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Pilots suffer unnecessary stop-and-search actions

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:29 pm
by RigaRunner
I've contributed to AOPA's political action committee (PAC) in the past, and I just got another entreaty. But I don't think I'm going to give this time.

Frankly, I am disappointed by AOPA's lack of initiative regarding the number of undeserved, unprovoked stop-and-search actions by federal authorities against innocent U.S. citizen pilots. You might look at Bob Goyer's June 4 article in Flying Magazine, or pilot James Fallows' recent article "Annals of the Security State: Even More Airplane Stories" in the Atlantic Monthly.


We are at a moment when many charge our Federal authorities with overly aggressive law enforcement and investigative actions -- from seizing reporters' phone records to IRS abuses, and even to gathering and analyzing all Verizon customer phone records for months on end. Stopping and searching pilots for no good reason is -- to me -- an equal if not more unjustified abuse of authority.

If ever there was a time, this is the moment to draw attention to the way the law-abiding aviation community's rights are being infringed by Federal over-reach.

But, AOPA is silent on this issue. So, don't count on me for a donation to the PAC.

And, maybe Jeb, Dave and Jack might take this subject up on a future podcast?

Re: Pilots suffer unnecessary stop-and-search actions

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:59 pm
by PilotBillFromTexas
They have been stepping their response up quite a bit lately. It's about time.

Re: Pilots suffer unnecessary stop-and-search actions

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:20 am
by champguy
Definitely this is a subject worth following and openly discussing. But ballance and thoughtfulness should be applied.
At the border they stop every car, as a deterrent as well as a police matter. Maybe one in a hundred, or more likely a thousand, has actually done anything wrong.
They scan a billion e-mails and phone records. Looking for patterns and networks, connecting the dots. They really don't care if your Aunt Matilda had a bad day at the hairdresser. But if someone gets picked up driving a rent-a-truck full of fertilizer near a federal building, sure they want to know who his friends are and where his money came from too.
But stormtroopers at local GA airports. I've even seen them here, at my hometown muni. Doing an "Elk Survey" they said with a Jet Ranger wearing kevlar vests and carrying a black duffle bag full of heavy lumpy things.
But confrontation with armed agents? Remember Ruby Ridge! First they shoot your dog, then your girl, then the come for you.
I got no dog in that hunt.

Re: Pilots suffer unnecessary stop-and-search actions

Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:40 pm
by mbuto
As an outsider looking into the States, I remember back not too long ago when many jokes were made about the Soviet Union that at some point included the phrase (with a bad foreign accent) "papers please". Now China is opening up to GA. My how times change.