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The NORJAK Time Table

 

 

What Happened and When Did it Happen?

This is a table of actions occurring throughout the NORJAK incident. In the past it has been difficult for researchers to gain an understanding of the “order of occurrence” of NORJAK events because the events are frequently described in different documents. Each action and the time it occurred have been derived from reliable sources (mostly documents released by the FBI). The purpose of this time-table is to aid the researcher in understanding the “order of occurrence” of events. If you have questions or comments about this Time-table, e-mail Sluggo at Sluggo@N467US.com.

 

Explanation of Time-table columns:

 

Time –The time (or time range) at which the action occurred. If the text in this column is [GREEN]  , the time value is of the highest order of reliability. If the text in this column is [BLUE], the time value is of questionable reliability. If the text in this column is [RED], the time value is an estimate based on the opinion of individuals familiar with the case. Times are either Pacific Standard Time (PST) in 24-hour format such as “15:53 PST”, or Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), sometimes called Zulu Time in 24-hour format such as “23:53 UTC” or “23:53 z”. PST = UTC minus 8 hours (i.e.  23:53 z = 15:53 PST).

 

Action – The information in this column is a description of an event that occurred during the commission of the crime. If the text in this column is [BLUE], it is text that has been added for clarity.

 

Actionee - The individual (or individuals) involved in the action. If the text in this column is [GREEN], the identification of the individual is of the highest order of reliability. If the text in this column is [BLUE], the identification of the individual is of questionable reliability. If the text in this column is [RED], the identification of the individual is a “best guess” based on the opinion of individuals familiar with the case.

 

Comment(s) – Additional or modifying information about this entry. If the text in this column is [GREEN], the information is of the highest order of reliability. If the text in this column is [BLUE], the information is of questionable reliability. If the text in this column is [RED], the information is a “best guess” based on the opinion of individuals familiar with the case.

 

Principle Individuals and Agencies:

Alice = Flight Attendant Alice Hancock

Cooper = Hijacker, Dan (D B) Cooper

Flo = Flight Attendant Florence Schaffner

Flt-Ops KC = NWA Flight Operations in Unknown Location (possibly Kansas City)

Flt-Ops MSP = NWA Flight Operations in Minneapolis, MN

Flt-Ops SEA = NWA Flight Operations at SEA

Harold = Flight Engineer Harold E. Anderson

OAK CNTR = Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC)

Pilot = Either the Pilot, First Officer, or Flight Engineer of Flt 305 (Used when absolute ID is unknown)

Raz = William Rataczak First Officer

Rescue 50983 = A Lockheed HC-130 out of Hamilton Air Force Base, California

RNO TWR = Reno Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)

Scott = Captain William Scott Pilot In Command (PIC)

SEA App Con = SEA Approach Control

SEA CNTR = Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC)

SEA GRND = SEA Ground Control (ATC)

SEA TWR – SEA Control Tower (ATC)

Tina = Flight Attendant Tina Mucklow

 

 

Time-Table Beginning On 11/24/1971 at 14:00 PST

Time

Action

Actionee

Comment(s)

14:00 PST

Dan Cooper purchases a ticket to SEA at PDX

Cooper

FBI interrogation of Ticket Agent

14:53 – 14:58 PST

Flt 305 Wheels Off at PDX.

Pilot

Derived from Com with Flt-Ops at 15:07 PST.

14:59 PST

Cooper hands note to Schaffner

Cooper

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.4

15:02 PST

Schaffner takes note to cockpit.

Flo

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.4 Time on note is 22:02 z but in obviously in error to lack of congruency with bounding times.

15:07 PST

Flt 305 reports “Wheels Off” @ PDX Estimated time of arrival at SEA 15:36 PST.

Pilot

Comm. with NWA Flt-Ops KC.

15:10 PST

Cooper informs crew he wants the money in negotiable currency to be passed to a crew member.

Cooper

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.4

15:13 PST

Flt 305 reports Passenger is hijacking, has bomb in briefcase, wants $200K by 5:PM Seattle. (17:00 PST)

Pilot

Comm. with NWA Flt-Ops KC.

15:20 PST

Cooper informs crew that he wants everything ready before landing.

 

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.4

15:25 PST

Cooper informs crew that he wants to hold out without passengers knowing [about the hijacking] if possible

Cooper

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:26 PST

Cooper informs crew that he will let all passengers go as soon as the plane is refueled

Cooper

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:26 PST

Flt 305 advises Approaching LOFAL Fix

Pilot

Comm. with NWA Flt-Ops KC. LOFAL Fix is over the Hood Canal.

15:30 PST

Flt 305 holding NW of SEA @ 6000 ft. with 18000 lbs of fuel remaining

Pilot

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:26 – 16:11 PST

Flt 305 establishes a holding pattern NE of SEA at 6000 ft. MSL and 15 – 20 NM out along the 307º radial of the SEA VORTAC. Early in this period they reported lo visibility and icing conditions. Late in this period they reported improved visibility with scattered clouds at 5000 to 5500 feet. They later asked to go out to 30 NM DME a on the same radial to avoid rain. At some point during this period SEA App Con became aware of the hijacking. Probably after 15:58.

Pilot & SEA App Con

Comm. with SEA App Con

16:11 – 17:05 PST

Flt 305 continued in the above  pattern.

Pilot & SEA App Con

Comm. with SEA App Con

15:43 PST

Pilot received a call from NWA, they are standing by

Pilot

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:45 PST

Unclear note in handwritten log may say: Sent log to Flt-Ops MSP.

Pilot

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:45 PST

Tina called cockpit and requested that another girl be allowed to stay with him. Cooper said, “No”

Pilot

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.5

15:58 PST

Flt 305 advises they did not inform ATC of the hijacking

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

15:59 PST

Suggest Flt 305 squawk 3100 (Transponder Code). [This is odd because ATC assigns Squawk codes, not Flt-Ops.] Flt 305 indicates they will do so.

Flt-Ops MSP & Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

16:00 PST

Pilot makes PA announcement to passengers; “Having slight mechanical difficulties. Will burn off fuel and be landing in 13 to 18 minutes.

Pilot

Time based on handwritten crew notes p.6 and p. 12

16:51 PST

President of NWA advises all LE to take no action.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

16:55 PST

Flt 305 advises they will make approach to landing at this time.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops SEA

17:05 PST

Flt 305 begins approach to landing at SEA.

Pilot

Comm. SEA App Con

17:05 – 17:41 PST

Flt 305 has an uneventful approach to SEA Runway 16 R.

Pilot &  SEA App Con

Comm. with SEA App Con

17:37 PST

Flt 305 advises they are 5 NM out on final approach

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops SEA

17:40 PST

Flt 305 begins comm. with SEA TWR

Pilot & SEA TWR

Comm. with SEA TWR

17:43 PST

Flt 305 “Wheels Down: at SEA

Pilot & SEA GRND

Comm. with SEA GRND

17:43 PST

Flt 305 begins comm. with SEA GRND

Pilot & SEA GRND

Comm. with SEA GRND

17:43 – 17:59 PST

Early in this period Flt 305 reports Cooper in lavatory. Passengers are unloaded and fueling of the aircraft begins.

Pilot,  SEA GRND

Comm. with SEA GRND

15:59 – 18:59 PST

The transcripts do not have “Time Stamps” for this period, so all information from this period is presented together. During this 1 hour period there was a lot of communication with SEA GRND and others who were involved with the refueling, exchange (release) of passengers, exchange of parachutes and exchange of the ransom money. The salient points are:

There was difficulty with the first fuel truck, it was unable to pump fuel into the plane. There were some problems managing the passengers after they were removed from the plane but before they were transported away.

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #4

(cont.)

15:59 – 18:59 PST

Very early in this period Flt 305 was instructed on what to do when the hijacker bails out. They were told to Squawk 7700 [the transponder code for emergency] for 30 seconds at blink all aircraft lights. The Pilot relayed to SEA GRND Tina’s description of the explosive device. It was; “dynamite sticks and the battery and wires in his briefcase. The three male members of the crew tried to figure a way to get Tina up with them so they could all leave out the front stairs, but were unable and would not abandon her. 

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #4

(cont.)

15:59 – 18:59 PST

During this period a plane started taxing along the taxiway and was unaware the airport was closed. Flo and Alice were in a car and thought that if Cooper was told everything was going well he would let Tina go. Tena had been instructed to sit with Cooper and not go forward of the 1st Class Section.

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #4

17:47 PST

Flt 305 reports Cooper in lavatory

Flt-Ops SEA

Flt-Ops SEA comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18: 21 PST

Cooper gives demands: Mexico City, gear down, Flaps at 15º, after underway all lights out, no landing for fuel or other reason in US, and no crew member aft of First Class curtain.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:21 PST

Flt-Ops MSP advises cannot make Mexico City even with full fuel load.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Pilot

18:21 PST

Cooper continues demands: Aft door will be open an remain so, stairs will be lowered after take-off,

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:21 PST

Flt-Ops MSP advises that even with aft stairs up, 305 can’t make Mexican border.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Pilot

18:21 PST

Flt 305 advises the Flight Attendants aren’t off yet. Alice in Sr. FA Station on aft side of cockpit in her station, remaining seated. Flo in forward Rt. seat in Cabin Section, was told not to get up. Tina is acting as intermediary and is sitting with Cooper.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:21 PST

Flt-Ops MSP advises that the aircraft is operable with the aft stairs extended. Just can’t make it with flaps down. Can go maybe 2 to 2½ hours. That would get you to Frisco.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Pilot

18:21 PST

Flt 305 advises they will talk with Cooper again

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:25 PST

Crew advised Cooper of range limitations.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:25 PST

Cooper indicated he will accept their word and asked if they could make Phoenix, AZ

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:25 PST

Flt-Ops MSP advises they are checking on Phoenix, says the flight might make it but it is questionable. Says range is about 2 hours.

Flt-Ops MSN

Comm. of Flt-Ops MSP with Pilot

18:25 PST

Flt-Ops MSN says “Ability to jump out of a 707 with a parachute is nil”  [Assumption is he meant 727]

Flt-Ops MSN

Comm. of Flt-Ops MSP with Pilot

18:25 PST

Pilot indicates he will talk again with Cooper

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:38 PST

Flt 305 advises that they have negotiated the roles of  2 girls leaving any moment 3rd girl to stay with aircraft. He wants her to manipulate the stairs for him after the plane is airborne. Have tried to tell him I am unable to operate the stairs to lowered after takeoff… Trying to get him to lower stairs partially for takeoff.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:38 PST

Flt Ops MSP says the do not know of a way to lock stairs partially open.

Flt-Ops MSN

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:40 PST

Flt 305 reads proposed procedure and questions if a 20 degree opening is enough for Cooper to get out

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:40 PST

Flt Ops MSP tells Flt 305 to allow Cooper to escape: slow to Emergency Approach to Landing Speed, extend stairs, try with gear up and gear down. His weight should open enough for Cooper to escape.

Flt-Ops MSN

Comm. with Pilot

18:44 PST

Flo and Alice leave aircraft

Pilot  Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

18:59 PST

Several exchanges with Flt Ops MSP. Discussions about flight characteristics with Aft Stairs extended. Refueling is still in progress and the whole crew is in the cockpit. Flt 305 ask if Tina should have a lanyard if she is going to help him close the door. Flt Ops MSP says; “Yes”

Pilot and Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. between Flt 305 and  Flt-Ops MSP

18:59 to 19:41 PST

The transcripts do not have “Time Stamps” for this period, so all information from this period is presented together. Here are the salient points for this 42 minute period:

SEA GRND asked Flt 305 to confirm that there was only one individual involved.

There was a message sent to Flt 305 from the FAA Chief Psychiatrist indicating the it was felt that the second parachute was for the stewardess and Cooper would blow up the plane after he leaves.

The Flight Crew confirmed that Cooper didn’t want anyone in the aisle of aft of the first class curtain and would only deal with Tina. The pilots have never left the cockpit.

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #5

(cont.)

18:59 to 19:41 PST

Boeing sent instructions of how to evacuate the aircraft from the front.

SEA GRND instructed Flt 305 to continue to squawk 3100 until told to change by departure control or center.

Flt 305 was relieved of many restrictions established for air traffic control and noise abatement. They were cleared to climb immediately to 10,000 feet, though they did not.

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #5

(cont.)

18:59 to 19:41 PST

Flt 305 was routed down V-23 by ATC based on terrain clearance at 10,000 feet.

Flt 305 was informed that “there will be people with you all the way down, so if you go above 10,000 feet let us know.” [This is reference to chase planes.]

Flt 305 was cleared down V-23 all the way to Sacramento, prior to takeoff.

Pilot and SEA GRND

Comm. between Pilot and SEA GRND Reel #5

19:01 PST

Difficulty with one of the fuel trucks. Only 24, 000 lbs Fuel on board. Attempting to fuel with 3rd truck.

Pilot and Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. between Flt 305 and  Flt-Ops MSP

19:05 PST

Flt Ops MSP sends preliminary range info. SEA to Mexico City is about 2200 miles. Range with gear down 1000 miles max. Ask that Cooper be told that they cannot take off with the door down.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. between Flt 305 and  Flt-Ops MSP

19:22 PST

Flt 305 confirms that based on the range limitations Reno will be their first stop for fuel

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:22 PST

Flt-Ops MSP indicated that next stop will be a leg of about the same distance and gives VOR info for navigation to Yuma, AZ.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:22 PST

Flt 305 advises that fuel truck has left, air stairs have been removed, forward door is closed, and Cooper has agreed to let them take off with the aft door fully closed.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:22 PST

Cooper says; “Get the plane on the road”.

Cooper

Comm. with Pilot

19:25 PST

Flt 305 says SEA GRND advises that the Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude  to Reno is 15,000 feet.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:25 PST

Flt 305 suggest they go along the coast and then back on the route.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:25 PST

Flt-Ops MSP advises that aft stairs will have to be retracted before landing or the damage would prevent subsequent takeoff.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:25 PST

Flt 305 is positioning for take off.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:33 PST

Flt 305 takes off

None

Estimated based on next transmission.

19:37 PST

SEA CNTR request Flt 305 ident. [this is a process of making sure ATC is tracking the right “Blip” on their radar]. And verify assigned altitude of 10,000 ft.

SEA CNTR

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:40 PST

Flt 305 reports through 6500 ft. and trying to get the steps down back there

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:40 PST

Flt 305 reports leveling off at 7,000 ft. Cooper wants the stairs down and they are slowing to about 160 KIAS.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:42 PST

Flt 305 reports “14 NM out of SEA on Victor-23. Cooper is trying to get the door down, Stew is with us, he cannot get the stairs down. We now have an aft stair light on.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:44 PST

Flt 305 advises they will hold at 7,000 ft. We have the back steps down now and it looks like we aren’t going to be able to climb anymore.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:45 PST

Flt 305 reports 19 NM DME out of SEA at 7,000 ft. No comm.. with Cooper but have an aft stair light.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:45 PST

Fly Ops MSP advises that after a while someone will have to go back and take a look to see if he is out of the aircraft. Also, if they have to go any distance in that configuration their indicated optimum speed is 170 knots. Portland, Medford, and Red Bluff are available alternate airports.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:46 PST

Flt-Ops SEA has the enroute weather, its Fog and Haze

Flt-Ops SEA

Comm. between Flt-Ops MSP and Flt-Ops SEA

19:48 PST

Flt 305 reports 160 KIAS, which is about 5 knots above stall speed. Holding at 7,000 ft. Fuel flow is 4500 gal/hr.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:48 PST

Flt Ops MSP advises they will not make it to Reno in that configuration. Unless he is gone. Also, the higher the cabin is [meaning the lower the pressure due to altitude] the better if you guys have mask on [supplied oxygen]

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:48 PST

Flt 305 reports Flaps to 15 degrees and beginning climb to 10,000

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:51 PST

Flt 305 advises they are climbing to 10,000 ft. and are through 9,000 ft now.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:53 PST

Flt 305 reports level at 10,000 ft. with 170 – 180 KIAS

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

19:54 PST

Flt Ops MSP tells Flt 305; “as soon as you are reasonably sure Cooper has left, the sooner you can land.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:54 PST

Flt 305 reports: Miss Mucklow said he apparently has the knapsack around him and [she] thinks he will jump.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:54 PST

Flt Ops MSP advised that they have a direct phone patch hooked up on 131.8 MHz.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

19:57 PST

Tina describes the briefcase as containing  (in the left corner)  had 8 sticks of dynamite about 6 inches long and 1 inch in diameter, two rows of them, Then a wire out of there, then a battery like a flashlight battery only as thick as my arm and 8 inches long.

Tina

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:01 PST

Flt Ops MSP inquires about altitude

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt 305

20:01 PST

305 advises that altitude is 15,000 ft.,[assumed to be nervous error due to context] 160 KIAS, Fuel Flow 4000 gal/hr, 15 degrees flaps, Gear down. Will stay at 10,000 ft. until he has left.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:02 PST

Flt Ops MSP advises: No terrain exceeds 8,000 ft. on that route [V-23] Then you will have to go to 10,500 or 11,000 between Red Bluff and Reno if you have to go that far.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt 305

20:03 PST

Flt 305 reports Total Air Temperature (TAT) as -7 Degrees Centigrade. [TAT is the same as Outside Air Temperature]

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:05 PST

Pilot reports that he has tried twice to contact Cooper unsuccessfully, then he came on the PA system and said everything is OK.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:06 PST

Flt Ops MSP advises that Medford, OR is best airport short of Reno and Reno may become a bit tight [Re: Fuel exhaustion]

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt 305

20:09 PST

Flt 305 advises that CHK? Manuals do not have Medford approach plates.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:09 PST

Will have it for you [will guide them through the Medford Approach procedure]. If we have a comm. problem the tower will guide you through it.

Flt-Ops MSP

Comm. with Flt 305

20:10 PST

Flt-Ops SEA indicated they gave them all the approach plates they would need.

Flt-Ops SEA

Comm. between Flt-Ops MSP and Flt-Ops SEA

20:10 PST

Flt 305 indicated they have found the Medford Approach Plates.

Pilot

Comm. between Flt 305, Flt-Ops MSP and Flt-Ops SEA

20:11 PST

This is the time that is generally used to mark Cooper’s jump point. It differs from the next entry by 1 minute because the transmissions were being listened to and then entered into the TTY creating a 1 minute delay.

None

None

20:12 PST

Flt 305 advises they are getting some oscillations in the cabin, Cooper must be doing something with the stairs.

Pilot

Comm. with Flt-Ops MSP

20:15

SEA CNTR advises Portland Altimeter (Corresponding Sea Level Barometric Pressure) is 30.03 inches of Hg. [This is important because it shows that at 20:15:56 they were very near Portland.]

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

20:20 PST

Flt Ops MSP request Go to 131.8 MHz.

Flt-Ops MSP

Attempted Comm. with Flt 305

20:20 PST

Flt-Ops SEA advises Flt 305 is already on that frequency

Flt-Ops SEA

Comm. between Flt-Ops MSP and Flt-Ops SEA

20:20 PST

Flt Ops MSP Advises we are on the phone and will be talking with him shortly.

Flt-Ops SEA

Comm. between Flt-Ops MSP and Flt-Ops SEA

20:33 PST

Flt 305 reports still at 10,000 ft.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

20:33 to 21:43 PST

This period is uneventful. Comms. consists of Radar Station hand-offs, altimeter settings etc, The last altimeter setting was at Montague, CA at 21:41 PST. So they were near the OR/CA border just SW of Klamath Falls when they changed altitude.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

21:43 PST

Flt 305 request altitude change to 11,000 ft.

Pilot

Comm. with SEA CNTR

21:44 PST

Handoff from SEA CNTR to OAK CNTR

SEA CNTR

Comm. with OAK CNTR

21:45 PST

Flt 305 is out of 10,000 ft> climbing slowly to 11,000 ft is one mile south of Fort Jones.

SEA CNTR

Comm. with OAK CNTR

21:45 PST

 Radar contact with Northwest 305.

OAK CNTR

Comm. with SEA CNTR

21:46 PST

Flt 305 reports out of 10,700 ft. climbing to 11,000 ft.

Pilot

Comm. with OAK CNTR

21:46 PST

Flt 305 requested vectors direct to Red Bluff and Direct to Reno from there.

Pilot

Comm. with OAK CNTR

21:47 PST

OAK CNTR broadcast on 306.9 MHz [a military frequency] asking Flt 305 for a radio check. Then explained to Rescue 50983 that Flt 305 could not monitor the military frequency and ask Rescue 983 if he could transmit on 360.9MHz and monitor 120.4 MHz

OAK CNTR

Comm. with Rescue 50983

21:53 PST

OAK CNTR is vectoring the C-130 to intercept Flt 305. At this point they are 10 miles apart and Flt 305 is level at 11,000 and 50 NM out of Red Bluff on V-23

OAK CNTR

Comm. with Flt 305

22:05 PST

Flt 305 is 10 NM NW of Red Bluff on a heading of 090 degrees (East).

Pilot

Comm. with OAK CNTR

22:11 PST

Flt 305 is over Red Bluff turning to Reno

OAK CNTR

Comm. between OAK CNTR radar positions

22:14 PST

Flt 305 request slow turns and slow descent

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:33 PST

There is an attempt to Hand-off Flt 305 to RNO TWR. The attempt fails and RNO TWR is informed that there is a flight “In Trail” with Flt 305. OAK CNTR confirms that Flt 305 is squawking 3100 and ID’s the flight in trail as a C-130.

OAK CNTR

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:34 PST

RNO TWR makes radar contact with Flt 305.

RNO TWR

Comm. with OAK CNTR

22:34 PST

OAK CNTR confirms that Flt 305 is 42 NM WNW of Reno on a heading of 060º at 11,000 ft. altitude. Also, that Rescue 50983 is 6 NM behind at 12,000 ft.

OAK CNTR

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:35 PST

RNO TWR gives Flt 305 landing instructions to intercept the Instrument Landing System (ILS) outer marker, altimeter, wind conditions, and to expect a lower altitude [assignment] in 20 NM.

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

22:35 PST

Flt 305 advises that they are trying to contact Cooper and are going to try to get the aft stairs up before landing, so they may need to “break off” the approach at some time.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:43 PST

Flt 305 reports that they have not been able to contact Cooper, the stairs are still down, they may decide to go ahead and land with them down, which will create some sparks. They are at 8,200 ft.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:44 PST

Flt 305 is given instructions for where to circle if they need to. They should maintain 8,500 ft. on the circle.

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

22:46 PST

As Flt 305 approaches the ILS marker they declare their intention to continue to landing. [However, they continued to circle]

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:48 PST

Flt 305 advises that they can’t seem to raise Cooper. If he’s there they would just as soon land with the stairs hanging. The stair isn’t all the way down and probably doesn’t have any pressure on it. They ask where to taxi on landing.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:49 PST

Flt 305 expresses that they do not want to park anywhere near an occupied building in case the bomb goes off.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:52 PST

Flt 305 indicates that they will probably make one more circle and then come in.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:55 PST

Flt 305 is cleared for the alpha ILS approach while 3NM from the Sparks radio beacon

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

22:57 PST

Flt 305 once again reiterates that they have made no contact with Cooper and are landing with the aft stair down

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

22:57 PST

RNO TWR offers to have the emergency equipment follow them down the runway, but they refuse stating that they do not want any flashing lights. They want the landing to be treated as normal in every respect.

RNO TWR and Pilot

Comms. between RNO TWR and Pilot.

22:58 PST

Flt 305 is issued landing clearance.

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

23:02 PST

Flt 305 is wheels down

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:03 to 23:08 PST

During this time period Flt 305 taxies to a place on the ramp away from the terminal. There is a discussion about sparks on landing from the stair being down, the tower only saw sparks when they were at taxi speed. At this time they are still planning to take on fuel.

RNO TWR and Pilot

Comms. between RNO TWR and Pilot

23:08

Flt 305 indicates they are going to take a look in the back.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:09 to 23:13 PST

Flt 305 is looking into the back

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:13 PST

Tower advises Flt 305 to: Not touch anything aboard the aircraft and exit the front . This message is not received by Flt 305. This request was repeated several times.

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

23:13 PST

Flt 305 advises that Cooper left the plane somewhere between SEA and Reno. They have done a cursory search for the briefcase and found nothing. They ask for ground transportation for the crew and thank everybody. They dismiss the fuel trucks.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:14 PST

Flt 305 has once again been requested to leavbe by the front, they advise that they have no front stairs and would prefer not to have anyone approach the aircraft. They will exit the rear and wait at the front of the plane.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:14 PST

RNO TWR ask when was the last time they saw Cooper.

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

23:14 PST

Flt 305 responds that they have been instructed by NWA management not to answer any questions at this time.

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:20 PST

Flt 305 advises that they have an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) running and would like a ground generator or a fire-watch. Also that the FBI is on board the aircraft

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:22 PST

Flt 305 final transmission is “Good Night”

Pilot

Comm. with RNO TWR

23:22 PST

RNO TWR final transmission is “Good Night”

RNO TWR

Comm. with Flt 305

 

 

 

This page was last revised: March 13, 2009.