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Thread: D.B. Cooper still Alive? Part 3...

  1. #76
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    Helo

    does anyone know the location where the Helo turned around due to bad weather?

  2. #77
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    Helo Turnaround

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    does anyone know the location where the Helo turned around due to bad weather?
    In my search of the internet for everything "Cooper" I don't think I've ever seen it, or even where the helo went that night. I've never seen anything about when the helo took off either. I can't imagine that they would even have taken off if they had not thought they were early enough to intercept north of Portland. Surely they would know if 305 was already at or south of Portland, there would be no way they could catch it. If they thought of that, why would they think they could follow the flight? All they could have hoped for is to be near the flight at almost the time the guy in back bailed.

    Also, I would not bet anything worth something that the helo turned around because of bad weather.

  3. #78
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    Helo

    I couldn't find anything either, other than Himmelsbach stating the weather was bad so they had to turn around? is there really any solid evidence in this case?



    #1 Flight path...unsure
    #2 Age of Cooper 35, mid 40's in his 50's???
    #3 jump site I think he jumped here???
    #4 weather....horrible, light rain, freezing temps????
    #5 Tena Bar, money floated down, money was planted???
    #6 Parachutes.....don't ask
    #7 Parachutes came from Cossey, no Hayden???
    #8 location of the cigarette butts....Ummmm don't know???
    #9 Amboy chute....Shhhhhhh
    #10 Cooper started to tumble as soon as he left the stairs? McCoy had no problem?

    The list goes on for ages, it's a wonder they got the number of the flight correct! I know 99 shot me down about the stairs, but I find it hard to believe that the stairs "slamed shut" after Cooper left, the stairs measure 36" x 124" that is approx 27 S/F not counting the curved backing on the stairs that would repel wind loads, the stairs weigh 550 lbs! that's a lot of weight for such a small wind load in order to slam it above the line of gravity, I could be way off like 99 say's, but when you look at the big picture here in this case, what has been right?

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    does anyone know the location where the Helo turned around due to bad weather?
    The helo took off from the Ntl Guard base at PDX with H on board.
    McChord and one of the controlers helped route the helo north and they
    flew a kind of zig-zag search pattern across and both sides of V23, as far
    as 20 miles north of Portland. They looked for suspicious vehicle lights or
    activity, and any sign of a fire (with the helo's search light off). The
    search was intended to look for any sign of Cooper or suspicious activity
    on the ground, not to try and intercept 305. With negative results in poor
    visibility weather, they finally gave up and came back to PDX. I dont think
    they spent any time looking along the Columbia or in the area just north
    of Vancouver, as far as I know ?

    Himmelsbach gave a published interview in 1976 in which he says the
    'latest thinking is Cooper bailed about 12 miles north of Portland' and he
    remarks 'had we known that at the time we would have spent more time
    searching further south above Vancouver' - he is referring to his helo
    search among other things. It sounds as if the bulk of the helo search
    was in the Ariel-Lake Merwin area vs. nearer Vancouver.

    The helo pilot was interviewed by several people still alive.
    Last edited by georger; 05-27-2012 at 12:38 AM.

  5. #80
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    Question on weather fron a new person -

    Quote Originally Posted by hominid View Post
    Also, I would not bet anything worth something that the helo turned around because of bad weather.
    A person who does not post contacted me and asks this:

    "Im glad to see somebody looking at the weather side. What I need from
    you is some more work on any possible wind shift sceanario near Portland
    Vancouver during the critical period 305 was approaching, if Cooper bailed
    in that area, and any possibility of a wind shift during that period and
    what could cause the winds to buffet so extreme from the SSE ??? Its not
    that I believe the Bohan story exactly, but anything which shows winds
    even briefly from the SSE which would take a jumper to the Northwest vs.
    Northeast. What does Hominid think about that?"

    [edit Georger:] Ive already told the writer there is nothing in the wx records I am
    aware of, which shows the scenario he is looking for ...

    G.

  6. #81
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    Weather Report

    Here is some weather info from weather.com on November 24, 1971

    http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/...nt=weather.jpg

  7. #82
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    Helo search flight

    Quote Originally Posted by georger View Post
    The helo took off from the Ntl Guard base at PDX with H on board.
    McChord and one of the controlers helped route the helo north and they
    flew a kind of zig-zag search pattern across and both sides of V23, as far
    as 20 miles north of Portland. They looked for suspicious vehicle lights or
    activity, and any sign of a fire (with the helo's search light off). The
    search was intended to look for any sign of Cooper or suspicious activity
    on the ground, not to try and intercept 305. With negative results in poor
    visibility weather, they finally gave up and came back to PDX.....
    ....

    The helo pilot was interviewed by several people still alive.
    This all makes pretty good sense. Such searching could have been useful before 305 came by, and afterwards as well. And early references to "bad weather" could have been about the fact that the low-level weather was such that visibility of things on the ground was poor, not that the weather was too bad for flying.

    Do you have any info as to why McChord would have been involved?

    Or, specifically when the helo was anywhere in the search?

    Mr...45,

    I want to address a bit in your last post re. unreliable evidence, but after I do one for Geor's last.

  8. #83
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    We had links to that wx info on dropzone recently. It's from weatherunderground.com, not weather.com. You can also get it in graph form and over a period of days, so that you can see how the day's weather fit in with a several-day pattern.

  9. #84
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    Error in my post

    Sorry Hominid, it was from weatherunderground.com, I didn't realize I wrote weather.com by mistake.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by hominid View Post
    This all makes pretty good sense. Such searching could have been useful before 305 came by, and afterwards as well. And early references to "bad weather" could have been about the fact that the low-level weather was such that visibility of things on the ground was poor, not that the weather was too bad for flying.

    Do you have any info as to why McChord would have been involved?

    Or, specifically when the helo was anywhere in the search?
    Let me search my notes as to time of the helo activity. Im not sure I have that info
    specifically - is it in H's book? Has anyone here read H's book?

    McChord (and R2)were acting as coordinators supplying flight tracking
    data on a military frequency. R2 was relaying messages between frequencies
    at times. My info comes from R2-R3. I am sure 99 has info about the helo
    also. There was a lot going on simultaneously as 305 crossed the Columbia.
    Jets dropping off, TA33's preparing to launch and join from their base at
    PDX, comms between all of the parties including McChord, and R2 right in
    the middle of it all. A C130 was preparing to launch from further south.
    And the helo was still in search mode after 305 crossed the Columbia (I
    just dont recall when it launch from Portland, if I ever knew, or when it
    returned, exactly, but I will try to nail that down). The phone and comunication
    activity was so intense at times controllers actually were not following their screens
    at times! That is alleged to have been the case for a controler at PDX as
    305 approahced. (This is an issue of much debate!)


    I do have the approximate flight track the TA33's took to come in behind
    and intercept 305, and where that allegedly happened. I am sure 99 has
    that also because I gave him my info several years ago when he was working
    up his analysis for publication on Sluggo's website. Our thought at the time
    was to reverse track where 305 had to have been to be intercepted by the
    TA33's below Portland. R2 personally directed the TA33's to 305, in real time.
    My info came from both controllers.
    Last edited by georger; 05-27-2012 at 02:41 AM.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    Sorry Hominid, it was from weatherunderground.com, I didn't realize I wrote weather.com by mistake.

    Yep its weather underground. Its been beat to death over on the
    Dark side of the Moon! BTW any weather info I have anyone wants just
    ask and I will search my files and post it - including water table data.

  12. #87
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    frustration

    I just spent all this intervening time addressing the possibility of wind shift and high speed and lost it all when I tried to post it. This site logs me off on its own after a bit of time transpires without posting. I'll re-do it off-line so I can copy and paste it in to beat the clock.

  13. #88
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    helo search

    Quote Originally Posted by georger View Post
    Let me search my notes as to time of the helo activity. Im not sure I have that info
    specifically - is it in H's book? Has anyone here read H's book?

    McChord (and R2)were acting as coordinators supplying flight tracking
    data on a military frequency. R2 was relaying messages between frequencies
    at times.
    I haven't read H's book. It costs too much for something so untrustworthy. I would gladly read it if the library had it, but it costs too much for them too.

    I think maybe the flight tracking data was on tracking of 305 rather than the helo. The coordination between enroute air traffic control and the air defense cmd direction center at McChord (and others) was day-to-day activity for all commercial flights. The cmd tracked all but light aircraft as part of the process of identifying possible enemy flights.

    I'll do a little check on the possibility that the DC might have been tracking the helo.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by hominid View Post
    I haven't read H's book. It costs too much for something so untrustworthy. I would gladly read it if the library had it, but it costs too much for them too.

    I think maybe the flight tracking data was on tracking of 305 rather than the helo. The coordination between enroute air traffic control and the air defense cmd direction center at McChord (and others) was day-to-day activity for all commercial flights. The cmd tracked all but light aircraft as part of the process of identifying possible enemy flights.

    I'll do a little check on the possibility that the DC might have been tracking the helo.
    I didnt mean to suggest that anyone was 'tracking the helo' - they were
    tracking 305, the jets, then the ta33's. They merely tried to direct the
    helo to where 305 had been. For example, I asked R2 where the helo went
    and he laughed and said 'I havent the faintest idea - we didnt keep track
    of that helicopter, we were too busy for that!' and he laughed again. So
    I asked if the helo was ever west of PDX and he said rather sharply, "I
    dont think so, he would have had no reason to go there, he went north
    somewhere, about twenty miles as I remember, but again we werent
    tracking the helicopter. We had too much going on. The guard was in
    communication with the helicopter on another frequency". I have no idea
    if the helo ever communicated directly with McChord or even could.. but
    my impression is the helo was pretty much on its own and of little or no
    concern to the controlers working with McChord and 305.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by hominid View Post
    I just spent all this intervening time addressing the possibility of wind shift and high speed and lost it all when I tried to post it. This site logs me off on its own after a bit of time transpires without posting. I'll re-do it off-line so I can copy and paste it in to beat the clock.
    I know. Click the remember me button when you sign in.

  16. #91
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    Special Request for weather info

    Quote Originally Posted by georger View Post
    A person who does not post contacted me and asks this:

    "Im glad to see somebody looking at the weather side. What I need from
    you is some more work on any possible wind shift sceanario near Portland
    Vancouver during the critical period 305 was approaching, if Cooper bailed
    in that area, and any possibility of a wind shift during that period and
    what could cause the winds to buffet so extreme from the SSE ??? Its not
    that I believe the Bohan story exactly, but anything which shows winds
    even briefly from the SSE which would take a jumper to the Northwest vs.
    Northeast. What does Hominid think about that?"

    ....

    G.
    From what data the coop community has found so far, I've seen no hint of such a wind shift or high wind speed. The data even seems to preclude it because all the data adds up to a persistent, mild pattern over a wide area and spanning the likely jump time by hours. Large, abrupt perturbations are extremely unlikely in the midst of such a pattern. The jetstream was nowhere near the area.

    Still, the coverage of our data is limited. Agent Carr apparently had something in his file about the weather that he claimed to apply at very close to the time and place. Unfortunately, he was not pressed about background of the data. The wind direction and drift distance shown on the searchzone map acquired from the FBI is entirely consistent with the info from Carr, and this was done with info from NWA's meteorologist.

    We have detailed data for Portland International Airport (PDX) for 7, 8, 9 and 10pm from a combination of weather service data available at weatherunderground.com and two aviation weather reports printed out on the evening. We have data only for 8pm and 9pm for Troutdale airport and Toledo airport. We have surface weather charts for early that morning and early the next.

    All of what we have is consistent with what Carr said for about 8:15, so it seems unlikely that anything anomolous occurred abruptly in the area around jump time.

    As to possible cause for such wind shift: It would be large pressure gradient shift, which would mean the isobar pattern changed considerably in the area. Pressure gradient change, in turn, would be caused by abrupt temperature gradient change. If we had a surface weather chart for close to 8pm, we might spot such changes. I've estimated such a chart from av weather reports for the few stations in the area. It seemed to fit right in with all the other data we have.
    Last edited by hominid; 05-27-2012 at 05:45 PM.

  17. #92
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    flight tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by georger View Post
    I didnt mean to suggest that anyone was 'tracking the helo' - they were
    tracking 305, the jets, then the ta33's. They merely tried to direct the
    helo to where 305 had been....
    Your post makes sense. I didn't really think you were suggesting that the airforce was tracking the helo, but it's good to confirm.

    And, thanks for the info about staying logged in.

  18. #93
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    evidence, truth and fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    ... is there really any solid evidence in this case?



    #1 Flight path...unsure
    .....

    The list goes on for ages, it's a wonder they got the number of the flight correct! I know 99 shot me down about the stairs, but I find it hard to believe that the stairs "slamed shut" after Cooper left, the stairs measure 36" x 124" that is approx 27 S/F not counting the curved backing on the stairs that would repel wind loads, the stairs weigh 550 lbs! that's a lot of weight for such a small wind load in order to slam it above the line of gravity, I could be way off like 99 say's, but when you look at the big picture here in this case, what has been right?
    Mr..45,

    There is a bit of solid evidence. But there is not concensus of the masses on it. The masses like to talk about it but can't understand it, or won't put in the effort to do so. Much of the evidence is technical, so it takes technical forensics to understand it. Much of the info is right. The problem is sorting out the right from the other.

    You're a little light on the stair width. The outer skin extends out a bit past the actuator struts ("snubbers"). And, did you have some way of determining that the wind load was small?

    One thing you need to keep in mind about the "slamming shut" is that the position of the stairs with nobody out on them was only down a little bit. The wind load was enough to keep the end of the stairs only about a foot down below horizontal and two feet below the closed position. So the stairs didn't have far to go above the rest position to be closed.

    I've never come across the weight of the stairs. How do you know the 550, and does it include the weight from the struts and actuator arm? If it does, we could get a pretty close estimate of what the drag and lift were since we have info on angles with and without Cooper test weight out at the end of the stair. From this we could estimate the speed at which the stair closed.

    I've done the load & force analysis, but I think I just estimated that the stair weight would be about as much as the weight of a man. I'll dig it out.

  19. #94
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    Stairs

    I will have to find the site again, I looked for a long time trying to find the weight of the stairs, I don't recall them mentioning the arms or struts, I will search again this week.

    the measurements were taken from this PDF, I screen shot the pics for display.

    http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/...ent=stairs.jpg

    http://s1224.photobucket.com/albums/...airwayjack.jpg

    not referring to a small wind load itself, I was talking about the actual staircase being rather small for the 170 + - knot wind load, I watched that ridiculous movie The Pursuit Of DB Cooper, the start shows the plane with the flaps down and the gear, the stuntman jumps off and the stairs did not close, 99 told me the plane was going much slower but if the flaps were down, how much slower could it go without stalling?
    Last edited by MrShutter45; 05-28-2012 at 01:41 AM.

  20. #95
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    McCoy jump

    I have not really went into the facts behind McCoy's jump, I found this website which tells a different story about the action of the stairs, I could be way off like 99 said, but I feel something is wrong with the reports and findings about what the FBI states, call it a hunch.

    While McCoy was exiting the airliner, onboard, the captain noticed a distinct change in the sound level at 11:27 p.m. There was a very loud drone inside the cabin and cockpit when traveling depressurized with the aft door open, yet there was a moment when that drone increased and then decreased momentarily. The captain suspected that the aft stairs hanging down into the jet’s airstream were not fully extended, but when McCoy stepped onto them, his weight dropped them more fully into the wind. This increased the noise, which suddenly decreased as the stairs bounced up (and then back down again) when McCoy stepped off.

    At this point, the captain repeatedly called for the hijacker on the intercom. There was no answer. After a few moments, one of the crew members ventured into the dark cabin, only to find it empty.

    http://parachutistonline.com/feature...r-story-part-2

  21. #96
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    Airstair

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    I will have to find the site again, I looked for a long time trying to find the weight of the stairs, I don't recall them mentioning the arms or struts, I will search again this week.
    Thanks. I would appreciate the site URL. The 550 would help even if we can't find something about the stuff that was attached to it. We could just estimate the other stuff, which I'm sure would be well under the weight of the stair itself.

    the measurements were taken from this PDF, I screen shot the pics for display.
    Yes. From one of the few documents Boeing still has on their site re. the 727.

    I watched that ridiculous movie The Pursuit Of DB Cooper, the start shows the plane with the flaps down and the gear, the stuntman jumps off and the stairs did not close, 99 told me the plane was going much slower but if the flaps were down, how much slower could it go without stalling?
    He was all wet about the reason. The stairs would not have rebounded on the hijacked flight if they had been dropped as the stairs normally were. The movie shot involved dropping the stair in the normal way, which does not allow the stairs to rebound. The way it was done in the hijack damages the stair system, and can't even be done these days on a 727 because the controls have been changed since the hijack.

    A special way was used for the hijack. The way to do it was not known by NWA or any of the crew before that night. They got info from Boeing and figured out a way that they thought would be safest for the crew. They sent the info to the crew when the flight was on the ground at SEATAC. 305 at one point then said something like "We've been looking at the procedure you sent out. Will the stair drop enough for him to get out?"

    Some have suggested that Coop having trouble dropping the stairs or needing Tina to help indicates that Coop didn't really know much about the plane. It does no such thing. Coop didn't know how to drop the stair the way NWA wanted him to do it, and neither did Tina or any of the crew or anyone at NWA until that night. It is very likely that there was some problem doing it as NWA directed, because NWA had not been able to check out the procedure ahead of time as any airline does with any procedure before actually applying it.
    Last edited by hominid; 05-28-2012 at 05:28 PM.

  22. #97
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    Airstair rebound for McCoy

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    .....
    ...There was a very loud drone inside the cabin and cockpit when traveling depressurized with the aft door open, yet there was a moment when that drone increased and then decreased momentarily. The captain suspected that the aft stairs hanging down into the jetís airstream were not fully extended, but when McCoy stepped onto them, his weight dropped them more fully into the wind. This increased the noise, which suddenly decreased as the stairs bounced up (and then back down again) when McCoy stepped off.....
    All consistent. Some engine noise while the stair is hanging down a little, increasing when weight on the stair increases the opening size, decreasing when he bailed and the stair rebounded up, and quickly returning to the way it had started (stair down only a bit).

  23. #98
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    Damaged Stairs

    How did Cooper damage the stairs? are you talking about from the release stage?

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by hominid View Post
    All consistent. Some engine noise while the stair is hanging down a little, increasing when weight on the stair increases the opening size, decreasing when he bailed and the stair rebounded up, and quickly returning to the way it had started (stair down only a bit).
    Makes sense, it's just the fact of not reading anything about noises coming from 305, they only mentioned getting pressure readings, the pilots on 855 said the noise was loud, I found it strange that 305 didn't mention it.

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    stair droppin

    Quote Originally Posted by MrShutter45 View Post
    How did Cooper damage the stairs? are you talking about from the release stage?
    The uplock roller on each side out near the end of the stair was sheared off as it was designed to do when the pneumatic emergency opener was actuated. It's likely the claw (on the latch mechanism) that engaged each roller was also broken, as well as maybe the lever arm each is on. The uplock shearing was from using the pneumatic emergency opener. The other would be from the claws not being fully opened before the pneumatic was activated.

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