experience counts, you know.
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American Kafir    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?   4/9/2003 7:25:05 PM
Elbandeedo, The Arch is fully illuminated at night (floodlamps on stainless steel). At night it probably wouldn't have people up in it. LaClede's Landing (the surrounding areas of the Archgrounds) is neon nightclubs and gaudy casino boats, plus three major bridges that are also well illuminated. Directly west of the Archgrounds is the center of downtown St. Louis. I got the road distances between Del Rio, TX and St. Louis, MO from I found the technical specs for the Falcon 20 at: Granted, that's for a passenger variant, but I don't imagine there's much difference in the fuel ranges for a plane loaded with cargo or a plane loaded with seats, plumbing, wet bar and other human amenities. Off hand, my initial searches for specs on this type of plane turned up a military variant that carries anti-ship missiles or torpedoes - which gave me a hint on the platform's manueverability and low-flying capabilities. It gave me a chuckle, but... Brrrrr.
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American Kafir    RE:Failed terrorist attack or weird coincidence?-what if...   4/9/2003 7:40:36 PM
I'm trying to find pics of the plane after they get it out of the river (I'm not sure they have yet) to look for that kind of damage. The only pics I've seen of the plane have been as it was mostly submerged in the river. Also, they crashed north of the McKinley bridge, a deathtrap toll bridge that I think may still be closed for repairs. I stopped using that bridge years ago because it needed to be closed for repairs way back then, but finally was last year. But, if the plane was approaching from the north (I'm assuming it arced northeast from Lambert to circle back southwest over North Downtown St. Louis) the McKinley Bridge would have been the first bridge in the pilot's flight path before the juicier targets came up.
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