Dear Stan xxxx and Dontop: Yours are absurd statements. Nuke plants are not charted as such, so explain how XC pilots are to know which stack is a nuke vs a steam plant vs a rubber ducky factory? Answer: You cannot. They are all marked 'stacks.' During the craze in the weeks after 9/11 FSS briefed the LL of nuke sites. Good info to have eh Comrads?
The rest on the list are equally silly and except for large assemblies of tender bodies are a brilliant light shining on how little you, certain SC LE agencies and the makers of such lists know about ballistics, high explosives and energy dissipation. Imagine the air traffic system if all aircraft regardless of altitude were to respect such a stupid edict and avoid all on the list: It would be an impossible routing. I live in the middle of a nuclear missile field - 220 of the suckers planted willy nilly. toss in a few dozen power dams, ball fields, radar sites and AFBs and it is impossible not to overfly or loiter over someone's precious ground, some of which is literally designed to survive a directed nuclear attack, which should render the issue moot.
The Chicken Littles ignore that the containment vessel at ALL US nuke power plants were built to survive earthquakes and a massive steam explosion from within. The kinetics of an airliner let alone a Cessna are fleas on a gnats behind compared to their designed resistance to internal and surreptitious attack.
The feeble damage done in the 2002 plane crash into a Tampa high-rise should have given you all the knowledge on ballistics an airplane fear-monger needs to know. Supporting that fear-mongering is no different than spreading old wives tales and other untruths.
Our storehouse of ignorance isn't the 'I don't knows.' 'It's the knowing of so much that just isn't so.' Incorporating ignorance into a notam or reg doesn't make it true.
You seem to be chasing a straw man of unspecified dimensions. Choosing to ignore a NOTAM by flying your SR22 500 AGL over power plant when you could have chosen many other flight paths is a different kind of discussion than passing overhead in search of glider thermals.
Separately, I would suggest that one of us in the law might offer to assist Mr. Fleming. Depending on the details, his agreeing not to sue may amount to another violation of constitutional protections. When private parties do this kind of thing, we call it extortion. I hope he will pursue a legal remedy even if he donates the settlement to charity. Otherwise, we are going to read about this again, perhaps with an even less desirable outcome. As glider pilots know, this unlawful order to land could have cost Mr. Flemming life or limb.
Hey Flying! I second the request to drop Captcha, given that we are already logged in.
Kind of makes you wonder how many victor airways go over a power plant.
Any lawyer worth his salt should still encourage him to sue. He signed a release under duress. A first year law student knows that a contract isn't a contract when signed under duress.
The destruction of general aviation continues. How do we explain this to potential pilots, that their Saturday afternoon might be interrupted by jail for no good reason.
Here is what a newbie sees right off the bat.
Drunk airline pilots
Security hassles with TSA
Dealings with police and FAA
Crashes / Death
Can't make a good living doing it
It's no longer recreational, its more serious than fun
Fight back! I for one am sick of taking it in the *** and I don't like hearing my fellow aviators taking it either.
I suggest calling Darlington county SC and demanding the resignation of the police chief.
There are ways to start online petitions to force him out of his job. We can raise awareness and make sure some Barney Fife characters get the national attention they so sorely deserve.
Make them think before they act.
You can find a list of their numbers on this website:
1625 Harry Byrd Highway Phone: 843-398-4920
Yes, there is a report that at least one law enforcement officer broached the subject of shooting the glider down. I hope it's not too hysterical to report this, too.
I'm still shaking my head over this. No laws were broken and there is nothing on the charts to indicate a 9/11 sensitive site.
The glider pilot was local and admittedly knew about the power plant, but, sheesh, he was in a glider looking for thermals and likely didn't have much latitude in where he searched for them. Even so, it shouldn't have mattered, there are no laws against what he did. Most fully briefed x-country pilots, with all the bells and whistles in the cockpit, would have zero clue that a nuclear plant was below them.
It is surreal...we should not have to defend ourselves for not breaking the law. Sheer ignorance on the part of all the law enforcement people involved. I truly hope the pilot pursues this, if for no reason to hopefully increase awareness for all.
I'm surprised the article didn't mention one the most alarming details reported about this incident, the apparent desire of law enforcement to start shooting at the glider. If that was actually true, it makes the tale that much scarier. Hopefully this story grows legs in the national media.
PS Flying, do you really need CAPTCHA for us to post AFTER we've logged in?
The law is the law. There was no law, rule, or regulation broken, and so no one should have taken any action at any time. If there was a mistake, then those responsible should have made it right and taken responsibility as soon as it was recognized. This case needs to broadcast far and wide. The officers involved need to be called to explain their actions and take whatever punishment the state law enforcement commission or court decides.
We allow way too much latitude and forgiveness for misdeeds by our public servants. This was not a simple case of someone making a harmless mistake. The actions taken after the initial unlawful demand and detainment shows that there was malicious intent. We would be better off with no law enforcement than with officers who act in this manner.
Sue the bastards... It will accomplish much. Mr Fleming will not receive an apology from law enforcement. The ensuing media attention and publicity generated will be his vindication. Secondly, if the report is true, a crime was committed against Mr. Fleming. By forcing Mr. Fleming to sign a non-disclosure agreement they sealed their fate. This case would be a slam dunk for any up and coming lawyer looking to make his mark. And finally to Stan 3818, do you honestly believe this situation was handled in a professional and responsible manner. If that was your son, father, or wife soaring that afternoon and this happened to them, would you feel the same way. And here is the scariest part, if for some reason Mr Fleming's radio was NORDO that day, he likely would have been blown out of the air.
It is truly frightening that some of our countrymen who are in law enforcement can be so downright stupid. Absolutely dumb as doorknobs, and lacking in any character to admit their mistake and apologize.
I agree with Robbiro, I'm a retired Deputy Sheriff, and the way these officers behaved is a disgrace! The bad part is the victim being intimidated to not take any legal action against the department (lawsuit) or they would have continued with their illegal act and charge him with a non crime! They must really be proud of their intimidation of a 70 year old man.
Of course he could always file a complaint with the FBI for the obvious civil rights violation, I wonder if the current Attorney General would be interested in enforcing that part of the Federal Laws?
How did we get to this point? A lawful citizen (taxpayer) has to pay for others incompetence and lack of character. One could interpret this as a victory of terrorism, by leading law enforcement to extreme attitudes such as this one. BUt I do agree with Robbiro when he mentions the lack of humility in recognizing a mistake and fixing it.
It is good to emphasize that this happened here in America, not in a third world country.
How did the last part of this thread devolve into such an off-topic mess?
... I'm honestly terrified I gotta share the skies with some of you whackos!
I saw nothing hysterical or condescending in Mr. Goyer's words. This was a reasonable and appropriate response to a chilling error on the part of law enforcement.
Concerning Stan3818's comments: The AOPA article referenced quotes the Notam as follows: “In the interest of national security and TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE , pilots are strongly ADVISED to avoid the airspace above, or in proximity to such sites as power plants … . Pilots should not circle as to loiter in the vicinity over these types of facilities.” (Emphasis added by me). The AOPA article then continues, "Because gliders routinely circle to gain altitude in thermals, the Soaring Society of America sought a clarification from the FAA, posting on its website on March 7, 2002, that the FAA did not consider this behavior loitering. 'The key is to spend only as much time as needed to gain lift and move on beyond the facility,' the association wrote." Also, the AOPA article pointed out, the glider was at a safe and legal altitude: "How close was Fleming to the plant? His flight recorder, which logged his position every four seconds, gave the glider’s altitude when it passed over the site as 1,518 feet msl; the highest charted obstruction there is 577 feet msl." How low do you have to be to be loitering or be a threat?
You are correct that no-fly zones aren't marked on sectional charts. There's a reason for that. There's NO SUCH THING. They don't exist. This one appears to have been a figment of the Deputy's imagination.
ChampPilot44: If you start your petition, I'd be glad to sign it. Public pressure has a remarkable way of correcting erroneous official attitudes and conduct. Which Champ do you fly? I have a 1946 7AC converted by STC to a 7DC. Maybe I should change my login to ChampPilot45? :)
At first blush, it seems to me the Darlington County Sheriff's Department needs a few more "Andy's" and a lot fewer "Barney's". (Apologies to the Sheriff's Departments of North Carolina!) Let this put Al Qaeda on notice that using gliders against nuclear power plants in South Carolina in NOT an option. This whole situation is just sad... in an Constitutionally terrifying way.
I detect a few law enforcement trolls on this thread. Yeah we need to try to educate them but sometimes they are just drunk with power and need to be taken down a peg.
We pilots are certainly in the minority and that means we need to stand up for one another.
What those sheriffs did was beyond just not being educated. It was overreacting and unlawful and they need to be educated by losing their jobs.
That will send an important message to other law enforcement that We the People aren't going to take it anymore. That's the best lesson of all!
Cops like that shouldn't be allowed to be security guards at a mall let alone sheriffs.
We hear you loud and clear and are working to get rid of the capthas as soon as we can. (We'll see if I can figure this one out and post this now.)
I'm going to http://www.change.org/start-a-petition
Still looking at who needs to be the focus of the petition. Perhaps the Governor of SC, Nikki Haley.
I doubt this will result in anything but I'll bet it will get back to their office that we pilots have rights and are not to be messed with. A little negative press for those fellas might do them some good.
Two words...keystone cops.
Wow I guess we'll have to get in line behind you as we march down to give up our guns too. So glad your on our side. Lets just do away with all our Constitutional rights and just be done with it. We can all sleep better and safer as we can't hurt each other any more.
Just wait until the Sheriff comes blasting through your front door with Big Big Guns. Riffle through all your stuff force you and your 68 year old sister on the ground while pointing a gun at the back of your head. Only then do they figure out that the house they wanted was located on the property behind yours. Their excuse was they couldn't find the property line! By the way I was the one that had alerted the Sheriff of the drug dealings. Not to mention the property lines are clearly marked on the County's web site, all you need to do is look it up Mr Sheriff. . . Their answer was OOPS; Sorry. ya Stan 3818 your next. Hope your ready to have a gun pushed to the back of your head.
Yes we need to have security of our airspace, and our neighborhoods. I would hope that our law enforcement officers will do a little more research first. Oh yes they told me that my house had been under surveillance for the last 3 months. 3 months and they still didn't figure out that the Drug house was the one on the back lot. But lets get back to Aviation. the FAA is the authority in this matter. Not the local L.E.O.s. wonder how they would have explained shooting down an unarmed Sailplane?
I've vented enough. Looking forward to seeing you in the Funny papers Stan 3818. Front page
It is sad that fellow pilots (the sheriffs helicopter pilots) got there and did not stop the arrest. they understood the flying restrictions and knew that the pilot did not do anything illegal.
It should be illegal to make one sign a letter to not sue the sheriff when they have miss treated you. That point is really sad. These guys should be made to attend a 20+ class on the laws of aviation, plus the pilot should get some compensation for the horror he was put thru.
That is one awful Sheriffs department.
Perhaps some review is in order. There might be reason for confusion as there is the Washington SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area) and the Washington FRZ ( Flight Restricted Zone).
I live in Baltimore. After the FRZ was introduced I went to a briefing, went to KDCA to be finger printed, ( had to be at KDCA, no FBI , police or Secret Service facility would suffice), paid for a FBI background investigation, and about 1 month later received my clearance to fly to College Park Airport. I now have permission to fly into the "DC-3" airports, the three general aviation airports in the DC( Distric of Columbia) FRZ.
So when news reporters wrote stories about the FRZ ,with out understanding it, it became the No fly zone. And when ill informed people read the stories they must believe that these no fly zones are everywhere. Just like Tarmac (Tarred MacAdam pavement) first replaced the words apron or ramp during a 'news report' of the terrorist take over of the aircraft in the 1970's. It stuck , just like no fly zone. And now the FAA has begun using TarMac instead of Apron or Ramp... even if it is concrete! so , why not no fly zone!! why it must be real, the news says so!
I never,never would have settled! This is only going to happen an again and again! Siting back and letting this injustice go away by agreeing not to sue is ridiculous. They (the Sheriffs Dept) were wrong in every way this is why they asked for the agreement this pilot should have taken his day in court! Sorry I just don't get his attitude...OK he's a nice guy but there are times to make a statement and this was one on of those times!
****SIGN THIS PETITION****
Even if you're not a pilot, your civil rights must be defended from misinformed, power-hungry law enforcement treading on YOU.
You could be the next airman to suffer.
Ask Sheriff J.W. Byrd of Darlington Co, SC to step down from his position if he is not willing to discipline everyone involved in this unlawful and unconstitutional arrest and violation of Mr. Fleming's civil rights.
Go to this link to sign the petition and please share this link and story with your fellow pilots!
US cops like to play catch.
In our countries in Asia, a minor trafic offense cannot lead to police chasing.
But, in the USA a small public offense can lead to overreact from those
who call themselves "lawman"
Why try to make someone not criminal to be a criminal???
The pilot stopped to short . Maybe he didn't have the heart or funds to follow through with a suit against the local sheriff. Maybe he was coerced or threatened. AOPA or some large association should really check this out. This may not be the first time this authority has overstepped their Jurisdiction. May need their wings clipped and fed a diet of reality. A hit to the wallet Would be a healthy place to start.
He should sue and we should contribute to helping. The previous comments missed another reason why the agreement not to sue the sheriff and everybody else involved is that a valid contract requires payment ("consideration") for something of value received. Here, Mr. Fleming received nothing he didn't already own. The government had no right to arrest him, so he can't be bound to a contract by offering to give him his freedom. Even worse - as has already been pointed out - the government was coercing him to waive his constitutional rights, so not only did they coerce him to sign a bogus agreement, they asked for something that can't be granted and wouldn't be enforceable in a contract based because it is against public policy. Further, the government should be sued under the 4th amendment, because his arrest was an illegal seizure of his body and airplane. All of the officials involved should be sued under state law, and any federal employee involved should be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. There might be some theory for suing the power plant or its employees as well, but there is probably some statute that would make doing that difficult.
And these government morons ARE ALLOWED to carry weapons. Each of them should have a basic IQ test, psychiatric exam, and lessons in civil rights and the law given to them before they are allowed back on the job.
I hope this guy sues the crap out of the department, the city, and county!!!