Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hani Hanjour a Good Pilot

I've mentioned on several occasions that despite all the talk about Hani Hanjour being a terrible pilot, he rented a plane at a second airport. Here are the details from the interview with the instructor:

On his first certification flight a Cessna 172 was used. This is a single engine aircraft. Mr. Shalev sat next to.Hanjour and had him fly north from the Gaithersburg airport away from Washington, D.C. Mr. Shalev noticed that Hanjour used a landmark or terrain recognition system for navigation and did not use the ''VOR'' or Very High Frequency (VHF) Omni Directional Rangefinder instruments. Mr. Shalev stated that he considered this unusual because basic ainnanship requires knowledge of the operation of the VOR. Mr. Shalev selected Clearview airport in northern Maryland as their designation. The airport is located near Westminster, Maryland. Mr. Shalev said that the runway is small at Clearview and difficult to land. Hanjour landed at the airport without any difficulty. Mr. Shalev stated that based on his observations, Hanjour was a "good" pilot. Mr. Shalev thought that Hanjour may have received training from a military pilot because of his use of terrain recognition for navigation. Hanjour told Mr. Shalev that he (Hanjour) had most recently trained in Florida as a pilot.

After the certification flight, Mr. Shalev approved Hanjour for the rental of the Cessna 172 from Congressional Air Charters. Mr. Shalev said that Hanjour had his own flight bag, headset and aviator's chart for the Washington, D.C. area airspace. On 08/26/2001, Hanjour returned to Congressional Air Charters and rented an aircraft. Hanjour came in and spoke briefly with Mr. Shalev. The conversation related to the air corridor between Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. The airspace is restricted because of heavy commercial airline traffic. Mr. Shalev said that the Cessna 172 that Hanjour would be flying is not pressurized and that would restrict the altitude. Generally, the air controllers allow small aircraft to fly to an altitude of 5000 feet.

Of course, the Troofers will find another part of that testimony "confirms" one of their theories. It's this: "Mr. Shalev thought that Hanjour may have received training from a military pilot because of his use of terrain recognition for navigation."

Either that or they'll seize on Shalev's name and claim he's Mossad.

Hat Tip: Mike W of 9-11 Myths (at JREF).


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