Friday, October 21, 2005

Fight The ADIZ: Freedom to fly = Freedom from fear

I am a pilot, though I have not had much opportunity to fly recently. But, the ability, and freedom to fly anywhere in this great nation, the home of general aviation, is one of my cherished freedoms. It is freedom from the bounds of earth, and freedom from fear. It is freedom from crazy, fearful, dictatorial governments where "ordinary" people cannot have planes or fly wherever they want.

Yet, that is exactly what the government is now slowly trying to do in the USA. To curtail the areas where general aviation pilots can fly. To curtail who can fly. To curtail flying itself.

That it is all being done in the name of security in a post 9/11 world is even more ridiculous because no small planes were used in the attacks.

As anyone can calculate, a rental truck like the one used by Timothy McVeigh (the Christian terrorist) in Oklahoma was much more devastating than a small plane flown by some (Muslim?) terrorist would be. It would have been a lot easier for the 19 hijackers of 9/11 to steal 19 small GA planes than to expect to even succeed in hijacking 5 airliners. But they chose the jet airplanes obviously because they could do a lot more damage.

Everyone probably remembers that stupid Florida teenager who flew a Cessna into a building. He died but the plane did not even manage to destroy ONE ROOM on ONE FLOOR of ONE SMALL BUILDING.

Yet, that is the "picture" the government is painting as it tries to curtail one of America's great freedoms, the freedom to fly anywhere (except obvious places like military installations, the White House, nuclear reactors, etc.) as a private pilot that a commercial airplane can fly. The following is a comment I posted (alongside more than 10,000 others) at a government web site discussing the "ADIZ" areas that are popping up to limit where we can fly:

How ironic is it that the 19 now dead terrorist hijackers not only used our civilian (COMMERCIAL NOT GA) aircraft against our civilians in NY and DC, but seem to be also succeeding in

a) having our government departments create policies seeming to be based on living in a state of constant fear,
b) managed to make us try to destroy instead of develop general aviation,
c) made us look like fearful living in cities with virtual ADIZ type moats around us,
d) helped set in motion the actions that would eventually kill off one of the greatest contributions of our country to the world, aviation and
e) make us more and more likely to get used to living under constantly changing and onerous rules that one would expect from governments in Cuba or Russia or Pakistan or Iraq, not the United States of America.

I am a pilot in NY, with family and friends in the DC area. I had been close to buying a plane to see them regularly, but have held off doing so because of these ADIZ regulations.

How many others are held back, I can only imagine. How many planes will rust away, I can only imagine. How many new planes will not be sold, I can only imagine. How many skilled workers capable of making new planes will lose jobs, I can only imagine. How many mechanics and ground crew who support a thriving GA industry would lose jobs, I can only imagine.

How loudly the dead terrorists and their supporters must be laughing at us, I can only imagine. Can you?

Please support us living, and flying, in a nation of freedom, freedom from fear and freedom from dictatorial rules.

Imran Anwar
http://imran.com/flying/
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