112 Noisy Edge
 The flight path of our mysterious little object is suddenly becoming a lot less mysterious ...

ImageSummary: An elusive object is flying near LA. What it is and where it leads uncovers a possible terrorist scheme.

Original air date
: May 6, 2005 (US)

Written by: Cheryl Heuton, Nick Falacci

Directed by:  J Miller Tobin
Opening numbers:
6,950: Small planes in LA
400: Homeland security threats
5: LA Radar arrays
1: Aerial anomaly

Family Concepts: (character development)
  • Alan has an 8 handicap in golf
  • Charlie's hobbies include basketball, snow-boarding, video games and he's getting over his fear of rock climbing
  • Amita has been working on her doctorial thesis in Combinatronics for a computer science PhD for over two years
  • Amita wants to get an additional PhD in Astrophysics

Episode Synopsis:

What starts as a quiet evening in the FBI headquarters ends when multiple reports of an unidentified object flying near LA come in from the FAA.  Charlie is able to make a rough track of the objects flight path, but it disappears before it can reach downtown Los Angeles.

An analysis of radar images, both military and civilian, fail to locate any sort of object in the area where the sightings took place.  Interviews with eyewitnesses does however turn up a family that took video footage of the object. Charlie and Amita use a squish-squash program to try and pin down the flight path of the craft.  They are able to come up a better idea of craft's path; Don points out that the flight would have ended around the Staples Center, an enticing soft target for terrorism.

Charlie and Amita go back to the radar footage and rework it to try and get a clearer image of the object itself and they succeed, the image pulled together from several radar images resembles a small fixed wing craft, something definitely man-made.  The reason it didn't show up on radar could be the result of the materials used in making it.

The FBI starts to canvas local air-strips in the area where the plane probably took off, but no one saw anything the night of the sightings.  The other possibility is the plane used a vertical lift system and wouldn't need an actual landing strip to take off.  A local company, Nordell Aeronautics is offering a $5million prize for a vertical lift plane.  Talking to the Nordell representative, David discovers two men who could have designed the plane, David Croft and Lane Gosnell, the two men were once partners, but had a falling out over the design of their aircraft.

David interviews Croft and finds that Gosnell stole his design for the aircraft, and states he will be talking to his lawyer.  Don and David also interview Gosnell's son, Bake, who takes them out to Gosnell's workshop.  There they find drawings of the plane, and evidence of it taking off.  Blake doesn't know where his father would be or why he would take off, the plane wasn't ready yet and the rudder was still being tested.

Charlie and Amita go back to the radar data again, this time including weather radar, they refine their flight path even more and come up with a quarter mile area where the plane disappeared. A search of the area finds the plane crashed in a salvage yard and Gosnell dead.  An initial investigation shows the rudder had been tampered with, which caused the crash.  Armed with this information and finger print evidence that he was in the hanger where Gosnell stored the plane, David arrests Gosnell's ex-partner, Croft and questions him about the sabotage and death.  Croft denies he had anything to do with tampering with the plane, that he couldn't do anything to the plane.  Charlie points out that the tampering may not have been malicious, but might have been someone trying to help.  Don and David go back to Blake who admits he made changes to the plane and didn't tell his father.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 October 2008 )
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