Originally Posted by Jiro
so... since flying 767 is above the level of a commercial pilot.... then that would means the hijackers can't even fly one.
Jiro, if you had some training in a Cessna 172, you would be able to operate the control column (Yoke) along with the rudder in order to carry out basic manoeuvres, in any aircraft that uses a yoke/rudder, including a Boeing 767. That is not to say that a some training in a Cessna 172 will teach you everything you need to learn about flying a Boeing 767 safely, in all conditions. That couldn't be further from the truth. If the terrorists had to do anything that required advanced knowledge or skill, their plan would have been doomed. Unfortunately that was not the case.
Why? Here's just a few things:
- Qualified type rated pilots had already calculated the required fuel for the trip (advanced)
- Qualified type rated pilots had already input waypoints and intersections into the Flight Management System (advanced)
- Qualified type rated pilots calculated the required speed required to take off (advanced)
- Qualified type rated pilots taxied the aircraft to the runway threshold (advanced)
- Qualified type rated pilots set the flap position accordingly in order to generate enough lift prior to and after rotation. In order to do this, you need to know the mass of the aircraft + performance characteristics (advanced)
So effectively, the aircraft was already configured and set up. With that in mind, the real pilots had already done the bulk of the work here as you can see. A pilot who does not hold an ATPL or a type rating in the aircraft in question will struggle or may even find it impossible to do any of the above.
In contrast to what I said above, all the terrorists had to do was perform a series of relatively basic tasks. E.g. principles and techniques they would have learned at PPL level. That said, they would have needed to revise the 767 flight manual because some of the switches/knobs are in different places in the 767 flight deck. However, these are all things which would be intuitive to anyone with sufficient training at PPL level. I can attest to this, because I'm able to locate and identify many of the primary switches/knobs in a Boeing 757/767 even though I'm not qualified above NPPL level. Of course, I'm not claiming that I could successfully complete a flight in a 767 (refer to my list above for a few reasons as to why). However, in this case, the terrorists didn't even need to have the knowledge required to complete an entire flight in order to carry out their awful objective.