I understand the importance of protecting our leaders from things like hang gliders, model rockets and radio controlled airplanes. But isn’t this getting a little ridiculous?
In case you are wondering, that’s a 60 nautical mile wide VIP Temporary Flight Restriction (with a bunch of other random turducken TFR’s within the main one, all of which have different start/end time…have fun figuring that crap out). It’s only in effect for less than one day but the size is what’s so confusing. For a Presidential visit to SMU, gliders in Midlothian, warbirds in Lancaster, aerobatics near McKinney and flight training at Addison, Arlington, Mesquite, Rockwall, Redbird, Spinks, and Midway are all grounded.
The general public is not aware of this but aviation really does bear the brunt of security initiatives. Can you imagine if all non-commercial road traffic was banned from operating within even a 10 mile wide region? The ruckus that would ensue from everyday drivers is proof positive that pilots are a very accommodating bunch.
The types of flying that are restricted make very little sense as they include some of the most harmless airborne activities in existence. Some are things that do not require an FAA approval or waiver. Seriously, how many 12 year olds check FAA publications before flying a radio controlled styrofoam glider in their backyard? Do your kids have a model rocket they want to fly? Better check the NOTAMS because the last thing you want is for little Junior Von Braun to trigger a response from a fully loaded F-15C (I should write to the FAA chief council to find out if Air Hogs count as model rockets).
Anyway, at this point, to reduce the impact on aviation, I think the POTUS should just start wearing an Iron Man suit. He’ll be impervious to any threat up to and including The Mandarin. An added benefit is that other countries respect a leader who shows up with afterburners for shoes.
Seriously, forget all the stealth hydrofoil ships, multirole fighter jets and new troop transports. Put all of our R&D money into building Presidential Iron Man suits. Don’t pay to launch spy satellites when the President can fly over other countries to do the recon. Why pay for the operating costs of Air Force One and its escort fighters? An Iron Man President is his own escort. And in a worst case scenario, if another country lobs missiles towards the West, all the President has to do is rocket up to the mesosphere and Tae-Bo a couple of warheads.
But since comic book technology never gets taken seriously until a big budget movie is made about that character, we’re still years away from weaponized exoskeletons. So for now, I’ll skip flying on April 24th and 25th and just go this weekend when things quiet down. On the plus side, I’ll probably get to hear at least one fighter jet screaming down from 25,000 feet…most likely going after Junior’s 1/100 scale Space Shuttle.Images courtesy www.skyvector.com and www.dvice.com