Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Behind the news: Russian planes hijacked

You have all heard by now about the two Russian planes that crashed yesterday, possibly under suspicious circumstances. Wait, possibly suspicious?!? Um... I think that anyone with half a brain can realize that two planes leaving from the same airport crashing at the same time is no coincidence. Something is fishy. But that's not what this post is about.

Did you know that planes (at least in Russia) have a big red "We're being hijacked!" button? It's true! Check it out (emphasis mine):
The planes disappeared from air traffic controllers' radar screens within minutes of each other late on Tuesday and one, carrying 46 passengers and crew, sent a hijack alert signal before crashing near the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

Sibir Airlines, operator of Flight 1047 from Moscow to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, said the alert had been triggered when the pilot of the Tu-154 plane pressed a concealed button.

The Economic Times, India
I wonder what other emergency buttons are concealed in modern-day planes? Perhaps there is a button labeled "the left engine is out" or "the landing gear is stuck" or "the food is awful" or "there's a monkey loose in the cabin." The possibilities are endless. Why would a pilot need to be packing heat, when he's got the power of the big red button?

Lastly, I want to point out that I am not making light of the sad loss of life that was a result of the destruction of these two planes. I feel for the families of those killed, and I pray that they will find comfort. Hopefully somehow some good will come of this destruction.


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