General Aviation Under Fire (Again)



October 14, 2006 at 3:23 am

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1 Comment

Small, single-engine aircraft crashes into a high rise building. Tragedy, but little more destructive than a serious fatality car accident — something that happens hundreds to thousands of times a day in the USA.

Now renewed calls for banning General Aviation aircraft — people who are licensed to fly and have all the requisite skills and knowledge needed to safely pilot a small aircraft (that is more than you can say for most automobile drivers!) — are heating up again. Air traffic has already been clamped down in the area where the crash occurred, increasing FAA air traffic controllers (ATC) workload by forcing all General Aviation pilots overflying the East River to be in contact with ATC. Think that’s safer?

Over-worked and under-staffed Air Traffic Control towers have been cited in several recent catastrophic commercial aviation crashes, killing hundreds of people.

Nevermind that my old Toyota Corolla could haul more explosives, fertilizer or other toxins than most General Aviation aircraft. Nevermind that no General Aviation aircraft has ever been used in terrorism, and even if one were, it would be fairly anti-climactic compared to a rental truck loaded with explosives (which we have seen the resulting damage of in Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center first attack.)

Nevermind that politicians, knee-jerk reactions and an upcoming election year never bode well for rational decisions.



In case you’re a skimmer instead of a reader, the salient point in the aforementioned link is this –

“OK, for all of those ranting about “threats” from GA aircraft, we’ll believe that you’re really serious about controlling “threats” when you call for:

President Phil Boyer

And the list wouldn’t end there.

There will always be new ways humanity invents to hurt itself intentionally.

Our own governments have entire departments dedicated to this simple fact/act, for goodness sake, and the weapons and tactics aren’t always used on our “enemies”.

Further, we must choose to understand that accidents can and do happen, no matter how much you try to legislate them away.

Ban driving and we’d GUARANTEED save millions of lives… but at what cost?

The same holds true if we let fear-mongers ban General Aviation flying, the lifeblood of America’s aviation heritage and how many service men and women and American citizens get into aviation careers… that first flight in a Cessna Skyhawk or Stearman or Aeronca Champ that ignited their passion for flight and helped them realize as a child that the sky really is the limit to their potential.

“If you are dead set on restricting a personal transportation system that carries more passengers than any single airline, reaches more American cities than all the airlines combined, provides employment for 1.3 million American citizens and $160 billion in business “to protect the public,” then restrict or control every other transportation system that the terrorists have demonstrated they can use to kill.” —

President Phil Boyer

But, no, instead politicians thump and bluster about something they have no comprehension of and they prey on the fears of the similarly un-/ill-informed public.




1 Comment

October 23, 2006


Thanks for the comment on my blog in support of general aviation. The idea of making private aviation more restrictive with shutting down corridors for small planes would only be the start. Eventually someone would propose restricting private planes from populated areas all together. Anything from above is dangerous in the wrong hands … but just like firearms, those that seek to do harm will. My biggest fear is losing our general aviation airports, particularly the privately operated grassroots airports with low volume.

Where does it stop? We all understand sensitive areas, but just because an airplane is near NYC does not make it a threat.


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