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Pilot Arrested For Flying Over Power Station  
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2797 posts, RR: 4
Posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20609 times:
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I found this interesting article from the AOPA today. Apparently a glider pilot was arrested for flying over a Nuclear Power plant back in July. Local police officers charged him with breach of peace for the action which was not illegal. There is no restriction on the sectional saying he couldn't fly over the station. The charges were later dropped in exchange for his promising not to sue. I honestly can't believe that this isn't a bigger deal. The guy did nothing illegal. I understand security but this is over the top.
http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/article....mc_id=130111epilot&WT.mc_sect=gan
Blue


You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20499 times:

He needs to find a new lawyer. 30 hours in a jail cell, for a stinkin' breach-of-peace charge? No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

It's too bad the UNICOM operator didn't tell the cops to beat feet when the FAA told them there was no harm done, and it's too bad the pilot didn't know any better to high tail it to another airport.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 20372 times:
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Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 1):
No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

Surely there is no 'deal' that could possibly be lawful stipulating that the defendant may not sue in the event of illegal detention or wrongful arrest?? Surely a deal is only a deal if it's lawful.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20277 times:

Think he needs a better attorney - how did the attorney not see it as a massive cash cow!

User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20154 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 2):
Surely there is no 'deal' that could possibly be lawful stipulating that the defendant may not sue in the event of illegal detention or wrongful arrest??

Such deals are not illegal in the US, which is pretty unfortunate, as many people are given such "deals" when their rights were clearly violated.

I wonder if he could still request that the FBI look into it as a civil rights violation, as well as a breach of jurisdiction (the FAA specifically told him he was not required to land, and they have exclusive jurisdiction over the skies).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20054 times:
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Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 4):
Such deals are not illegal in the US, which is pretty unfortunate, as many people are given such "deals" when their rights were clearly violated.

Incredible. it stands to reason that any deal made by the cops on the basis of 'we were wrong' in the first place is a total nonsense.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 20021 times:

“’Haven’t you heard about 9/11?’—that’s what they said to me.”

Typical response from some inbred buck tooth good ol boy cop. That is all they can think about when the collective IQ of the police force does not reach triple digits. The 9/11 excuse for everything - accidentally flying over a power plant, being an aircraft spotter, taking pics of a bridge, blow a fart in the crowd etc.

This guy needs to get himself a good lawyer and sue that Barney Fife Police Force for what he had to endure. That was an unlawful arrest and I don't think they could force him down. Do you think the State Police would have gotten involved had he flown on to another county or would they not have bothered?


User currently offlinepeterinlisbon From Portugal, joined Jan 2006, 522 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 19963 times:

As far as I know it's ok to fly over buildings... what is not allowed since 9/11 is to fly into them.

User currently offlineiFlyLOTs From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 485 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19887 times:

Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 7):
what is not allowed since 9/11 is to fly into them.

Call me crazy but I don't think that's ever been allowed.

If this happened where I'm from almost every pilot would get arrested because the 45-entry to the downwind on one of the runways is right over a power plant.



"...stay hungry, stay foolish" -Steve Jobs
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2094 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19777 times:

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 8):
If this happened where I'm from almost every pilot would get arrested because the 45-entry to the downwind on one of the runways is right over a power plant.

I can only imagine the number of violations that would have accrued from passing over Three Mile Island on the way into KMDT.


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19712 times:

The cops need to be fired, forced to turn over all of their assets to this pilot, and then imprisoned.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19576 times:

Quoting PROSA (Reply 10):

The cops need to be fired, forced to turn over all of their assets to this pilot, and then imprisoned.

Yup. Little boys with big badges.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 868 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19528 times:
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How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc? It has been updated several times. The latest from the FAA website is as follows:

FDC 4/0811 SPECIAL NOTICE

THIS IS A RESTATEMENT OF A PREVIOUSLY ISSUED ADVISORY NOTICE.
IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PILOTS ARE
STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE, OR IN PROXIMITY TO SUCH SITES AS
POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES AND OTHER SIMILAR FACILITIES. PILOTS SHOULD NOT
CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.
WIE UNTIL UFN.


User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1543 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19492 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc? It has been updated several times. The latest from the FAA website is as follows:

No, it doesn't restrict a thing. It asks pilots to avoid those areas, but in no way, shape or form, is that NOTAM enough to violate a pilot.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19483 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc?

It's not a restriction: it's an advisory. Big difference.


There was nothing that this guy did that warranted an arrest, period, much less talk of "shooting him down" (I'd be curious to find out how the local police would arrange that).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 868 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19453 times:
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But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19336 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 15):
But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

Then we need to get smarter authorities who know the difference between "pilots are prohibited from...." and "to the extent practicable, pilots are strongly advised to...."

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 19240 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 15):
But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

Nobody interpreted anything here. This was nothing more than a power-tripping small-town cop who made up rules on the spot in complete defiance of the FAA and his own helicopter pilot. My bet is that he doesn't even know what a NOTAM is.

What's sad is that this guy was even cooperating the whole time, and the local d-bags still wanted to throw the book at him.

I also can't believe that his lawyer would allow him to talk to DHS of all people. Really?



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 18879 times:

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 18):
Jeebus Cripes, Fer ****s Sake. This little gem has to take the cake. Are you people this stupid to make a comment like this? Seriously? Tell me PROSA, how many years should he be imprisoned? 5-10? Lifetime? Why not just execute him, get it over with quickly, make an example of him.

I agree, but I it was intended as hyperbole so I think you could use a chill-pill to. I do agree that if not the individual officers, at the very least, the agencies need to be held responsible for the behavior of their officers. "We'll drop the charges if you don't sue." It's hard to imagine not taking this deal as to people in aviation it is obvious how ridicules this fiasco was, it might not be so obvious to your "peers" in the rurual south.

If a plea agreement is a contract, and contracts can be voided if it is found to be agreed upon under-duress, would that apply in this case or does the fact that he had a lawyer eliminate that argument.

Where are those officers from? Georgia, okay, tell them i'll meet them in South Carolina.


User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 18589 times:

This has happened a few times here in Arizona with pilots circling near Palo Verde nuclear power plant. I fly over it all the time, no problem. However I don't immediately turn over it and make circles. If I did then I'd probably make one of those headlines. Unfortunately there are a lot of police everywhere, and not just here in Arizona, that would love to have an arrest they could in any way imply was domestic terrorism. One of my instructors was threatened with arrest by a police officer after she and a student had to make a forced landing. Fortunately cooler heads quickly prevailed above that officer. Wickenburg Airport had an Air Force jet crash there in '09, luckily no casulties. Unfortuantely they forgot to put up a NOTAM closing the airport. Planes from various flight schools kept landing there until the NOTAM was put up. There is no control tower there and supposedly no one came on the advisory frequency to warn them away. I heard at least one pilot was threatened with being made an example out of since PD alledgedly said there was no way they couldn't see the plane from the air. Let's see an airplane painted in desert camoflauge the pilot should have been able to see from the air. Let me think about this. At any rate the plant NOTAM has been in force for years and as long as you don't practice turns around a point there you're unlikely to get in trouble for that.

User currently offlinesaafnav From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 275 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 18451 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Thread starter):


He needs to find a new lawyer. 30 hours in a jail cell, for a stinkin' breach-of-peace charge? No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

Sorry guys,

But have you ever thought to think about how it looks to the rest of the world when Americans start suing left and right?

Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 18252 times:

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners

It's astonishing for a lot of us that live here. I don't know about South Africa but many nations have a loser pays penalty in their civil legal system. The US does not and any attempt at reform along these lines is viciously attacked by ambulance chasing attorneys as infringing on the rights of a hypothetical little old lady being victimized by others with impunity. At any rate I wouldn't call detaining someone w/o cause a frivilous lawsuit. If I got put in jail overnight for legally operating my airplane in full compliance with FAR's and all current NOTAM's I'd be hiring an attorney too.


User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 17952 times:

Speaking of Three Mile Island, I was a journalist in Philadelphia at that time and when the initial warning sounded we immediately rented a helicopter and overflew the nuclear power base, along with the vent stacks. We were not the only ones. Later, all of the TV news channels did the same and no ATC ordered these overflies out of the area, or grounded. Mind you, this was pre 9-11.

User currently offlinejhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 14528 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
FDC 4/0811 SPECIAL NOTICE

THIS IS A RESTATEMENT OF A PREVIOUSLY ISSUED ADVISORY NOTICE.
IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PILOTS ARE
STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE, OR IN PROXIMITY TO SUCH SITES AS
POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES AND OTHER SIMILAR FACILITIES. PILOTS SHOULD NOT
CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.
WIE UNTIL UFN.

Big difference between a NOTAM and a criminal law violation.



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4897 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 14189 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
PILOTS SHOULD NOT CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.

It, however, does not prohibit a glider from circling in a thermal above the power plant to sustain lift.

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.

Yes, suing McDonald's because your coffee's too hot is a bit far-fetched. However, being illegally detained is a textbook example of a legitimate case.



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 25, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 14377 times:

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 24):
Yes, suing McDonald's because your coffee's too hot is a bit far-fetched.

  

I find it hilarious that people still think that was a frivolous lawsuit.

You should read up on it sometime.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12542 posts, RR: 25
Reply 26, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 14061 times:

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 24):
It, however, does not prohibit a glider from circling in a thermal above the power plant to sustain lift.

My cousin is a glider pilot in the UK and he says it's quite common to circle over the local power plant because it is a reliable source of thermals. Clearly the stuff going up the smokestack is warmer than the ambient air, otherwise it wouldn't be going up, right?

I suppose a glider pilot could cause some damage if he dove towards some vulnerable point in a power plant, but then again so could any other GA pilot. Chances are they'd only do "economic" damage. I watched a containment dome go up and it seems at best all a GA plane would do is chip the concrete and bend some re-bar.

In any case, if there's a NOTAM telling me to stay away, that's what I'd do, yet if I did happen to get busted for it, I would get a better lawyer than this guy got for himself.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 14122 times:

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 24):
suing McDonald's because your coffee's too hot is a bit far-fetched

At the risk of hijacking the thread that was not a frivolous case. The jury award was insane though and that helps make everyone think that. The coffee was deliberately served at a high enough temperature to cause 3rd degree burns. Yes coffee is supposed to be hot but not that hot. The women in question was burned severely enough she needed extensive skin grafts. Calling it frivolous is like saying beer is supposed to be cold but I lost my finger tips touching the can. I think the jury in that case got very angry that this particular McDonald's thought it was ok to serve coffee that hot in violation of health laws because a few customers complained it got to cold by the time they drank it when purchased at the drive thru.

Back to the thread if I were that pilot I'd not have taken the deal to release the officers involved from liability in exchange for dismissing the charges. Whether what the pilot did was legal or not local PD has no jurisdiction over Federal airspace. The FAA had to shout very loudly at NYPD over this very issue some years back when NYPD tried to enforce a NOTAM intended to cover outdoor sporting events without consulting federal authorities. The NOTAM literally read any outdoor event with more then 35,000 people initially. NYPD interpreted that to mean it covered the beaches on Long Island in their jurisdiction. Do you see more then 35,000 people here? I do, don't you? That seemed to be the logic they used to intercept and detain two banner towing pilots with their police helicopters. They arrested the pilots and confiscated their licenses over it. Something they had absolutely no legal authority to do in any way shape or form. The NOTAM was rewritten to specifically state MLB, NFL, NCAA college division I games after this.

According to the article the Darlington County Sheriff Department was not asked by any Federal agency to intervene in this matter. They took it upon themselves to act and did so with a laughable charge that a jury likely would have tossed. The doubt factor, however small, is why most people would have taken the deal since appeals get costly. The county sheriff's office clearly needed an expensive trip thru civil court to respect the rights of the people they are entrusted to protect. We can only hope they learned their lesson in this case.


User currently offlinetoneale From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 32 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 12983 times:

The hot coffee suit was frivolous - I've studied the case at length. Yes, the coffee was hot - guess what, McDonalds still serves it that hot. Hot coffee will cause injury when you do what Ms. Liebeck did. Her own negligence cause her injuries.

As for this poor pilot, I'm not landing unless ordered by the FAA. Local yokels have no jurisdiction and under no circumstances am I waiving my right to sue these guys for depriving me of my liberty for 1 second, let alone 30 hours.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 29, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 12943 times:

Where I used to live before in Germany there are several huge coal burning power plants fed from several nearby huge lignite mines. The local glider pilots like to circle in the warm updraft from the plant´s cooling towers to gain altitude.

Jan


User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 30, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 11460 times:

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners

This case is not frivolous. The man did nothing illegal. The Police acted outside of the law and their purview. They should be held accountable.

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 24):

Yes, suing McDonald's because your coffee's too hot is a bit far-fetched. However, being illegally detained is a textbook example of a legitimate case.

     

Quoting toneale (Reply 28):
The hot coffee suit was frivolous - I've studied the case at length. Yes, the coffee was hot - guess what, McDonalds still serves it that hot. Hot coffee will cause injury when you do what Ms. Liebeck did. Her own negligence cause her injuries.

     



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22993 posts, RR: 20
Reply 31, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 11353 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 30):
This case is not frivolous. The man did nothing illegal. The Police acted outside of the law and their purview. They should be held accountable.

  

There are plenty of areas of US law that need some reform. A few of them have been discussed or hinted at in this thread. And some might argue that there are areas of the civil rights laws that need reform. But our system for holding police officers and other government officials accountable through the civil justice system works reasonably well.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 596 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 10168 times:

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.

I agree. We've created a culture of unaccountability, where you can sue Airline X for "emotional distress" for scratching up your suitcase and slap a $20 million price tag on it ... even though common sense often prevails, and these idiots get their cases thrown out, there's no punishment for wasting taxpayer time and money, not to mention that of the jury and judge who are forced to hear such nonsense.

... that said ...

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 30):
This case is not frivolous. The man did nothing illegal. The Police acted outside of the law and their purview. They should be held accountable.


  

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 27):
Back to the thread if I were that pilot I'd not have taken the deal to release the officers involved from liability in exchange for dismissing the charges.

I agree totally with your sentiments, but the pilot was definitely in a tough situation. Faced with a cop who was already way overstepping his authority, there were probably all sorts of things racing through this man's head. It's hard to think into the future and have faith that proper justice will prevail when you've already been confronted with abusers of authority.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 33, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 8739 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I suppose a glider pilot could cause some damage if he dove towards some vulnerable point in a power plant

Almost certainly not. Gliders are so light that he'd have had difficulty doing damage to anything more solidly built than a port-a-cabin.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I watched a containment dome go up and it seems at best all a GA plane would do is chip the concrete and bend some re-bar.

A glider would be lucky to do that much. There'd probably be zero evidence of impact after it was all said and done.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 34, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8279 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 33):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I suppose a glider pilot could cause some damage if he dove towards some vulnerable point in a power plant

Almost certainly not. Gliders are so light that he'd have had difficulty doing damage to anything more solidly built than a port-a-cabin.

  

The reactor containment domes are designed to withstand a direct impact from just about anything except a large bomb or a large jet full of fuel going very fast.

A glider (or even a light twin) would literally bounce off the thing.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8231 times:

Quoting AA94 (Reply 32):
I agree totally with your sentiments, but the pilot was definitely in a tough situation. Faced with a cop who was already way overstepping his authority, there were probably all sorts of things racing through this man's head.

There's what I would do and then there's what others would do. I had the impression from watching his interview on AOPA Live that he's either not an American citizen or an immigrant. That's just a whole nother wrench, right or wrong, that could influence a jury. Plus realistically if I was in my senior years like him I'd have to ask myself is it worth letting this thing consume my remaining days or is it time to move on. Life's to short at that age so I don't blame him for moving on. I'm still young enough I'd have some fight in me if I was treated that way.


User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7584 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 17):
This was nothing more than a power-tripping small-town cop who made up rules on the spot in complete defiance of the FAA and his own helicopter pilot. My bet is that he doesn't even know what a NOTAM is

I have some friends who are LEOs, but the buffoonish / over zealous behavior shown by the cops in this case re enforces the worst Barney Fife/ Buford T Justice stereotypes of small town Southern cops. I am trying to visualize three police caps with lights and siren chasing a sailplane down the runway.

I do hope the pilot gets at the very least an apology.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 37, posted (1 year 8 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7552 times:

Quoting 802flyguy (Reply 36):
I do hope the pilot gets at the very least an apology.

Considering the police let him go on the grounds that he agreed not to suggest that they did anything wrong, I can't see that happening.   

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1659 posts, RR: 2
Reply 38, posted (1 year 8 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7248 times:

Apparently the glider pilot isn't a Bruce Springsteen fan, or he would have been warned off that area:

Driving out of Darlington County
My eyes seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Driving out of Darlington County
Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford


User currently offlinesaafnav From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 275 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (1 year 8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

I'm not saying this would be frivolous, but I doubt if suing would be my first action?

What will you sue him for? Mental Anguish worth $2 million?

Truthfully, the amount of cases where people so, where they themselves had not take due diligence, or blame the company for their own actions, is astounding. (Let's not talk McDonalds now).

Anyway, back to the topic: I don't know about the US, but in South Africa, sensitive installations like ammunition factories or nuclear power plants would have restricted or prohibited area declared.

For a power plant this would normally be 2nm radius and 1 500' agl. This is to ensure, that should you encounter an engine loss etc, you have sufficient height to clear the installation.

The actual pressure dome a nuclear station would take more than a couple of gliders to breach the containment.

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlinesaafnav From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 275 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

I'm busing doing some background studying (starting Air Accident Investigation Course next week), found this.

Remains of a Nimbus 4DM glider after a fatal accident. In glider terms, this aircraft is huge.




On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7175 posts, RR: 13
Reply 41, posted (1 year 8 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7063 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Reply 38):
Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford

Well, at least they buy American for something to drag you behind. :p


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 42, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6517 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 37):
Considering the police let him go on the grounds that he agreed not to suggest that they did anything wrong, I can't see that happening.

Just read a follow-up article on AOPA.

The Sheriff said that they overreacted, and should have let the pilot go once he was on the ground. He blames the FBI for the 30-hour jail stint, saying they were told by the FBI to hold the pilot until they could question him, and that he used the BS "disorderly conduct" charge to justify the hold. He also denied that the prosecutor told the pilot that he would have to waive his right to sue in order for charges to be dropped (which I think is illegal anyways).

Sounds like an overzealous security team (they had reported their own helicopter prior to this incident) exaggerated the incident, and the overzealous Sheriff's Dept. was, well, overzealous. AOPA got on their case, and they agreed to work with them to learn more about this sort of thing.

If it were me, I'd sue just because I think it's BS that you can be held on a DC charge because someone else overreacted.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 43, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day ago) and read 6466 times:

Quoting toneale (Reply 28):

The hot coffee suit was frivolous - I've studied the case at length. Yes, the coffee was hot - guess what, McDonalds still serves it that hot. Hot coffee will cause injury when you do what Ms. Liebeck did. Her own negligence cause her injuries.

That is a reductionist argument. I too have studied the case extensively in the context of juror decision making in relation to punitive damages, and the intial case was not frivilous. Serving coffee beyond recommended brew temperatures- which caused third degree burns, which McDonalds had received numerous (700 in the previous decade) DOCUMENTED complaints about prior to the lawsuit - to people in to-go cups to drink in vehicles is negligent.

Liebeck was an elderly woman who received severe burns and initially asked that McDonalds only cover her medical costs- to which they refused.

McDonalds lost the case big time in terms of punitive and compensatory damages (they did settle later for an undiscolsed settlement)- and they do NOT serve their coffee at boiling temperatures anymore. I had a cup from the drive through the other day. I could start sipping it right away.

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 24):
t, however, does not prohibit a glider from circling in a thermal above the power plant to sustain lift.

Meteorology question- does the steam from the plant create thermals or weather patterns useful for gliders?

[Edited 2013-01-19 00:03:57]

User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day ago) and read 6447 times:
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Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 43):
Meteorology question- does the steam from the plant create thermals or weather patterns useful for gliders?

Definitely. You're not going get multiple thousands of feet out of it, but it's definitely there. Just make sure the plant is actually running.

You can also catch thermals on sunny days over big parking lots and things like that. At one field I used to fly at there was a church with a good sized asphalt parking lot a couple of miles north of the field. Usually good for a couple of hundred feet if you were dragging back in from the north. Or maybe it was rising hot air from all the prayer.   


User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 6193 times:

AOPA Live this week covers some of the reaction over this incident. They mentioned a Congressional committee chairman thought there should be hearings. I'm not holding my breath on that. I found it amusing that the Sheriff responded they weren't given the opportunity to comment on this story. AOPA says they left numerous messages with the Sheriff's spokesman and never got a response.

User currently onlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 14
Reply 46, posted (1 year 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 6036 times:

Quoting saafnav (Reply 40):
Remains of a Nimbus 4DM glider after a fatal accident. In glider terms, this aircraft is huge.

Interesting that it charred like that. I'm assuming that it was a self-launch glider? The worst that a normal glider would do is break up, not char.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5692 times:
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Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 46):
Quoting saafnav (Reply 40):
Remains of a Nimbus 4DM glider after a fatal accident. In glider terms, this aircraft is huge.

Interesting that it charred like that. I'm assuming that it was a self-launch glider? The worst that a normal glider would do is break up, not char.

The -DM is the two seat ("D") self-launching ("M") version.


User currently offlinesprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1853 posts, RR: 2
Reply 48, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5569 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 42):
The Sheriff said that they overreacted, and should have let the pilot go once he was on the ground. He blames the FBI for the 30-hour jail stint, saying they were told by the FBI to hold the pilot until they could question him, and that he used the BS "disorderly conduct" charge to justify the hold. He also denied that the prosecutor told the pilot that he would have to waive his right to sue in order for charges to be dropped (which I think is illegal anyways).

Sounds like an overzealous security team (they had reported their own helicopter prior to this incident) exaggerated the incident, and the overzealous Sheriff's Dept. was, well, overzealous. AOPA got on their case, and they agreed to work with them to learn more about this sort of thing.

If it were me, I'd sue just because I think it's BS that you can be held on a DC charge because someone else overreacted.

I am a pilot, but I do work for a law enforcement agency, so I can see both sides. Local LEOs always get the blame for things like this. If two days later, this same guy crashed into the plant scratching the paint, the LEOs would get blamed because they had a report of him "casing the plant" two days before. They did what they thought was prudent, however they should have listened to the other counties' aviation deputies when they were told that no regs were broken. But when the FBI gets involved(local guy calls Washington--hey we have this, what do we do?--FBI--I don't know, hold them till we get there) so local LEO holds the guy, FBI shows up, no harm no foul, and the local LEOs get blamed. The local thought is "better safe than sorry" as MANY local agencies have been blamed for many things that "slipped under the radar" of Washington in the past. The FBI thought is "hey we didn't hold the guy. they did", not on us.
Can he sue? SURE. Is the world better because of this? YES, at least this county and every other county should now know the rules and regs. Has a great big injustice been done? NO. many mistakes were made, hopefully lessons were learned, and actually the people of that county are safer knowing that 1. Their local LEOs do take their job seriously and investigate things that are out of the ordinary. 2. Their Sheriff can admit when his department made mistakes and will learn from those mistakes(A sign of a true Law Enforcement Officer) 3. That small airplanes are not the enemy, powered or not.

I think the biggest issue is that the plant "thought" there was a "no fly zone" over the plant. They should know the regs better than anyone else. I have flown within 1 mile horizontal and 2000' above St Lucie nuc plant, but could have gotten even closer as there is nothing on the sectional except a little flag nothing a check point.

So I guess what I am saying is don't blame local Law Enforcement for doing their job, don't blame the pilot for flying where he can. Sometimes things get screwed up, that's what happens when you are human.

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlineBureaucromancer From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5487 times:

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 48):
Has a great big injustice been done? NO.

To be perfectly honest THIS is the kind of comment that makes me lose patience with law enforcement. What part of the fifth amendment don't you (LEO's in general, I'm not particularly upset with you the poster personally, just annoyed by the sentiment) understand? The man was held, for thirty hours, against his will, with no due process or even so much as evidence that a crime had been committed in the first place (for that matter, what on earth was that business with not allowing him outside contact, it seems to only serve to make the experience needlessly unpleasant and contrary to any sort of civility; even if he had committed a crime let the man make a damn phone call so people can, you know, FIND HIM). No, it didn't drag on for years, but this sort of thing seems like damn near the most fundamental mistake a police officer can make; he arrested a person who was innocent of any crime without so much as evidence he might have. Moreover, honest mistake or not, and later corrected or not, how can you possibly claim that such a mistake is not a major injustice?

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 48):

Sometimes things get screwed up, that's what happens when you are human.

And in fairness this is quite true. My problem is that far too many LEOs use that to say or imply that there isn't a problem after they make them. If you make a mistake, clean it up; far too many LEOs will bend over backwards to AVOID fixing their mistakes. The agency in question here seems to have eventually figured out they were wrong, and admitted it, which is better than most, but I maintain that to say there was no injustice done is asinine.


User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 8
Reply 50, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5362 times:

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Reply 49):
how can you possibly claim that such a mistake is not a major injustice?

I'm claiming this is certainly not "a major injustice".

Somebody screwed up and a guy wasted a day in jail .... nothing more, no spouting of amendments and rights please. Keep that for when it's really needed.

Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5327 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 50):
I'm claiming this is certainly not "a major injustice".

Somebody screwed up and a guy wasted a day in jail .... nothing more, no spouting of amendments and rights please. Keep that for when it's really needed.

I have been fortunate enough to never have been arrested. But, as I understand it, jails are not nice or very safe places. If I remember the story correctly, this 70 year old man did not waste a day in an individual cell, but was locked up with 11 other prisoners. If it was a weekend, I am surmising DUIs, bar room brawlers and maybe worse. It is not outside the realm of possibility that he could have been assaulted during his stay as a guest of the county.

That someone can be detained, not for an hour or two until cooler heads prevail, but for 30 hours, after having broken no law or statue (or FAR --- which is not a criminal matter anyway) is something I find very scary indeed. And is a reminder of just how much power LEOs have. Power that great should be used with great discretion indeed.

I wonder how cops involved would feel if it happened to his/her parent.

This man deserves some sort of compensation and law enforcement everywhere should draw a lesson.


User currently offlineBureaucromancer From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5277 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 50):
Keep that for when it's really needed.

If wrongful arresst and confinement at the hands of government officials are NOT what those rights exist to protect, what, pray tell, ARE they for?

Quoting 802flyguy (Reply 51):
And is a reminder of just how much power LEOs have. Power that great should be used with great discretion indeed.

I wonder how cops involved would feel if it happened to his/her parent.

Quite so. The mistake itself was not so great, but is nicely illustrative of why LEOs need to take the smallest mistake seriously. Law enforcement, like aviation oddly enough, is not a field that lends itself well to shrugging off small mistakes as inconsequential. Being deprived of one's personal freedom is hardly something that can be dismissed as an inconvenience.

[Edited 2013-01-20 21:34:37]

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8533 posts, RR: 2
Reply 53, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5222 times:

Quoting RIXrat (Reply 22):
I was a journalist in Philadelphia at that time and when the initial warning sounded we immediately rented a helicopter and overflew the nuclear power base, along with the vent stacks. We were not the only ones.

So you had a good sniff, eh? Forget the government - you almost got an award from Charles Darwin himself!  


User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 8
Reply 54, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Reply 52):
If wrongful arresst and confinement at the hands of government officials are NOT what those rights exist to protect, what, pray tell, ARE they for?

Just keep it in perspective, that's all I'm saying. He's out of jail in 24hrs, and I'm sure one or more law enforcement folks will be getting a slap on the wrist, or worse.

He'll probably be heeding the advice from the NOTAM from now on, like most of us did already... just guessing  

Dare I say that this is probably the prime example of why the NOTAM exists. Folks get freaked out when aircraft do this, especially when they know they've been advised not to do it.

The outcome of this unfortunately will be less rights for citizens, not more. There are rumors that DHS are pushing for permanent restricted areas around power plants.

Jimbo



[Edited 2013-01-21 04:53:42]


I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5638 posts, RR: 6
Reply 55, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4780 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 54):
There are rumors that DHS are pushing for permanent restricted areas around power plants.

The DHS has been pushing for airline-style screening for all aircraft operations, down to Piper Cubs. Doesn't mean they're gonna get it.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4705 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 5):
Incredible. it stands to reason that any deal made by the cops on the basis of 'we were wrong' in the first place is a total nonsense.

  

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 13):
No, it doesn't restrict a thing. It asks pilots to avoid those areas, but in no way, shape or form, is that NOTAM enough to violate a pilot.
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 14):
It's not a restriction: it's an advisory. Big difference.
Quoting jhooper (Reply 23):
Big difference between a NOTAM and a criminal law violation.

  

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 15):
But we all know how the authorities interpret things.


There is nothing to interpret here. It's an advisory. It's not even a statutory offense as pointed out above. Local law enforcement have about as much authority in this case as they would if he had busted Class B airspace, none.

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
But have you ever thought to think about how it looks to the rest of the world when Americans start suing left and right?

Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.
Quoting saafnav (Reply 39):
I'm not saying this would be frivolous, but I doubt if suing would be my first action?

What will you sue him for? Mental Anguish worth $2 million?

Truthfully, the amount of cases where people so, where they themselves had not take due diligence, or blame the company for their own actions, is astounding. (Let's not talk McDonalds now).


You're absolutely right, but this is not one of those cases. The idea behind suing in this case is not as much trying to get money as a check in the system that sets a precedent. That's the whole reason courts exist is to carefully examine and try to make sure justice prevails. The threat of lawsuits is just one way the systems prevents hot-headed law enforcement from abusing their power.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 25):
I find it hilarious that people still think that was a frivolous lawsuit.

You should read up on it sometime.

  

Quoting toneale (Reply 28):
The hot coffee suit was frivolous - I've studied the case at length. Yes, the coffee was hot - guess what, McDonalds still serves it that hot. Hot coffee will cause injury when you do what Ms. Liebeck did. Her own negligence cause her injuries.


And the jury found that she and McDonald's were both proportionally liable, but she was awarded damages on behalf of McDonald's portion of liability.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 8
Reply 57, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 56):
The idea behind suing in this case is not as much trying to get money as a check in the system that sets a precedent. That's the whole reason courts exist is to carefully examine and try to make sure justice prevails. The threat of lawsuits is just one way the systems prevents hot-headed law enforcement from abusing their power.

I have to disagree. In the USA, in most cases, the outcome is a huge dollar amount for the lawyers, and no precedent at all ... in fact the rest of the world laughs at us because of this.

There are much better ways to prevent the abuse of power by law enforcement, and they should all be actions performed before the abuse happens, not after. The biggest effect that lawsuits have on both law enforcement, government agencies, and businesses, is to actually hinder them from doing their job properly, and to the fullest, because of a constant fear of ending up in court.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22993 posts, RR: 20
Reply 58, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4546 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 57):
The biggest effect that lawsuits have on both law enforcement, government agencies, and businesses, is to actually hinder them from doing their job properly, and to the fullest, because of a constant fear of ending up in court.

Maybe so for businesses (though as someone who defends businesses all day long, I think the effect is somewhat overstated), but it's quite a bit different for law enforcement and the government. They tend to have well-developed ways to get out of lawsuits quickly and often enjoy damages caps that change the incentives quite a bit.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 59, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4492 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 54):
I'm sure one or more law enforcement folks will be getting a slap on the wrist, or worse.

It had better be worse.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 54):
He'll probably be heeding the advice from the NOTAM from now on

He was heeding the advice from the NOTAM. He wasn't loitering, and he avoided the plant to the extent practicable. He was flying a glider, so he was limited in where he could go.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4395 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 55):
The DHS has been pushing for airline-style screening for all aircraft operations, down to Piper Cubs. Doesn't mean they're gonna get it.

Never say never I suppose but last I heard they were giving up on that . . . for now. Realistically it would close 90% of the airports in the US. The ones we never think about in the small towns that have a small runway, no control tower and hangar or two. A small town isn't going to pay for a 24/7 TSA staff. Also the reality that it's unenforceable may have slowly sunk in at DHS. Say you have your plane screened before takeoff. There's nothing stopping you from landing on a dirt road to load it up with contraband. Something routinely done to smuggle drugs. All the screening you want isn't going to stop someone from flying their small plane into a building like happened in Tampa and Austin too. That doesn't stop TSA now though from taking things from airline pilots at the checkpoint like the airline's own cutlery handed out in First Class.


User currently offlinebond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5416 posts, RR: 8
Reply 61, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4275 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 59):
and he avoided the plant to the extent practicable

Just my personal opinion of course, since we have no idea what his thoughts or exact situation was, but I question that he made any attempt to avoid the plant, and his course over it had little to do with the fact he was flying a glider. I believe he just didn't see anything wrong with it ...
"he thought nothing of a single pass over the Robinson facility"

Of course, even if my assumptions are correct, it makes no difference to the legality of the situation.

It's also a little odd that it mentions a couple of times that he was looking for lift over the lake ... in my limited glider experience, this is one of the last places where thermals exist - maybe it's just bad reporting.

But I guarantee he won't do it again!


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offline802flyguy From United States of America, joined May 2012, 200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4160 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 61):
maybe it's just bad reporting.

Bad reporting? On an aviation story? Surely you jest!


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 2
Reply 63, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4010 times:
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Quoting bond007 (Reply 61):
It's also a little odd that it mentions a couple of times that he was looking for lift over the lake ... in my limited glider experience, this is one of the last places where thermals exist - maybe it's just bad reporting.

Some cooling ponds are quite warm when the plant is running. Perhaps that's what he meant by "lake".


User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3899 times:

Quoting bond007 (Reply 57):
I have to disagree. In the USA, in most cases, the outcome is a huge dollar amount for the lawyers, and no precedent at all ... in fact the rest of the world laughs at us because of this.


Money is certainly a major motivator for lawsuits, and I agree the US is the laughing stock of the world because we allow (and reward in many cases) frivolous lawsuits. However, the idea behind lawsuits is not to make people rich, but to provide a way for people to seek justice for wrongdoing. Money is the easiest and most common form of compensation because in most cases undoing a wrong is impossible.

My point is that this is not one of those frivolous cases where some guy should try to get rich, but rather to try and set a precedent for wrongdoing. Without any precedent, what's to stop this from becoming the norm rather than a one off case?

Quoting bond007 (Reply 57):
There are much better ways to prevent the abuse of power by law enforcement, and they should all be actions performed before the abuse happens, not after. The biggest effect that lawsuits have on both law enforcement, government agencies, and businesses, is to actually hinder them from doing their job properly, and to the fullest, because of a constant fear of ending up in court.


Here is where I disagree with you. Up to a point, fear of a lawsuit is a good thing. Yes, lawsuits have been abused, but that is an unfortunate byproduct of the system. Human nature tells us that if people can abuse power or forgo responsibility without consequences, they often will. History proves that over and over. Fear of a lawsuit is often an appropriate motivator for responsible use of power.

Also, as I said before, without a precedent, there often is nothing to go by. It's easy to say abuse should be prevented before it happens, but if you look at human nature, again, most of the laws and controls in which we have to prevent abuse were developed over time as reactions to past abuses. It is often impossible to foresee all potential abuses or other questions that eventually end up in courts to set precedents.

Technically, unless a court says this was an abuse of power, and if there is no precedent for it, than as far as the law is concerned, it wasn't, and won't be until it is questioned in court.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22993 posts, RR: 20
Reply 65, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 64):
Also, as I said before, without a precedent, there often is nothing to go by.

This is really important in the context of cases against government officials because of the concept of qualified immunity. Generally, a government official is immune from suit for violating someone's constitutional right unless that right is clearly established. It is difficult to show that a right was clearly established if there is no case law on the point, and often there can be no case law on the point unless people file lawsuits.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2094 posts, RR: 1
Reply 66, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3706 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 55):
The DHS has been pushing for airline-style screening for all aircraft operations, down to Piper Cubs. Doesn't mean they're gonna get it.

And trains and buses and cruise ships and....


User currently offlineBureaucromancer From Canada, joined Feb 2010, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 67, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3646 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 65):
This is really important in the context of cases against government officials because of the concept of qualified immunity. Generally, a government official is immune from suit for violating someone's constitutional right unless that right is clearly established. It is difficult to show that a right was clearly established if there is no case law on the point, and often there can be no case law on the point unless people file lawsuits.

Exactly. To be honest I suspect that this would be one of those few cases in which it would be pretty easy to breach qualified immunity, and that is a precedent that would be very useful to have set.


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