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15/10/2008 – Can A ‘Classified’ Military Radio Tower Bring Down A Plane? : I Almost Has…..Twice
Last Tuesday, the 7th of October, Qantas Flight 72, an Airbus A330-300, flying between Singapore (SIN) and Perth (PER) experienced a computer malfunction that caused the aircraft to unexpectedly climb before plunging twice.
Normally this could be written off as a run-of-the-mill computer problem, however a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200 experienced a similar computer malfunction in nearly the identical location in 2005.
What do these two reported potentially deadly incidents have in common? They both occurred while flying over a ‘classified’ United States military installation, 3 miles north of Exmouth, in Western Australia (FYI: The amount of info I can find on this classified radio tower online is extensive!). This military installation is home to a signal tower nicknamed “Tower Zero” that is taller than the Empire State Building. Tower Zero is 1,270 feet, while the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet. Tower Zero, and the additional 12 surrounding towers (six are 1,194 feet and six are 997 feet) were constructed to primarily handle naval communications for US and Australian submarines in the Southern Hemisphere.
This cluster of 13 radio towers is one of the powerful of its kind in the world, and it is known to cause electro-magnetic interference
The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) believes both the Qantas Airbus A330 and Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 incidents centered on the aircrafts on-board ‘Air Data Inertial Reference Unit‘ (ADIRU) computer. The chances of two unrelated aircraft, produced by two difference manufacturers, flown and maintained by two different airlines, having nearly identical mishaps in the same vicinity of the of Tower Zero is practically ‘nil.’
With the military base technically being classified, and of significant interest to both the U.S. and Australian militaries, investigators are still unsure of the specific cause of the two incidents. Neither the U.S. military or Australian military is willing to discuss specifics which may aid the ATSB’s investigation of the cause of Qantas Flight 72’s recent incident.
The incident left more than 60 people injured.