Intruding pilots released without charges
Prompted red alert at White House, mass evacuations
Thursday, May 12, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A pilot and a student pilot were released without criminal charges Wednesday after their plane flew within three miles of the White House, prompting evacuations throughout the capital, officials said.
A Black Hawk helicopter and two F-16 fighter jets forced the Cessna 150 aircraft to land at a small airport in Frederick, Maryland at 12:37 p.m., officials said.
If you live in a cave, this news item brought quite a bit of attention last week.
I listed to it while it was going on, before the Cessna was forced down, and realized that it was most likely another idiot that got lost near the capital.
'Most likely', isn't the same as a foregone conclusion and I was appalled to hear the reaction from some quarters that call it an "over-reaction".
The Cessna 150 is considered a trainer, (There is some confusion in the information I have found), with a maximum passenger load of 300lbs and maximum cargo/luggage load of 120lbs. It is a slow flying 2 seater aircraft and quite small.
Lets say that the pilot weighs 170lbs, that gives us 250lbs to play around with. That doesn't sound like much does it? But what could we do with 250 lbs.
We couldn't haul around a lot of chemical weapons because the plane is too small for the equipment it would take to disperse them effectively. The same for biologicals but you could still terrorize the population far in excess of the actual threat would warrant.
But lets consider another scenario.
Suppose we put a nuclear device onboard and a pilot on a suicide mission.
What? You say that 250lbs is too small?
You would be wrong!
I have seen them with my own eyes and I'm not talking about the fabled brief case bombs. There were nuclear rounds made for the 155mm and 203mm howitzers that weighed less than 100lbs and 240lbs respectively and quite a bit of that weight was the heavy steel casing of an artillery round.
If we had them, the Soviets had them and since the fall of the Eastern Block, there has been much confusion over exactly what did happened to these weapons.
Now imagine a small plane, skirting radar, flying low with one of these on board. Congress is in session and a small nuclear device is set off over the capital building.