11 October 2006

Bo Dietl, Ignoramus

Just in case I forgot to tell you, I'm on vacation in Destin, Florida.
Weather has been nearly perfect the week we have been here, thank you very much.

Fox News on the TV here too.
This afternoon the big news is the "aircraft" that collided with a building in New York. They're now saying it was a small airplane. Earlier the word was it was a small helicopter. It's a minor tragedy no matter what.

If you ever watch "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC, you're probably familiar with Bo Dietl. He's a retired New York City Cop, and has appeared on Imus' show multiple times. He's now a Private Investigator and entrepreneur, and several of the Cable News outlets use him as a go-to guy when they want to talk about terrorism, particularly in New York.
Mr. Dietl also will forevermore carry the title "Ignoramus" when I speak his name.

He's presently on Fox News airing his opinion that "small aircraft" have to be restricted over New York airspace. They need to be banned, or at least kept on a flight plan so they are on a short leash. I can understand how a non-pilot would react that way...... having something come crashing through your office or apartment window, setting the face of your building on fire would be a real attention getter..... (understatement of the day, right?)

But it's an overreaction. Let me tell you why:
You, me, or Timothy McVeigh can take our driver's license and run down to our local Hertz, Penske, or Ryder truck rental and rent a 27 foot moving van, and after meeting cursory requirements....... mostly related to our ability to pay for the truck, drive away with it for a day, a week, or a month. We can then take the truck, fill it with a mixture of fertilizer and kerosene, and destroy the lives of 268 men, women, and children, and cause enough damage to a VERY large building that it must be torn down.

We don't yet know what size aircraft was involved in this latest incident. But I can guarantee you this: you couldn't put enough explosives in it to do that kind of damage unless you had access to one of those Suitcase nuclear devices the Soviet Union supposedly lost.

Just now they are saying the airplane was registered to a New York Yankees pitcher.
How sad.

But please explain to me and Bo Dietl how, short of encapsulating New York and all other major cities in some sort of huge net, or grounding all aircraft, you could possibly keep someone from intentionally crashing into a building?
I can't think of a feasible solution.



I heard him today, too. It was stupid, to say the least. Once you're in the air you can do whatever you please. Restictions are meaningless.

Keeping the wrong folks from getting behind the controls should be the focus.

So, Greybeard, what do you think? Stall and loss of control? With two people in the front seat, I can't imagine both of them not seeing the building.

Greybeard said...

Hey Dave, remember me, the HELICOPTER pilot?
Man, I just don't know. Folks they are interviewing today, (Thursday, a day after the event), are saying things that sound an awful lot like a stall that they didn't recover from soon enough to avoid running into the building. But I'm gonna wait for the airplane experts to fill us in on this one.
Odd isn't it, that we relaxed when we realized it was just a "normal" accident?
I once had a celebrity acquaintance, married, but in an affair that went wrong, who killed himself by diving his Cherokee 180 onto the runway of a major airport. (Gorgeous little airplane. I hated that he ruined it to accomplish his task.)
Yesterday I wondered if we'd hear that the apartment Lidle's airplane hit belonged to his mistress. That's apparently not the case, and I'm glad.
"Never allow your flying speed to get too low, lest the ground rise up and smite thee".
It's beginning to look like he and his instructor didn't pay attention to the basics, isn't it?

Aviatrix said...

The weather was poor for VFR flying. Lacking your ability to back up or turn in place, they may have dodged some stratus fractus and found themselves encountering cumulus officebuildingus with no room to manoever.

And you probably now know that it was a Cirrus, with two on board. I presume the other person was a flight instructor.

And I'm still working on your night VFR question. Lost access to some of the people I'd otherwise be asking.