Assumption to date is Kirk von Ackermann's vehicle developed tire trouble on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk. He then used his satellite phone to call the cell phone of an Iraqi employee, reported he had trouble with a tire and to bring a jack. Von Ackermann was never heard from again.
Stuck with a disabled vehicle on an isolated road between Tikrit and Kirkuk, did von Ackermann activate the GPS tracking device on his satellite phone?
Iraqi Satellite Phone Use May Spike
By Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press, March 21, 2003
Thuraya's phones are tied to global positioning technology and accurate to within 100 yards. But company chairman Mohammad Omran said subscribers must activate the GPS function on their phones in order to be tracked.
There was a bit of shouting, but Kirk stuck to his point and finally the commander jabbed at him with a finger.What does activating or not activating the GPS locating feature on a satellite phone say about what happened to Kirk von Ackermann? What does sending or not sending that location on to another party say?
'Son, we got maybe five minutes to get this thing off the ground. We miss this kid and that's it. How sure are you?'
'Sir, I went hunting in the arctic circle, I based my life on a GPS reading. I was right then sir, and I'm right now. He's here.'
They sent the rescue mission out, and picked up the pilot within yards of where Kirk had located him.