Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm Waiting...

In the light of today's plane crash in New York, it's probably just a matter of minutes before some MSM outlet runs a breathless story about the potential terrorist threat from general aviation aircraft. You may recall similar hysteria in the wake of 9-11.

Fact is, virtually all small aircraft would be a poor terrorist weapon. For starters, most don't generate enough airspeed or carry a sufficient payload (including fuel) to pose a significant threat to reinforced steel and concrete structures, such as a Manhattan high-rise or a nuclear power plant. Most of the general aviation aircraft in America are the size of a Cessna 172 (or smaller) weighing less than a Honda Civic, and with a top speed of only 130 mph. According to some estimates, it would take 1,000 general aviation aircraft, flying into the same target simultaneously, to equal the destructive power of a single airliner. Terrorist organizations have contemplated the use of private aircraft in the past, but those plans reflected the implementation of post-9-11 security measures in the commercial aviation sector, and reduced chances for future attacks using hijacked passenger jets.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) offers additional, equally convincing arguments on their website. Obviously, the AOPA has a dog in the fight, but the facts they present are difficult to refute.

Still, that won't stop our friends in the press.


Janet said...

Sparks, that's blogspeak for MainStream Media. Took me a while to figure it out too...

Somebody should make a glossary.

Janet said...

OK, somebody has.

Blog glossary

RussInSoCal said...

The only light aircraft I worry about are crop dusters.

Not what they'd spray on crops, but what they could spray over a populated area.

vtxpilot said...

Wait no longer. Congressman Charlie Rangel was on Fox News last night moaning and groaning about how he can't believe that it is still possible after 9/11 for any pilot to board a light, fixed wing aircraft and fly virtually anywhere in the United States without having to hand over their first born to authorities before leaving the ground.

Okay, I made that last part up, but it paints the same hysterical picture that Mr. Rangel was attempting to generate. Apparently, Charlie wants to live in something akin to Soviet Russia, where every move is watched; where every person needs permission from someone in government to go anywhere, to do anything, at any time, by any means.

If Bush were to suggest such a thing, I'm thinking Democrats would be screaming from the tallest building about how Bush is ruining America and stealing our personal freedoms.

Granted, it wasn't the MSM that set the tone, but now that Charlie has, you're right - it's just a matter of time before some idiot reporter writes the first scare mongering story on the topic.