Re: Start-up procedures

From:         ehahn@bass.mitre.org (Ed Hahn)
Organization: The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Va.
Date:         01 Jun 95 05:01:08 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1995.687@ohare.Chicago.COM> Jeffrey  Casterline <jlc@u.washington.edu> writes:

	   This might rank as one of the dumber questions asked, but do
   modern airliners have any access-control devices to prevent just anyone
   from firing up the engines and then flying away?  I would not expect there
   to be a key, per se, but do the onboard computers use a password, or
   something similar, to prevent this from happening?  Do aircraft
   manufactured by different companies use different methods?  Does access
   vary by airline, i.e. to prevent, say, a United pilot from flying away
   with an American Airlines plane?

====
No airliners that I know of have anything like a key or password
implemented to prevent "unauthorized" startup.  On the other hand, to
the untrained person, there is no obvious way to start the engines -
usually the procedure has multiple steps, if it's not downright
complicated.

Your scenario of a UA pilot starting up an AA aircraft is possible -
so long as the engine start procedures are the same (i.e. if the
engines used by both companies were essentially the same.)

Note that, even with the engines started, the aircraft probably
couldn't go anywhere - you generally need a ground crew to remove
chocks, etc.  And aircraft other than the DC9/MD80/B727 would
generally need someone on a tug to back them out of a gate area.

ed

--------   Ed Hahn | ehahn@mitre.org | (703) 883-5988   --------
The above comment reflects the opinions of the author, and does not
constitute endorsement or implied warranty by the MITRE Corporation.
Really, I wouldn't kid you about a thing like this.