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VK: Airband radio misuse update.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:48 am
by m0lsx
In October 2016, 22-year-old Paul Sant used a radio transmitter to send four passenger planes messages trying to get them to change course and even issued a fake mayday call after being fired from his job as a baggage handler for Virgin Australia.

The hoax was realised by air traffic controllers at the time who were able to avoid any serious accidents.

The ABC reported that Sant pleaded guilty to three charges, including endangering aircraft passengers and interfering with radio communications.

Sant was originally sentenced to two years in jail, but his terms was suspended on a “recognisance release order” and he must now abide by a number of conditions including seeking mental health treatment.

“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable,” County Court Judge Felicity Hampel told Sant, according to the ABC.

“You may have been young, you may have thought it was just funny, just silly but … the potential for real, serious and significant harm way beyond what you might have contemplated was very real.”

The court was told Sant imitated an air traffic controller three times using frequencies allocated to Melbourne Airport.

Sant told one Virgin flight to abort take off, even though it was landing and sent “go around” messages a Jetstar flight and a Qantas flight, trying to get the pilot to ascend and circle until instructed to land.

In each instance, air traffic controllers were able to recognise the hoax and avoid an incident.

However, two days later, Sant sent another “go around” message to a Virgin flight, causing the pilot to change course, putting the flight outside the safe seporation zone of three nautical miles between aircraft.

Later that night Sant imitated the pilot of a light aircraft and made a mayday call, which an air traffic controller recognised as a hoax when the aircraft was not on the radar at the location Sant indicated.

A written apology from Sant was released by the court last week, in which Sant said he was “oblivious to the potential danger” of his actions.

The letter was accepted by Judge Hampel, who said it was an indication Sant accepted responsibility for his actions and is remorceful.

The court also heard that Sant, who was 19 at the time of the hoaxes, had a long history of behavioural issues, came from a dysfunctional family had been living in state-run residential care since he was 14.

Re: VK: Airband radio misuse update.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:59 am
by m0lsx
The original story from back in 2016.