Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Line of Flight

Wouldn’t the burden here, or at least some of it, be on the Secret Service? Shouldn’t they have known there was going to be an air show in the area and perhaps been in contact with the organizers?
The president's security no-fly air zone was extended Sunday and included the Hagerstown, Maryland, event, but at least four pilots of antique airplanes who were supposed to join the charity show were apparently unaware of the Federal Aviation Administration restrictions. They were intercepted by F-16s and escorted out of the area, federal officials said.

Bush was speaking at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, about 26 miles from Hagerstown.

Several pilots headed to the benefit for the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Hagerstown Aviation Museum apparently were unaware of the security measure in part because their antique planes carried no radios.

A dozen planes flew into the area, causing the North American Aerospace Defense Command to scramble its fighters. The four antiques intercepted were escorted to nearby airports and forced to land. The others were warned off.

Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the FAA, said the pilots would not have had the problem if they had been using radios. She said all pilots have a responsibility to check the agency's notifications.

The pilots, who were being interviewed by the Secret Service, could face penalties, including suspension of their license, Brown said.
JP has an exclusive, inside look at the incident.


JeromeProphet said...

Mine is a parody.


Dave said...


rickmonday said...

Actually, these pilots were in error and to blame it on their lack of radios is ridiculous.

Before every flight, a pilot must file a flight plan. They also have an 800 number to call and receive information on Restricted Flying Areas. This service is free of charge and is paid for through the high aviation fuel taxes.
The conversation between the operator and the pilot is recorded in case the pilot were to fly into a restricted area they cannot plead ignorance; unless of course the operator fails to tell him about it.

Pilots who do fly into Restricted Areas face severe penalties including possible loss of license. This is very common and the FAA is always harsh with their punishments. So these pilots are not being singled out just because it was AirForce One's space they were invading.

I know this because I have a brother who flys his owns planes have witnessed the procedure many times. The FAA takes safety, rules, and regulations very seriously. This episode was a gross negligence of the process and these pilots should be punished. People die when these types of mistakes are made.

JeromeProphet said...

A lot of the pilots who fly these vintage planes are rather vintage themselves.

I'm sure they'll be keeping a closer watch of where Mr. Chuckles is from now on.

Playing golf = O.K. for air show.
Out on Yacht = O.K. for air show.
Speech to Yale Alumni = Cancel Air show.


everybody_has_one_bill said...

dear rickymonday you gave me a good laugh with this one. the faa rarely takes saftey into consideration "saftey was never compromised" I don't have enough room to give specifics and it would scare the hell out of most people!! Rules and regs well we'll let you know which ones and how we will apply them depending on how we feel. Give me a break!!
The pilots were wrong and should get a lesson on airspace violation....well I better stop before i start!!!!!!!!!!!!

rickmonday said...

to Everybody bill:

I have trouble understanding your paragraph. Are you saying that the FAA selectively punishes violators based on political purposes? I am not sure that I follow you.

Regarding safety: flying is still the safest way to travel so the FAA must be doing something right.

Bill, although you may have some secret insight into their safety procedures, the FAA does take Restriced Flight Area's very seriously. The pilots do not need radios to find out about these RFA's.

I am happy to further discuss this, but please be clearer on your criticism of my points.