Stichwort: Uninterruptable Autopilot
All Boeings have been modified with an uninterruptible autopilot, according to McConnell. Pilots, however, are not trained to use them, making aircraft a weapon for terrorists to access and deploy, he says.
“The significance is that pilots are not aware of this, feature, and therefore they cannot comply with aviation regulations, namely FAR 121533,” he says.
Boeing’s uninterruptible autopilot modification makes it impossible for hijackers to hijack, supposedly – if pilots understand what to do. Pilots in general were not even aware of this new installation until McConnell blew the whistle on it. Within 4 days of his doing this, Boeing admitted having this modification. On March 3, 2007, Boeing said within two years, all Boeings would have this type of autopilot.
“If a physical pilot hijacker tried to get into the cockpit, the pilot could trigger the autopilot. Then, officials on the ground could remotely gain control and direct it to a safe landing. This has been known since 2007,” McConnell said. “Once operating, it cannot be turned off by anyone in the plane.”
“I presume that it’s possible that someone on board the aircraft, if they are a software engineer for instance could trigger the remote control of it, but I think its more likely that someone at a ground station, or even an Air Force AWACS aircraft or the Navy aircraft could gain authority from the operating company, in this case Malaysia.”