Boyer's Mad As Hell, And He's Not Gonna Take It Anymore
The following is the
unedited text of a personal message from Aircraft Owners and Pilots
Association President Phil Boyer to members of the pilot
advocacy group published on the AOPA website Friday. In it, Boyer
responds to comments made by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley at a
Thursday press conference, in which the Chicago boss states, in
part, "a single- or two-engine plane can kill as many people as
possible if they want to."
I'll be candid: it has been hard for the ANN staff to
keep our opinions on such obvious political grandstanding out of
our coverage of the aftermath of the Cory Lidle accident. We will,
however, gladly stand back and give Mr. Boyer a forum to express
Conversely, ANN will also extend that offer to Mayor
Daley... New York Senator Charles Schumer, or Congressman
Anthony Weiner... or any of the other politicos or self-professed
aviation "experts" should they wish to present their cases to our
Until that happens, however... go get 'em, Phil. --
ANN Editor Rob Finfrock
Mayor Daley's latest
rants have sent me over the edge. He used the accident in New York
to once again demand a no-fly zone over downtown Chicago for
general aviation aircraft.
It was expected, of course. He has an irrational hatred for
piston-engine aircraft, as evidenced by his illogical tirade this
week. "They should not jeopardize, through intentionally or by
accident, a single- or two-engine plane flying over our city
[sic]," the Meigs Field destroyer exploded at a press conference.
(I don't think he was including Boeing 737s, 757s, and 767s in his
list of twin-engine aircraft.) "Remember: a single- or two-engine
plane can kill as many people as possible if they want to."
And if it were just Daley, I'd ignore his ravings, just as the
folks in the federal government in charge of security and airspace
But it's not just him. Other politicians (with the spectacular
and notable exception of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) and
self-appointed "experts" are jumping on the tragic accident --
repeat, accident -- in New York to sound off again about the
"danger" of light aircraft, and how they must be regulated,
OK, for all of those ranting about "threats" from GA aircraft,
we'll believe that you're really serious about controlling
"threats" when you call for:
- Banning all vans within cities. A small panel van was used in
the first World Trade Center attack. The bomb, which weighed 1,500
pounds, killed six and injured 1,042.
- Banning all box trucks from cities. Timothy McVeigh's rented
Ryder truck carried a 5,000-pound bomb that killed 168 in Oklahoma
- Banning all semi-trailer trucks. They can carry bombs weighing
more than 50,000 pounds.
- Banning newspapers on subways. That's how the terrorists hid
packages of sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system. They killed
- Banning backpacks on all buses and subways. That's how the
terrorists got the bombs into the London subway system. They killed
- Banning all cell phones on trains. That's how they detonated
the bombs in backpacks placed on commuter trains in Madrid. They
- Banning all small pleasure boats on public waterways. That's
how terrorists attacked the USS Cole, killing 17.
- Banning all heavy or bulky clothing in all public places.
That's how suicide bombers hide their murderous charges. Thousands
Number of people killed by a terrorist attack using a GA
Number of people injured by a terrorist attack using a GA
Property damage from a terrorist attack using a GA aircraft?
So Mr. Mayor (and Mr. Governor, Ms. Senator, Mr. Congressman,
and Mr. "Expert"), if you're truly serious about "protecting" the
public, advocate all of the bans I've listed above. Using the
"logic" you apply to general aviation aircraft, newspapers, winter
coats, cell phones, backpacks, trucks, and boats all pose much
greater risks to the public.
So be consistent in your logic. If you are dead set on
restricting a personal transportation system that carries more
passengers than any single airline, reaches more American cities
than all the airlines combined, provides employment for 1.3 million
American citizens and $160 billion in business "to protect the
public," then restrict or control every other transportation system
that the terrorists have demonstrated they can use to kill.
If you're not willing to be consistent, then we might think that
you're pandering to uninformed public fears, posturing from the
soapbox of demagoguery, screaming security for your own political