Why CF-18s engaged an airliner last July

Tease the day: CTV News reveals radio transmissions that tell the whole story

Graphic courtesy CTV News

If you watched CTV National News last night, you’ll have seen Bob Fife’s report that shed some light on an incident last July that saw a pair of CF-18 fighter jets scramble to engage an unresponsive passenger airliner over the skies of Quebec. The report relied on “secret documents and radio transmissions” that CTV managed to obtain. The news wasn’t sensational, and it didn’t expose a gaping hole in Canada’s air security—it simply answered questions about what happened to a Toronto-bound Sunwing Airlines jet that wasn’t responding to air traffic controllers. A job well done. But that’s not the best part of the piece.

What you didn’t see on television was how CTV presented the story online. The network published an interactive feature that, using Google Earth’s platform, allows viewers to listen to those radio transmissions between the fighter jets and the airliner, in real-time, as 3D models of each aircraft float over Quebec airspace. Talk about a visually stunning presentation of a story that goes beyond a news clip or a 500-word story. More of this, please.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the guilty plea in a drunk-driving case that killed four boys and sent one to hospital. The National Post fronts Quebec students’ violent reaction to the provincial government’s proposal to slightly increase tuition fees. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with continuing drama in the Senate. The Ottawa Citizen leads with details of Senator Patrick Brazeau’s alleged assault of a woman in his home. iPolitics fronts Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird downplaying his cancelled trip to Venezuela. leads with Pope Benedict XVI’s final public address. National Newswatch showcases the Star‘s cover story on the Senate.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Tibet rejection. Canada’s ambassador to China was barred from entering Tibet, a rebuke that has a Tibetan political leader urging Beijing to allow Canadians to visit the region. 2. Missing UN worker. A Canadian UN worker was apparently abducted in Syria earlier this month by a militant group. The UN wouldn’t confirm the claim.
3. Failed asylum. Federal court overturned a review board’s ruling that two young Sri Lankans be granted asylum, finding that neither faced threat of persecution in their home country. 4. BlackBerry security. The Canadian wireless device thought to be the world’s most secure could still be vulnerable, according to a federal memo to public servants.

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