This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've heard of in a while.
Apparently this past Wednesday, a student pilot and his instructor took off from Pennsylvania to head to an airshow in North Carolina.
On this little trip they strayed withing the three-mile limit of the Capitol. F-16s were scrambled to intercept the wayward Cessna and had to fire flares to get the pilot's attention before forcing it to land in Frederick, Maryland.
Who was flying this thing, Mr. MaGoo?
Every pilot should know that since 9/11 that Washington DC is about the most heavily defended airspace since the Cold War (I could mention that fifteen year old West German kid who flew his Piper Cub into the Soviet Union and landed in Red Square at high-noon, but I'd be dating myself) They have Patriot and Sidwinder missile batteries all over the place not to mention a shitload of fighters loaded for bear at Andrews AFB.
I can understand the student not knowing where he was, but the instructor? Come on now. Even I know when I'm getting close to DC in a airliner and I'm not a pilot. Couldn't these two mental midgets see the damn beltway? I can spot the damn thing every time I fly into Reagan International.
And what school was this anyway? I'd like to know because I'm going to ask the next pilot I fly with if he's a graduate of "Bubba's Flite Skool" in Podunk, PA.
I can see them now, both of them running it out of a dirt strip somewhere, a rusty Quonset Hut as a hangar and an old Curtis Jenny from WWI with duct tape on the hole in the control surfaces. Bubba walks out wearing a stained T-shirt with no sleeves with 'Git R Done' on the front. He belches, grabs a twelve-pack of Bud and says:
"You fixin' fer yer next lesson there! Have a beer! This time try not to hit the goat on this here takeoff! It roond a dern good propeller last time!"
But the most amazing thing in this story was that they wern't arrested or charged.
I know why...
They weren't white guys in their late thirties with military haircuts.
They had mullets.
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden