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Tue, Nov 06, 2007

Former Airline Captain Experiences No-Fly Agita

Can Fly The Plane, But Riding In It Raises Eyebrows

A Colorado television station, featuring stories from people on the government's infamous "No-Fly" list, uncovered a forehead-slapping example of absurdity in the process.

Captain Robert Campbell (no, no relation to Zoom -- Ed.) was a pilot for the US Navy in Vietnam. He recently retired from a 22-year career as an airline pilot.

And, yep, he's on the list, according to KUSA-9. In fact, he's been on it since 2005... back to the days when he was still in the cockpit.

After filing out the necessary forms, he was placed on the TSA's "Expedited No-Fly List Clearance" program... and received a letter in February 2006 saying he was cleared to fly. But he still must go through additional security screening whenever he flies.

"This is absurd," Campbell said. "Even the TSA knows it's absurd."

Considering we're talking about the TSA, though... absurdity is a relative term.

"The fact is, I'm authorized by the TSA to fly the airplane and ride the jump seat on air carriers," he said. "But if I want to ride in the back, I'm on the No-Fly List.

"I've talked to everybody under the sun, my Congressmen, my union, union legal people, the airlines, my chief pilot and nobody seems to be able to get me off the No-Fly List," he added.

Campbell says his experience proves the effectiveness of such "No-Fly" lists is "highly questionable."

"It's a lot of show and glitz and stuff but it's not really effective," Campbell said.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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