11 Airliners Missing/Stolen from Tripoli Airport

Area 5150

Model citizen, Zero discipline
Wondering if this might be a repeat story from a few weeks ago. Seems before/after the airport was attacked, some aircraft were flown to Malta before anyone could damage or destroy them.
Haven't researched it, but I vaguely remember hearing something to that affect.


Well-Known Member
This is an interesting exercise to run through your head, but I don't see these as viable threats. It would take a lot of competent people successfully completing very long & extensive checklists in order to use one of these in an attack. It's one thing to capture and deploy an Abrams tank over short distances on land, but another thing entirely to preflight, prep, fuel, launch, navigate towards and reach a target in something they got their mitts on (I've heard 11 aircraft but haven't seen the list).

They may have suffered damage during the attacks at Libya. Presumably they've been repositioned but we don't know if any were damaged or destroyed during the "ferry" flights. What deferred maintenance items existed when last flown by the operators (and how would the bad guys know)? What tools, equipment, parts and personnel are available to make the aircraft ready for flight? Aside from a "ferry" flight they've sat idle for weeks, and time is the enemy of an unmaintained jet in the hands of incompetent people. They'll need fuel, a start cart, a somewhat competent flight crew, VMC, the ability to penetrate layered air defenses (or burn scads of Jet-A at 500' AGL), and reach the target presumably on September 11th when everyone and their dog will be watching. And every thick piece of 100' x 4,000' concrete is being watched right now by satellite, UAV and/or ground forces.

Great circle distances from Tripoli to...
Rome (and Vatican) - 540 nm
Athens 599
Geneva 861
Madrid 929
Cairo 941
Paris 1,074
Tel Aviv 1,095
London 1,259
NYC 4,052
Washington, DC 4,225