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Date: 16 Aug 1998
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Funny you should ask; it's a good question.
Actually, we are REQUIRED to use the weather radar, and we did just that all the time. According to FARs for turbine aircraft operating over water, one is required to have the weather radar operating to help identify coastlines and landfall. Also, there are en-route notes for flying in the Middle East saying that one should operate the weather radar, and monitor 121.5, continuously. Weather radar puts out a very different signature from military target radar, so an aircraft broadcasting civilian weather radar patterns is less likely to be considered a threat. Also, any question from the military will be broadcast on 121.5 or 243, so continuous monitoring is in order. Especially while the transponder was intermittant, we did everything we could to look like what we are: a harmless civilian flight.