It’s been great this week to catch up on recreational reading – much of it around my real interest – general aviation. And so I was interested to see in this month’s “Pilot” magazine (click here) that this Government has also got its “we know best” talons into even this. It seems they have asked their “anti-terrorism expert”, Lord Carlile QC to look at the ‘potent cocktail’ of terrorists and light aircraft (click here to read his report).
His findings, which have been reported to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, are that “light aircraft could be used by terrorists to launch attacks on buildings” after the style of 9/11.
Fortunately AOPA – the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association – has entered the debate in the person of Martin Robinson. He refers to the 9/11 terrorists learning to fly light aircraft (remember one in particular told his instructor he wanted to learn take off and flying, but not to bother showing him landing) and makes the valid point that if the light training aircraft in which they learned their skills flying skills could have produced the required amount of mayhem and carnage, they wouldn’t have bothered to hijack fully laden airliners.
He adds “…to cause major damage, they needed large, heavy aircraft travelling at high speed with significant quantities of fuel on board. An incident involving an aircraft weighing as much as a Mini bouncing off a building was not what the terrorists were after.”
So well done Government. Once again you’ve blundered around in an area about which you know very little, producing nonsensical recommendations which could curtail the harmless enjoyment of thousands of people.
No change there then.