Fcl Tech, Inc., which also operates under the name Facebook Connectivity Lab, is secretly testing experimental wireless devices — mounted onto an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), i.e. drones, above the skies of the New Mexican desert, according to the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Application for Special Temporary Authority.
Business Insider highlights the FCC filing, which show that FCL Tech Inc. — a Facebook subsidiary that develops aerospace and communication technologies, including high-altitude long-endurance drones aimed at providing internet access in the emerging growth world — was recently cleared by the Federal Government to conduct three months of tests from March 01 to June 01.
According to the filing, the tests are for an “LTE-based connectivity project requires a hardware prototype testing facility to assess key risks associated with communication system architecture, channel modeling and link budget verification at a coverage area spanning 50 km radius.”
While the manufacture of the drone is “confidential,” the filing indicates Fcl Tech, Inc. will be experimenting with “two units.” The filing further reveals the company is conducting experiments in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
While the details of the project are confidential, the filing notes that the experiment will include the 3650 – 3700 Mhz radio frequency, which Business Insider notes are the “spectrum for the so-called Citizens Radio Broadband Service, an unlicensed radio band that many companies believe could be useful for 4G LTE wireless networks.”
Down the street from the Fcl Tech, Inc.’s test site, is an FAA-licensed space center located on 18,000 acres of State Trust Land in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico, residing next to the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range. Business Insider specifies that the area is home to the space tourism industry, including Virgin Galactic. In recent years, Google has conducted experimental test runs at Spaceport, for aircraft hovering 25,000 feet in the air while operating wireless communications devices.
The suspected drone behind Fcl Tech, Inc.’s experiment could be the solar-powered “Aquila” drone. Back in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a blog post about the “first successful flight of Aquila.”
“On June 28th, we completed the first successful flight of Aquila — our solar-powered plane that will beam internet to remote parts of the world and eventually break the record for longest unmanned aircraft flight.”
The Facebook CEO describes what happened during the first experimental flight test:
“The flight took place before dawn in Yuma, Arizona. Our original mission was to fly Aquila for 30 minutes, but things went so well that we decided to keep the plane up for 96 minutes. We gathered lots of data about our models and the aircraft structure — and after two years of development, it was emotional to see Aquila actually get off the ground. But as big as this milestone is, we still have a lot of work to do. Eventually, our goal is to have a fleet of Aquilas flying together at 60,000 feet, communicating with each other with lasers and staying aloft for months at a time — something that’s never been done before.”
Zuckerberg’s breaks down the inner workings of the “Aquila” drone:
“Weight — Aquila has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737, but has to weigh as little as possible to stay up for as long as possible. That’s why the body of the plane is made of a carbon fiber composite so the whole thing weighs less than 1,000 pounds — or about the same as a grand piano. We need to continue to make it lighter.
Power — The amount of energy Aquila collects from the sun during the day has to be enough to keep its propellers, communications payload, avionics, heaters and light systems running when it’s dark. That means using about 5,000W of power at cruising altitude, or about as much as three hairdryers. We’re always looking for ways to trim this down and make our systems more efficient.
Control — Aquila is mostly self-sufficient, but it still relies on a ground crew of about a dozen engineers, pilots and technicians who direct, maintain and monitor the aircraft. They control the aircraft through software which allows them to determine heading, altitude and airspeed — or send Aquila on a GPS-based route. Takeoff and landing are automatic, since no human pilot can land in a precise location as well as software can.
Speed — When you see Aquila fly, one of the most surprising things is how slow it goes. That’s on purpose. In order to use the least amount of energy, Aquila needs to go as slow as possible. At higher altitudes, where the air is thinner, we’ll be able to go a bit faster — about 80 mph.
Altitude — In order to take off, fly and land, Aquila’s wings and propellers have to be able to operate both in high, cold altitudes and lower, warmer altitudes where the air can be 10 times denser. We’re working to figure out how much power that takes — and what impact it will have on solar panel performance, battery size, latitude range and seasonal performance.
Load — Almost half the mass of Aquila will come from high-energy batteries. That’s a lot of weight to put on large, flexible wings, which is why we have computer models to predict how Aquila’s shape deforms under load. A few more flights will help us better understand the actual in-flight dynamics.
Communications — Aquila will carry a communications payload that will use lasers to transfer data more than 10 times faster than existing systems. It will be able to aim its beams precisely enough to hit a dime more than 11 miles away while in motion.”
Business Insider spoke with Steven Crowley, a consulting wireless engineer, who speculated that Fcl Tech, Inc.’s latest experiment could be related to signal strength testing of the data communication systems on the drone, and he adds that New Mexico’s environment provides the ideal conditions for it.
“From the phrase ‘channel modeling and link budget verification’ my best guess, and that’s all that it is, is that this is en experiment of signal propagation,” consulting wireless engineer Steven Crowley wrote in an email.
“Monitoring the signal strength between the two points and seeing how it varies with weather and terrain. Then change the two points and test again. The channel model and link budget would be used to predict the signal strength and, depending on the results, they might go back and adjust the channel model and link budget to make it more accurate.”
He added: “They could test in Menlo Park, but it is a different, more congested environment. The area around Truth or Consequences is relatively flat and much less urban. They might have a reason for wanting to know the propagation conditions there as precisely as possible — by actually testing there and not trying to extrapolate from elsewhere.
“Just speculating, I can imagine fixed communications equipment spaced at intervals to control and monitor drone flights. You’d want those links to be highly reliable. Painstaking testing can help ensure that.
“Then again, I’d think you could just boost the power some on the ground and on the drone. Power can make up for lack of knowledge of, and help overcome variations in, the channel. I expect there is not much there they can interfere with. So it’s still somewhat of a mystery.”
While Zuckerberg may be on the cusp of something big – or something entirely sinister - following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, one should be concerned as nobody is in the big data collection game to the same extent as Facebook.
(LONDON) — The hottest-ever London Marathon featured a Kenyan double as Eliud Kipchoge swept to a third victory in front of Buckingham Palace joining Vivian Cheruiyot who won the women’s race on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Kipchoge ran the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) course in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 27 seconds to add to the Olympic champion’s wins in the British capital in 2015 and 2016.
“I ran a really beautiful race,” he said.
Tola Shura Kitata of Ethiopia was second, followed by Mo Farah, who set a British record 2:06:21 in front of his home fans who lined the streets in temperatures that reached 73.8 degrees (23.2 Celsius) near the finish.
While the race began in the southeast London district of Blackheath, the official starter for the men’s race was more than 30 miles (48 kilometer) to the west of the British capital. Queen Elizabeth II pushed the start button in front of Windsor Castle.
The race ended in front of the monarch’s London residence — Buckingham Palace.
Cheruiyot, the Olympic 5,000-meter champion, crossed the line in 2:18:31 seconds to win at her second attempt. Fellow Kenyan, Brigid Kosgei, was 1 minute, 42 seconds further back and Tadelech Bekele of Ethiopia was third.
There was a home success with David Weir winning the men’s wheelchair race for an eighth time after a sprint finish.
The 38-year-old Weir clocked 1:31:15 to beat Marcel Hug of Switzerland into second place, while Daniel Romanchuk of the United States was third.
Madison de Rozario of Australia won the women’s wheelchair race for the first time ahead of four-time champion Tatyana McFadden, whose fellow American, Susannah Scaroni, was third.
Lost in Space started out as a ’60s TV series, got rebooted in the 1990s as a feature film and has now been brought up-to-date by Netflix .
On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we review the first season of the new show, which finds the Robinson family once again sent into space, facing constant peril on an alien planet while also getting help from a robot that’s fond of shouting, “Danger, Will Robinson!”
Many of the classic elements have been updated in some way — perhaps the most effective change was casting Parker Posey as the villainous Dr. Smith. The new Lost in Space seems more serious and character-driven than its predecessors, but at the same time, it remains aimed at a family audience.
We also discuss our thoughts on the film version of Ready Player One, AT&T’s plans for a $15-per-month streaming service, ESPN’s new move into streaming and Amazon’s in-development series based on The Peripheral by William Gibson. (At one point in the episode, Jordan says Battlestar Galactica isn’t available on Prime Video, but for the record: It is.)
You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly.
The Gillmor Gang — John Taschek, Denis Pombriant, Keith Teare, Esteban Kolsky, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, April 20, 2018.
G3: Privacy Fence — Mary Hodder, Maria Ogneva, Francine Hardaway, Kristie Wells, and Tina Chase Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, April 20, 2018.
@stevegillmor, @jtaschek, @kteare, @DenisPombriant, @ekolsky
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
G3: Privacy Fence
You’d think everybody would want to fly. It’s been a universal human dream since the first cave person saw the first pterodactyl¹. You’d think better technology, greater demand, economic growth, and population growth would mean more and more pilots. But the surprising, counterintuitive fact is that fewer and fewer people are flying, and now Earth needs pilots, badly.
“Airline industry facing a massive shortfall of pilots.” “Yes, there is a definite pilot shortage. It is true in all parts of aviation.” “The US Air Force is short more than one-quarter of the fighter pilots it needs.” “Asian airlines are running out of trained pilots.” “‘Extraordinary’ Pilot Shortage Threatens Flights; 637,000 Needed.”
Meanwhile, the number of active pilots in the US has declined from over 800,000 in 1980 to barely 600,000 in 2017, a quarter of whom are student pilots, a certificate for which you need no experience at all. Of course there are pilots and there are pilots. A private pilot in a little Cessna is very different from an airline transport pilot guiding a 777. And one reason there’s a shortage is that, while that 777 pilot pulls in six figures, an overworked copilot at a remote feeder airline gets paid peanuts.
But this overall broad decline in piloting is still truly remarkable. Why are we flying so much less in person, at the same time that we are flying so much more remotely? (The demand for commercial drone pilots, who in the USA must qualify for a “remote pilot certificate” by passing an aeronautical knowledge exam and a TSA security check, is also growing.) Why are fewer and fewer people taking to the skies, when they have never been more accessible, and flying car startups, some of them self-flying, are erupting like mushrooms after rain? Might self-flying airplanes ultimately solve the pilot shortage?
To try to answer these questions and more, I have recently taken up flying lessons myself, as a sterling example of investigative journalism on behalf of TechCrunch’s readers.
I jest. Really this was my friend Nat’s fault. “The thing about flying,” he said to me over dinner once, “is it combines romance, adventure, science, and exploration.” A heartbeat of stunned silence later I managed to retort, “Well, that sounds terrible,” but the damage was done.
Taking off seems easy enough, at first, on a demo flight. Just thrust the throttle forward, and feel the whole airplane thrill with the engine’s unleashed power as you accelerate down the enormous runway. The flight instructor next to you tells you when to pull up, gently — you’re not even moving that fast, maybe 70 miles an hour, normal highway speed — but when you do, just like that, you’re flying. You are so accustomed to vehicles on wheels that the freedom from the tyranny of the earth, the absence of the sensation of ground against tires, feels almost vertiginous, like weightlessness.
Around you the earth falls away: runway, airport, golf course, the San Francisco Bay glittering in the sun. From a cockpit 2500 feet up the Bay Area looks almost too gorgeous to be real, like a special-effect matte painting of sea, rippling hills, great pale swathes of buildings, cargo ships arrayed in their unloading queue, the forest of skyscrapers that is downtown San Francisco, the pale arc of the Bay Bridge, the clenched fist of Alcatraz, the famed distant silhouette of the Golden Gate.
I’m a terrible cliché now, of course. A Bay Area tech CTO who takes up flying is about as remarkable as a coastal Australian who takes up surfing. I blame Nat.
Does self-deprecatingly admitting that you’re a terrible cliché make it better or worse?
“Science,” he said, and there’s some of that, but really it’s mostly engineering, a kind very different from the engineering I know professionally. This is physical, visceral, greasy. Not a Matryushka doll of nested software abstractions, running on some faraway server whose physical details you don’t know or care about; not digital chipsets and circuit boards, taking advantage of Moore’s Law and the peace dividend of the smartphone wars, to drive LEDs or solenoids or little electric motors. This is airfoils, spars, composite materials, airflow vortices, a shifting center of gravity as fuel burns, physical forces fighting to keep you aloft against the relentless pull of the Earth. This is pistons, spark plugs, carburetors, magnetos, fuel pumps, propellers.
You need to understand how all this engineering works because it is there to keep you aloft and alive. Light aircraft are not dangerous — the one I’m learning in, the Diamond DA-40, a 21st-century airplane with an excellent safety record, is statistically safer per hour than a motorcycle — but that’s because of pilot training, not their inherent security. Whether you like it or not, part of the adventure of flying is that it’s replete with risks. Weather risks, largely: thunderstorms, icing, wind shear, and especially clouds.
(Yes, clouds. Basic pilot training is for “VFR” (visual flight rules) and if you’re not trained to fly “IFR” (instrument flight rules) then clouds can and will kill you, because without a visual horizon to track, your instincts and senses will promptly start telling you lies about your airplane’s attitude and behavior, and if you’re not trained to override those gut feelings, and follow what the instruments say, then you are asking for a controlled flight into terrain. Fun fact: night flights over water can still be “VFR” in the USA! See also the sad fate of JFK Jr.)
But technical risks are very real too. Did water get into your fuel tanks? Were they accidentally filled with jet fuel instead of avgas? How do you know? Is your engine running rough today? Maybe you just need to lean the mixture for a few minutes during the run-up; and maybe you need to turn around and call a mechanic. What speed will this airplane stall at? Trick question! Stalls aren’t dictated by speed. You better know what they are dictated by, if you want to fly.
And you do. Or at least I do. It’s glorious. It’s adrenalinizing, it’s breathtaking; it’s freedom, it’s beauty; it’s like dreaming while awake.
That said, learning to fly is frequently more Type II fun than Type I. I always actively enjoy it while I’m doing it, but at the same time, it is often tense, draining, and stressful. You need to always be on when you are in the cockpit. It takes time to get accustomed, at a gut level, to hurtling through the sky at high speeds in a little shell of fibreglass and carbon fibre with wings and a tail. And at least at first, you are drowning in information and obligations.
Student piloting is brief periods of pleasant inactivity interspersed with frequent periods of frantic multitasking. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate, they say — but at first aviation alone seems to take more attention and brainpower than you can allocate. You have rudders, ailerons, elevators, trim, and throttle to control. Sometimes you need to tweak the propellor, the mixture, and the active fuel tank. All this while constantly watching your airspeed, altitude, heading, and vertical speed; maintaining awareness of your engine indicators; and keeping an eye out for other airborne traffic.
It’s easier than that sounds, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Even takeoffs are harder than they first seem. (When you push the throttle forward, four separate physical forces skew the nose of the airplane sharply to the left, so you need to step on the rudder, without stepping on the brake, to keep the nose straight-ish.) Landings are hard full stop. Well, sometimes they feel easy, but consistency is hard.
Are self-flying planes on the horizon? I am skeptical, barring a new breakthrough in machine learning, which admittedly I don’t rule out. But there are two barriers. First, when will safe self-flying be possible? Self-driving cars are hard enough, and they only have one axis of control, and don’t get blown around by winds, and if something goes wrong you hit the brakes. Airplanes have pitch and roll as well as yaw, and move within a highly dynamic medium, and if something goes wrong — like an engine failure, or a bird strike — a quick halt is generally the exact opposite of a desirable outcome. I can easily envision self-flying AI which handles 99.99% of flights, but that 0.01% of exceptional situations will be awfully hard to train for.
Second, even if we get there, when will it be practical? While individuals might volunteer to be bleeding-edge adopters, how can you prove its validity to the FAA and other regulatory authorities? We’d need to add many more nines before self-flying software start competing with professional human pilots, who, unlike human drivers, have a remarkable safety record; commercial aviation had zero fatalities in 2017. Better autopilots for ordinary conditions are one thing, but removing pilots from flying entirely is quite another. Maybe after we build up a long, deep history of perfect safety with comparable drones or military flights; but not any time soon.
Better technology will however help with navigation. I don’t mean point-to-point, I mean in familiar places. Navigation may seem relatively easy above the San Francisco Bay, a well-known territory full of landmarks. Guess again. That sky may be empty but it is not unoccupied. Instead it is segmented into dozens of complex three-dimensional zones, and woe betide you if you stray into the wrong one.
Bay Area VFR airspaces
Picture a tiered wedding cake, upside-down, with radiuses measured in miles. That’s the airspace of San Francisco International. But right across the bay you have Oakland International, which has its own smaller but still sizable wedding cake, and a little south San Jose International has its own, and both of those intersect with SFO’s. Then you have the half-dozen smaller regional airports, each jealously guarding their own disc of space, except where squashed by one of those cakes. Each of those kinds of airspace has its own rules and regulations. (SFO’s have the virtue of being exceedingly simple, for student pilots: keep out.)
You may not enter any of those airspaces without first communicating with their controllers, and to communicate you first must master aviation’s clipped, dense, custom language. “Hayward Tower, Seven Papa Victor holding short at runway Two Eight Left Alpha, request right crosswind departure.” “Norcal Approach, DA-40 Seven Eight Seven Papa Victor, three thousand over Lake Chabot, inbound to Oakland for touch-and-gos with information Foxtrot.” “Seven Papa Victor, squawk oh three five seven and contact Oakland Tower.” It would be unremarkable to change frequencies several times, and talk to a few different controllers, during a half-hour Bay flight.
Knowing what frequency to use, what to say, who to say it to, and when, while picking your own call sign out of the frequent chatter, most of which is irrelevant to you, and parsing / copying down the important information you need — that would be nontrivial all by itself, at first. But it’s not by itself. It’s something you do simultaneously with everything else you’re doing while flying the airplane.
Does the heavy use of voice communications over frequently (and manually) shifted shared channels seem a little … well … twentieth century? A little technologically backward? Well, yes, and no. Voice over radio is simple, powerful, flexible, and time-tested. There are a lot of old airplanes and old pilots out there. Aviation as an industry is understandably loath to make rapid changes — many of its rules are, as they say, written in the blood of people who learned the need for them the hard way.
That said, modern aircraft like the DA-40s I’m learning on tend to have “glass cockpits,” with one LED screen displaying an artificial horizon and all the important instrument data so you don’t have to look at the actual dials (which are still there as backup), and the other displaying a zoomable map with terrain, your heading, airspace boundaries, nearby traffic, etc., and containing databases of information such as airport locations, runways, and frequencies — all at your fingertips if you can master their baffling and perverse knob-and-button user interfaces. (“Turn the big knob left. Now turn the little knob right. Now push ENT. Now turn the little knob left…”)
Apps like ForeFlight make it easier yet. And we happen to be 20 months away from a massive technological phase shift in general aviation, after which much American airspace will require “ADS-B” technology that will essentially let every aircraft be tracked in 3-D in real time; this should make communications and aircraft spacing much easier.
It feels a little bureaucratic, it’s true. The romance of the glory days of flight, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and company wrestling their planes over the Andes and the Sahara, with the freedom of the whole sky thanks to their skill and their machinery, feels distant from today’s strictly ruled, tightly regimented airspaces, and constant surveillance anywhere near a major airport. But then the skies were empty back then, and the machinery all too often so lethal that skill meant nothing, in the end.
And, I mean, these too are the glory days. You can fly. All by yourself. It isn’t an easy thing to learn, or to do. (OK, some people are naturals. I myself am not.) Multitasking is hard. Kinesthetic learning is hard. Establishing new muscle memories is hard. Developing good judgement is hard. Flying an airplane smoothly, with coordinated turns (using the ailerons and rudder together) while maintaining precise control of altitude and airspeed and bank angle, is … actually that’s not so difficult; but doing all this while at the controls of an aircraft that’s, say, being buffeted by crosswind gusts as you turn towards a runway, in a busy traffic pattern, with the stall warning beginning to whine because you banked too late and too hard, but it’s too late to fix that judgement error now, and the radio crackling in your ears as the tower says something which might or might not be germane to you —
— well, the instructor who made that first takeoff seem easy told me, later that same day, that most people who begin pilot training never finish it. There are plenty of good reasons for that. It is, as my friend Dillo put it, more expensive than a crack habit. People hit plateaus and get frustrated and give up. But I think the main reason is because it’s complicated, and difficult, and stressful, and when the lessons stop being novel, people stop forcing themselves to do the hard thing, despite the ultimate rewards.
Is that why there are far fewer pilots in America than there were in 1980, even though there are 100 million more people? Would better, modernized navigation and communications technology go a long way towards making flying a little less draining, and a little more appealing? Maybe. There are cultural reasons, too, though, and I think they’re more significant. I think we now lean more towards the abstract than the physical, and towards comfort rather than adventure.
I remember, years ago, seeing online reactions to a study reporting that teenagers in gifted programs were likely to quickly drop things they weren’t immediately good at, the theory being that they feared losing their gifted designation, and that this instinct persisted into adulthood. An astonishing number of my friends, especially my friends who worked in tech, said they strongly identified with this. I wonder if that’s a factor.
Most of all, though, I think flying seems like a very 20th-century activity in the popular imagination. But I suspect that won’t last. Something, whether hardware or software, will catapult it into the 21st century mindset soon enough.
¹Yes, I know. It’s a joke.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers in a Game 4 win over the Miami Heat on Saturday afternoon. Simmons notched the first playoff triple-double for a rookie in nearly four decades, and Embiid was an aggressive presence all over the court for the Sixers.
The win puts Philadelphia on the brink of its first playoff series win since 2012, but Sixers head coach Brett Brown knows his team was lucky to come away with the win. It was a fierce back-and-forth on Saturday, with Miami once again taking a lead into the half. Embiid and Simmons were key, but Brown knows a fortunate win when he sees one.
Sixers coach Brett Brown:"I'm shocked we won this game. We didn't deserve to win this game."
— Josh Friedman (@790Friedo) April 21, 2018
Still, he had plenty or praise for his young core, explaining to the media their potential to be “great” and why they need each other to grow and thrive as young superstars in the NBA.
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Police in Nashville say four people are dead after a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department says the gunman was a white man with short hair who was wearing only black pants and a coat. A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the shooter, who then took off his coat and fled the area.
Police said via their Twitter account that authorities are searching for 29-year-old Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois. They said they named him as a person of interest because the car that the gunman arrived in was registered to him.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said three people died at the scene and one person died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
At least four people were injured.
(TOKYO) — The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died.
Nabi Tajima died in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki said. She had been hospitalized since January.
Tajima, born on Aug. 4, 1900, was the last known person born in the 19th century. She raised seven sons and two daughters and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren.
She became the world’s oldest person after the death in September of Violet Brown of Jamaica, also at the age of 117. Video on Japanese television showed Tajima moving her hands to the beat of music played on traditional Japanese instruments at a ceremony to mark the achievement.
Tajima’s town of Kikai is a small island of about 7,000 people halfway between Okinawa and Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.
The U.S.-based Gerontology Research Group says that another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world’s oldest person. Miyako lives in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo, and turns 117 on May 2.
Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world’s oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognize Tajima as the world’s oldest person.
The Metro Nashville Police Department has tweeted the above image while relaying news of a shooting at a Waffle House in the Antioch portion of the city. The violence took place at 3:25 am on Sunday, when a naked man — described as a “white man with short hair” — entered the restaurant, opening fire and killing multiple people while wounding more. CNN later reported that four people were killed and at least four more were injured before the man fled on foot.
According to Reuters, the shooter wielded an AR-15 rifle, which a “patron wrestled away” from him. CNN adds that the suspect is still at large, and Metro Nashville PD spokesperson Don Aaron has urged residents to stay alert:
“Keep your doors locked, keep your eyes open. If you see this individual — if you see a nude guy walking around this morning — call the police department immediately.”
The man was apparently wearing a coat when he first entered the Waffle House but then removed that sole article of clothing. The Metro Nashville PD also tweeted this photo of a person of interest (who local ABC affiliate WSMV reports is now considered the suspect) named Travis Reinking, age 29, whose name matches the registration of the car in which the gunman arrived.
BREAKING: Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, IL, is person of interest in Waffle House shooting. Vehicle the gunman arrived in is registered to him. Gunman last seen walking south on Murfreesboro Pike. He shed is coat and is nude. See Reinking? Pls call 615-862-8600 immediately. pic.twitter.com/duoWCo5fC0
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) April 22, 2018
According to a later tweet, a man who resembles Reinking was spotted in a nearby apartment complex “wearing black pants and no shirt.”
A man believed to be Travis Reinking was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apts. on Mountain Springs Dr. near the Waffle House. The man was seen wearing black pants and no shirt.
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) April 22, 2018
In September 2017, another shooting in Antioch made headlines when a gunman opened fire on parishioners at the at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, killing one person and injuring several more.