Skip to comments.Secret 'no-fly zone'?
Posted on 01/11/2013 9:14:16 AM PST by KeyLargo
Secret 'no-fly zone'?
Pilot seeks answers after arrest
By Sarah Brown
Pilots returned, one by one, to Bermuda High Soaring in Jefferson, S.C. By about 5 p.m. on July 26, 2012, the lift had died and everyone had returned to the gliderporteveryone except Robin Fleming. No one remembered hearing from Fleming since 1:30 or 2 p.m., and Jayne Ewing Reid, co-owner and chief tow pilot of the glider club and commercial operation, was worried.
She called pilots who lived in the region and asked them to try to contact Fleming on their handheld radios. She flew the clubs Piper Pawnee in the direction of Flemings last known radio call, but found no evidence of the missing glider or its pilot.
This is when you get that feeling that somethings not right, she said. Fleming always called if he landed out. Worried that something had happened to Fleming, an avid glider pilot and instructor at Bermuda High, Jayne Ewing Reid and business partner Frank Reid decided to file a missing airplane report. Neither suspected that Fleming was in trouble with the law.
Fleming, 70, had been arrested for breach of peace after flying his Rolladen-Schneider LS8-18 sailplane noiselessly over the H.B. Robinson Nuclear Generating Station at an altitude of 1,518 feet mslby his estimates, about 1,000 feet over the power plants domeon his way to search for lift at nearby Lake Robinson.
No airspace restrictions were printed on sectional charts; no notam marked the area off-limits. When a woman at Hartsville Regional Airport relayed over the Unicom that law enforcement wanted him to land, he had flown to that airport and landed, greeted by a swarm of law enforcement vehicles.
Nonetheless, Fleming spent the night awake in a cell with 11 other inmates.
(Excerpt) Read more at aopa.org ...
A secret no-fly zone seems incredibly stupid to me.
You can’t expect pilots to be clairvoyant.
Ignorance of the secret laws is no excuse. < /sarc>
This is where you file lawsuits and seek to have the prosecutor disbarred.
As America seeks to emulate the former Soviet Union in every way, look for more and more secret laws that people will be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for.
Obama signs bill ‘in secret’ making FREE SPEECH ILLEGAL!
LOL! That nails the level of absurdity we’ve reached in modern America. Haven’t seen the likes of it since the days of the old Soviet Union.
In Stalin’s Russia, the arrests for violating “secret” laws were also “secret”. People just disappeared in the middle of the night never to be seen or heard from again. What an effect method to terrorize a weaponless population into submission.
Stick and Rudder ping....
Wow, interesting that we made what is essentially the same point about the Soviet Union. And as usual, you’re about six steps ahead of me, Laz! :-)
This is double jeopardy. If LEO's can arrest you on made up charges, and then tell you that they will drop the charges if you agree not to assert your own rights against false imprisonment, then no one is safe anywhere ever. I might have stood and fought the charges, just so I could press criminal charges against the local yokels here.
I'm no pilot but you might not want to be soaring over nuclear power plants.
Yes. I read the article and the guy agreed not to take legal action against the Darlington Police, if the charges were dropped. BIG mistake. he should have sued them for several million, and an apology.
This demonstrates the dearth of common sense prevalent in the LEO ranks of small town, USA.
If the glider was an explosive laden, suicide bomb, it would have been over before the police were ever called.
That the police were present when the local airport operator called the FAA and the FAA said there was no violation, indicates they (police) didn’t need “no stinkin violation” they were looking for chance to go full SWAT on the guy.
The Police Chief should be fired and the others put on unpaid leave, at least.
If you read the story, the pilot’s intent was not to fly over the powerplant, but in the unpowered, small glider he was seeking rising air to gain altitude that day.
I live and fly a RV6A out of FL37.
Just this morning I took off and flew towards the area just outside of Fort Pierce International Airspace south and was heading towards the ocean where I regularly fly south along Hutchinson Island and go either directly over the Saint Lucie Nuclear Power plant or I go over the Indian River.
I’ve NEVER have a problem but me thinks this guys problem is that he is flying a non detectable craft.
Nearly invisable to radar.
not meaning any offense but are you a pilot?
You EVER have ANY dealings with the F.A.A.?
Agreed. I was working at a nuke when 9/11 happened. There was strong concern the terrorists were going to try something with the nukes, and every report of any kind of unrecognized aircraft in immediate proximity to the plant was cause for great concern. I expect the no fly zone, if it in fact exists, was not communicated to the pilot due to some sort of human error, negligence, etc., which probably is why the authorities are backing off.
Couldn't that be construed as making an agreement under duress and somehow nullified? I would certainly test that theory...
“A better knowledge of aviation issues among law enforcement officials may have produced a better result for Fleming. Griffin said she had to tell the officers on the scene to clear out the runway, and one officer talked about commandeering the airport. He was running around, the one guy that was commandeering everything, saying, We were going to shoot him down, she said.”
Me thinks it’s high time to start reeling in the gestapo.
"Just what was that law?"
"Well, 'e never did tell me what it was, but he gave me 'is word, an' that's good enough for me with ol' Dynsdale!"
I fly ove one all the time.
To this point it is not illegal.
i do know they do not care for you to circle one at a low altitude.
And in this case I’d bet the farm it is because his craft is nearly invisible to radar.
Hasn’t this guy heard of NORDO? I always answer anonymous calls asking who is that circling and buzzing (fill in the blank) ./NOT!
The FBI & Homeland Security Jack Booted Collectivists cn and should be sued for deliberate falsification of a Federal document - which is a FELONY!
Jail a few “Steroid Enhanced Jack Booted Thug” population and such abuse will become very rare.
One of the first things you learn when you study law is that a law is not a law until it is “promulgated”. In other words, there can be no “secret law”.
Beyond that, it is distressing that almost on a daily basis I read stories of gung-ho law enFORCEment, treating citizens who have broken no laws like they are felons ... and threatening to “shoot down” a glider ... insane.
I used to wonder how the Nazis found so many people willing to staff the camps and pack the trains ... every day here in AmeriKa 2013 I read stories that confirm the mindset of such people is still alive and well and more often than not uniformed and badged. Sickening.
Why ping me? (check handle)
Even when the law is not secret the vast majority of us remain ignorant of it. In the case of Obamacare even those who wrote it remain ignorant of it. It's kind of like the party where Hank Readan is made aware of how the 'law' works.
It always does. Often a display of unbridled fiction and questionable grammer.
I was on double-secret probation at one time...
umm, not a secret. It’s a temporary flight restriction set up after 9/11. Can’t fly over nuke power, sporting events with more than 30,000 people or state department special airspace within 3nm or 3000’ agl. Not sure what that last one is, but these are old rules.
Umm ...... you still are.
Oh crap, don't read this post.
“When his attorney returned and said the case would be dismissed if he agreed not to take any legal action against Darlington County law enforcement, he said, he reluctantly agreed.”
Gross violation of civil rights IMHO. I would seek charges for violation of civil rights under color of law.
With that handle I’d figure you’d want to read this.
Are you a glider buff? I’ve been up a few times and love it.
Yes and yes.
In fact, I just landed my Mooney about 5 minutes ago and am now waiting for Mrs. TTR to go skiing!
They need to be sued early and often.
We always liked our Company Commander's version: "Ignorance is no excuse for the law!"
Next door neighbor drives a Mooney all the time. In weather i’d Never fly my RV6A in.
There is in fact a flight restriction that has been on file since 2010 and has been restated back in 2004. The AOPA should no better. As this FDC reads, it strongly advises pilots to avoid the airspace around nuclear power plants. It does not say prohibit. Law enforcement should have had the common sense to realize that a sailplane can’t just power its’ way out of the airspace and no arrest should have been made after interviewing the pilot.
FDC 4/0811 - ...SPECIAL NOTICE...
THIS IS A RESTATEMENT OF A PREVIOUSLY ISSUED ADVISORY NOTICE.
IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE,
PILOTS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE, OR IN
PROXIMITY TO SUCH SITES AS POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR
COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES
AND OTHER SIMILAR FACILITIES. PILOTS SHOULD NOT CIRCLE AS TO LOITER
IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES. WIE UNTIL UFN. CREATED: 08 OCT
Should Pilots Fear the Police?
The saga of a South Carolina glider pilot arrested for overflying a nuclear powerplant recalls another episode in which police overreacted when a pilot did nothing wrong.
By Stephen Pope / Published: Jan 16, 2013
Read more at http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/fly-wire/should-pilots-fear-police?cmpid=enews011713&spPodID=030&spMailingID=14458565&spUserID=NTkyOTQ2MjI5OAS2&spJobID=210375206&spReportId=MjEwMzc1MjA2S0#1VOXCuHMRehhhOAm.99
CBP searches of private aircraft may be unconstitutional
July 14, 2013
By: David W. Thornton
In the wake of a number recent seemingly random searches of general aviation aircraft by federal law enforcement agents, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association demanded answers from Customs and Border Protection officials. In recent months, numerous searches of private aircraft have been reported by both the AOPA and the Atlantic. The AOPA filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf of members who were stopped and searched by federal agents.
In one case, cited by both sources, Gabriel Silverstein, a pilot from New York, was stopped by CBP officers twice on a cross country business trip to Oklahoma in his Cirrus light airplane in May. A California Bonanza pilot, Larry Gaines, was surrounded by federal agents and questioned for two hours. Another particularly disturbing example occurred last year when Robin Fleming, a 70-year-old glider pilot was arrested for ostensibly breaching a no fly zone over a nuclear plant in Hartsville, S.C. even though there were no posted airspace restrictions.
In the July 12 edition of AOPA Live Ken Mead, AOPAs general counsel and executive vice president discussed the response from Customs and Border Protection. Its essentially a kiss off letter from the law enforcement agency, Mead said, that says were police, were law enforcement, the stuff you asked for is law enforcement sensitive and besides, not to worry because were there to watch out for the civil rights of your member
In other words,
We’re the authorities and you have NO recourse.
Soooo, shut up and like it.