Plausibility Of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated By GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems
by Aidan Monaghan (B.Sc., EET)
Because information collected after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 has raised questions about the alleged ability and motivation of the people accused of piloting four Boeing 757 and 767 planes into the World Trade Center (WTC), the Pentagon building and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, speculation has since lingered regarding the covert use of technology to precisely navigate the four airliners that day without onboard pilot control.
U.S. federal government and civil aviation industry publications describe the development and implementation pre-September 11, 2001, of state-of-the-art systems capable of facilitating precise automated navigation of the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft used that day to a given destination. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based radio-navigation system that generates accurate positioning, navigation and timing information for civil use at no cost. The information signal can be obtained through the use of GPS signal receiving equipment.
Augmented GPS signal service intended to replace dated and expensive ground-based aviation navigation signals, was developed during the mid-to-late 1990s by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Raytheon. Serving on Raytheon’s Special Advisory Board was “Project for the New American Century” signatory Richard Armitage, although it is unknown precisely when he served in this capacity. Known as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), precisely surveyed ground-based Wide-area Reference Stations monitor and collect GPS satellite signal errors. Ground-based Wide-area Master Stations then transmit corrected GPS signal information to ground-based Ground Uplink Stations, that then transmit the corrected GPS signal information to Geostationary Satellites. These satellites then broadcast the corrected positional information back to Earth for use within a GPS-like signal.
The FAA announced on August 24, 2000 – just 13 months prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks – that the WAAS signal was available pending final approval by the FAA. Horizontal and vertical positional data accurate to between one to three meters and sufficient for Category I precision aircraft runway approaches, was now available throughout the contiguous United States. Conventional en route aviation navigation beacon signals were only able to provide placement information accurate to within one mile. Raytheon’s director of satellite navigation systems even reported that rescue personnel utilized the newly activated WAAS signal, in order to precisely survey the Ground Zero site following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
For U.S. aviation purposes utilizing GPS navigation, a waypoint is a three dimensional location within the National Air Space, comprised of longitude, latitude and altitude coordinates. An aircraft flight path can be comprised of a series of waypoints. The WTC towers themselves occupied waypoint coordinates. Other noteworthy U.S. structures occupying domestic waypoint coordinates are the Washington Monument in Washington, DC and the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.
During numerous FAA and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsored runway approach and touchdown test flights between 1994 and 2002, involving augmented GPS positional signals and the auto-land systems of Boeing 757, 767 and other Boeing 700 series aircraft, horizontal and vertical positional accuracies of just several meters or less were routinely achieved. The four aircraft used to carry out the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were also Boeing 757-200 and 767-200 model aircraft. Runways of major U.S. airports like JFK International, Chicago-O’Hare International and Los Angeles International are between 150 and 200 feet wide. The WTC towers were each 208 feet wide.
During October of 1994 at NASA’s Crows Landing Flight Facility in California, 110 autopilot approaches and touchdowns of a United Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft facilitated by augmented GPS positional signals, were successfully conducted, with “accuracies on the order of a few centimeters” being consistently achieved. 
During October of 1994, augmented GPS signal flight tests sponsored by the FAA in cooperation with Ohio University were conducted. 50 autopilot approaches and touchdowns were successfully performed by a donated United Parcel Service Boeing 757-200 series aircraft. The augmented GPS positional signal was integrated into the aircraft Flight Management System (FMS).
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