Well, you knew it had to happen. With the fascination of the news media regarding the escapades of Colton Harris-Moore aka "Barefoot Bandit", the scrutiny of General Aviation once again comes into play.
My fellow pilots please take heed to what I say. If we don't start being more prudent regarding the security of our airports and airplanes, the Government will surely come in and mandate that we do things that would drive us out of the picture. Fortunately, General Aviation does have allies in Congress but we must help them defend our freedom to fly by not making it easy for people to steal planes; though nothing is foolproof when it comes to criminals and their deeds. Criminals or people who have ill-intent have the desire and means to circumnavigate the means that the law-abiding citizens use to prevent this.
I just read, with interest, the news article written regarding the concern of terrorists stealing our airplanes and doing harm within this country. I agree with Chris Dancy of AOPA that small aircraft certainly do not make good weapons yet the news media feels they have to sensationalize and provoke this idea over and over again.
I know, you're saying "ahhhhh, it's not that big of a deal". Apathy on this drives me crazy. I'm not worried about the terrorists. I'm more worried about the guys who make the rules yet do not play the game!
Here are some steps that AOPA, in partnering with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has recommended:
- Utilize aircraft door locks at all times when the aircraft is unattended.
- Consider the use of auxiliary locks to further protect aircraft from unauthorized use.
- Consistently lock hangar doors and close security gates.
- Look for anyone trying to access an aircraft through force.
- Anyone who misuses aviation lingo.
- Out-of-the-ordinary videotaping of aircraft or hangars.