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I have often wondered at the stupidity of publishing exactly where high-level politicians are going to be days ahead of their traveling. I know that if I were in their place, this is the last type of information that I would want potential terrorists to have.
I asked the head of a FSDO about this and he agreed that it sounded pretty stupid to do this IF you were trying to protect someone. I asked him why someone did not do something about it and he said the policy started many years ago and just keeps going because no one wants or cares to do anything about it.
I REALLY doubt that Joe Biden or President Obama even know anything about the whole matter.
I have tried writing to different congress people many times but they all seem to have people on their staff who can not read English and are to stupid to sweep floors that they hire to field their email.
Even the whole Washington "Air Defense Identification Zone" (ADIZ) is so stupid. Someone who hijacked an airliner going into Reagan could crash into any building in the City long before any jets could be scrambled to shoot it down. (Shooting down an airliner full of fuel over downtown Washington in itself would be quite an unpopular thing to do.) In establishing this "Zone," all that has been accomplished is the disruption of GA and the bankruptcy of many businesses in the entire area. It serves NO practical purpose and Congress should be told! They do not seem to be capable of figuring this out on their own.
IF anyone has any way of actually meeting with Biden or Obama, they need to be shown a copy of this article so they can see what a burden this stupid and dangerous policy is imposing on perfectly innocent pilots who have absolutely no intention of harming ANYONE!
Russell, you did nothing wrong. You didn’t “nail,” yourself, the government nailed you. It happened to Phil Boyer and his wife, it happened to John and Martha, and now it’s happened to you. We who fly are all next on the hit parade. I almost flew through one myself, sheer luck I missed it. Of course this is all under the auspices of the, “War on Terrorism.” Who could argue with that? Me.
Government agencies are all to willing to work together to build a case against good American citizens when it comes to protecting the population from aerial attack. They fan the flames of ignorance to further their cause, and it is working. G/A has been vilified by our elected officials. Look a GM’s flying department for evidence of this. All those people who made a living flying and maintaing that fleet have lost their jobs because some politicians shot their mouths off and the American people bought it. The airport has become a playground for state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies and after billions of dollars spent, not one terrorist to show for it. Oh sure, they shot a guy to death on a jetway in MIA, who supposedly said he had a bomb. With in minutes an official from the DHS was on TV saying, “It looked like a justified shooting.” They said that missionary they shot down down in Peru was hauling drugs, then they tried to cover up their blunder. They killed the guy’s wife and child.
Russell, this is all part of a change in our country where pilots are subjected to what can be best described as tyranny perpetrated by their own government, and ignored by the public. It happened to you, Martha, and Phil and we know about it because you all share some degree of celebrity amongst us aviators and like them, you have shared your story with us. It happens to many, many more we never hear about.
The idea that somebody from the TSA or the Secret Security can bring to bear their will on the FAA to do their dirty work I believe is somewhat unconstitutional. I would like to see an article written describing how many of these “incursions,” take place each year. Then I would like to see a profile on the poor sap that was at the controls when the government prosecuted in the name of security. I would be willing to bet that they are all people that “want to do the right thing,” as you said in your article. In other words law biding, tax paying productive members of society, you know they are. They are not threats, they are citizens of a free country. The Secret Service is the threat.
No sir, you did nothing wrong, the government did. They are out of control. These TFRs do nothing to increase security and you know that too. We all know that. Anybody that thinks it makes our VIPs, or should I say royalty, more secure as they attend their reelection fund raising parties is not very bright, or at least not driven by fact, but rather emotion, or ulterior motive. A TFR does absolutely nothing to stop an air attack. It does however, employee people. It increases the size of and cost of our government and provides nothing good in return. It can ruin a persons life, and probably has There has been more damage done to our country by forces within, than any terrorist. In fact since our misguided knee jerk reaction to 9/11, we have willingly surrendered much of the freedom our predecessors fought and gave their lives for, and what happened to you is an example of that loss.
No Russell, the story shouldn’t be about you flying into a TFR, the story should be what is the TFR doing there in the first place. It bothers me what is happening in our country. I guess because I see first hand how authority is misused since I make my living in aviation. I see our freedoms diminished, I see GA disappearing before my very eyes, down some 50% from less than 10 years ago. I see the trend continuing.
Yes it saddens me to see all of this, but what frightens me most is not what the terrorist can do, but what our government is doing to “protect” us from them. The worst part is we are all letting it happen, without a struggle. We are sugar coating it, rationalizing it, looking the other way, and worst of all to me accepting it. Hell, we are standing in line and letting them take naked pictures of our children as we board the airlines. It’s all for security, right? Who is going to argue with that? Me for one, I hope others will join me.
Thank you and your new editor for putting the story in your magazine. Lets pray that your story sparks a debate.
I must respond with my politically incorrect reaction to the article, "TFR Trouble" in the February 2011 issue of Flying. Particularly incorrect in light of my aviation background, and the fact that I now make somewhat of a living as a professional pilot. I was disappointed but not surprised to see what the consequences are of "doing the right thing", and it makes me think that the best thing to do in a situation like that is - nothing.
What would I recommend to a private pilot facing Russell's situation, at the moment he is handed the phone number by the FBO lineman? Do nothing. Stuff the phone number in your pocket, proceed as you would to stow and secure the airplane, then go home, have a beer, and flush the number down the toilet. Do NOT call Tracon. Forget you ever made that flight. They have no proof - even if you had filed a flight plan listing you as PIC - that you were ever in the plane. All hearsay, and not even that solid. Forget it, deny it, and never look back. Don't lie...but don't call to offer yourself up.
Sorry - I realize this is blasphemy. And in an event where genuine risks were posed to the public, I would not offer this advice - in that case, you need to come clean. But, if Russell's experience is typical of the price you pay for being the good, honest citizen - and I'm afraid that it is - then in cases like this, it doesn't pay to come clean. Bury the event, and move on.
Anonymous, for obvious reasons
Agree with anonymous. I am a law abiding citizen. I was taught as a child to stand up and be accountable for your own mistakes. If I'm wrong, then I'm responsible, QED. I've always tried to live by that creed.
Fast forward several decades, when these nice tidy theories about how one should act come smacking up against the reality of, well...reality. Doesn't matter what you do, or why you did it. There is no such thing as "intent" anymore, there is only 1) you violated a regulation or 2) you didn't.
I echo the advice never to fess up to anything, no matter how honest a person you are. Do not volunteer any information beyond the required minimums, and if "they" are accusing you of violating some regulation or other, make 'em prove it.
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