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Posted: 1/6/2002 11:24:30 PM EDT
[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/07/national/07CRAS.html[/url]
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:27:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:53:17 PM EDT
Teenage Pilot Left Note Praising Sept. 11 Attacks By DAVID FIRESTONE National: Student Pilot, 15, Crashes Plane Into Bank in Florida (January 6, 2002) The Associated Press The wreckage of a Cessna 172R in an office on the 28th floor of the Bank of America Plaza in Tampa, Fla., after the stolen plane was flown into the tower on Saturday by Charles J. Bishop, who left what the police said was a suicide note. TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 6 — A teenage pilot's fatal flight into a downtown skyscraper here was a deliberate gesture of support for Osama bin Laden and the hijackers who brought down the World Trade Center, the city's police chief said today. Chief Bennie R. Holder said investigators found a suicide note in the pocket of Charles J. Bishop, the 15- year-old who crashed a light plane into the 28th floor of the Bank of America Plaza on Saturday evening. "The young man, Charles Bishop, can best be described as a young man with very few friends, and was very much a loner," Chief Holder said at a news conference today. "With this action, we assume he was a very troubled young man." No one else was injured. Chief Holder did not release the contents of the short, handwritten note. Although it expressed support for the terrorists, he said the note also made it clear that the youth had acted alone, and there are no apparent links to any terrorist organizations. Neighbors and schoolmates described him as bright but quiet and expressed mystification at his act. cont.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:54:41 PM EDT
A White House spokesman said last night that the F.B.I. was investigating and that the incident did not appear linked to terrorism. The incident, however, raised concern about the security of thousands of small planes at airports around the country, which many aviation officials say are vulnerable to the same threat. The pilot was a student at a flight school based at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, and shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, when an instructor thought he was performing a preflight check of the single-engine Cessna 172R, the youth jumped in and took off without permission. He flew east across Old Tampa Bay, ignoring a Coast Guard helicopter pilot frantically gesturing for him to stop, and headed for a bank of office buildings lining the Hillsborough River downtown. Butch Wilson, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the youth was in full control of the four-seat plane and appeared to know exactly what he was doing. He refused to make radio contact during the 9- to 12-minute flight. The note did not say whether Mr. Bishop had chosen the 42-story Bank of America building in advance, Chief Holder said. The plane once edged south into the airspace of MacDill Air Force Base, headquarters of the United States Central Command, which directs the combat in Afghanistan. After making several turns, the plane struck the edge of the tower. Chief Holder said investigators had no doubt the action was deliberate. cont.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:55:50 PM EDT
The plane's wings, which contained its fuel, were sheared off, and there was no fire in the unoccupied law office that was struck. Videotape taken by firefighters showed the fuselage amid a mass of crumpled walls, furniture, glass and pink insulation. The plane hung above the sidewalk all night, but this morning workers pulled it inside with steel cables, then cut it up and removed it. The building had no structural damage, and city officials said it would be open on Monday to all but the most directly affected tenants. While jetliner passengers get their shoes swabbed for explosives, the ease with which a determined 15- year-old could crash a plane highlighted the very different security standards applied to the nation's general aviation system, as light planes and charter jets are known. Hanspeter Tschupp, who owns a flight school a few doors from the National Aviation school where the youth stole the plane, said almost all such schools allowed students to perform preflight checks on the tarmac without an instructor present. "Of course, we won't be allowing that anymore," Mr. Tschupp said. "From now on, our instructors stay with the students the whole time." Beyond the flight schools, however, most private planes are kept behind fences that are not secure at small airports. They are easy to break into — Mr. Tschupp said many manufacturers make only a few different keys for all models — and a terrorist would have little difficulty using a private plane as a weapon. "They're easy to steal, and I haven't seen much increased security since Sept. 11," said Robert Baron, an aviation safety instructor who runs a consulting firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "People really have no idea how vulnerable general aviation is right now." The government clearly recognizes the potential threat, having shut down general aviation around large airports for three months after Sept. 11, lifting the restrictions last month. (Private flights near Reagan National Airport near Washington are still banned.) But there have been few changes in security surrounding general aviation, and industry officials say none are necessary. Warren Morningstar, vice president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the nation's largest civil aviation organization, noted that the damage done by the light plane was small and said there had never been a case of such a plane used for a terrorist act. "In most general aviation accidents, you don't even get a fire," he said. "Of course there's a chance someone could do some damage, but you could say the same thing about a distraught individual who steals a bus or a truck." He said smaller airports were already keeping a more watchful eye on people who fly and said many owners had begun securing their planes with items like propeller chains and throttle locks. Nonetheless, most small planes are not secured in any way, and the teenager's ability to penetrate the airspace of one of the nation's most critical military bases dramatized the damage that a terrorist with explosives might have inflicted on MacDill. The Air Force sent two F-15 fighters from Homestead Air Reserve Base near Miami about six minutes into the flight, but they arrived after the crash. cont.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:56:23 PM EDT
Lt. Col. Rich McClain, a spokesman for MacDill, said he could not discuss why the fighters were sent from Homestead instead of MacDill. He said the base had been informed by air traffic control of the Bishop flight almost immediately, and did not consider it a threat. "If he had made some kind of threatening maneuver, we might have considered him a threat," he said. Law enforcement officials had no explanation of why the youth developed sympathy for Osama bin Laden, and they spent the day interviewing the youth's mother, Julia Bishop, at her apartment in Palm Harbor, north of St. Petersburg. Neighbors and school acquaintances in Florida and Massachusetts called Charles Bishop an only child who had lived most of his life with his mother and sometimes with his maternal grandmother, Karen Johnson, in the suburbs of Boston and St. Petersburg. None could recall a father. Schoolmates described him as an "A" student who made the honor rolls, liked his classes and was perhaps something of a teacher's pet. He was interested in journalism and talked animatedly about airplanes, some classmates said. Some neighbors in Norwell and Winchester, Mass., where the mother and son lived in the early 1990's, remembered Charles as a typical boy who rode a bicycle and had two dogs. Others recalled a sensitive boy impressed with a neighbor's garden. He was quiet, polite, well spoken, even eloquent in expressing his feelings, some said. Others remembered him as sullen and introverted. "He didn't talk to anybody," said Brit Schunther, 15, a neighbor in Palm Harbor. "He was a loner." Officials at National Aviation said he had studied there since March, and had logged about six hours of flight time, occasionally doing chores like washing planes in exchange for more time in the air.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 11:57:41 PM EDT
What can you do?...
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 12:11:28 AM EDT
MGNiko got the same topic while I was pasting...RATS!!! wasted my 200th hard-earned post!!! Reverend Sharpton! Reverend Jackson! I've been disenfranchised!!! Goatboy, I demand a reset or we MARCH!!!!
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 2:01:36 AM EDT
"He was quiet, polite, well spoken, even eloquent in expressing his feelings, some said. Others remembered him as sullen and introverted" [green]I think I'd go with sullen and introverted. I suppose we will find out that he was on medication [/green]
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 9:08:00 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 9:29:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
"They're easy to steal, and I haven't seen much increased security since Sept. 11," said Robert Baron, an aviation safety instructor who runs a consulting firm in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "People really have no idea how vulnerable general aviation is right now."
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Yeah, this guy is really helping. Because of this one incident, the FAA is going to clamp down on student pilots. I'm guessing upping the minimum age to 18 and background checks for starters.
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The minimum age SHOULD be 18, at least for a solo certificate. Speaking from experience...
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 5:07:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2002 5:09:32 PM EDT by Ulysse_Nardin_1846]
I believe I heard on MSNBC that this jerk's dad has a Lebanese last name. And that little shit took the easy way out. I was hoping for an "Old Sparky" encore .
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 5:25:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2002 5:26:21 PM EDT by Marksman762]
What can I say? I'm 15 and am working on my student pilots license. Just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm going to go crash into a building... I think the age is right , 16 for student license, 17 for privite license. I get tired of being singled out because I like flying, guns, reloading, etc... Just my .02 -Marksman
Link Posted: 1/7/2002 5:42:36 PM EDT
Almost 40 years ago, I too was 15 year-old kid full of wacky ideas – maybe I've not changed much! But no one sympathises with this kid's ideas or intent, he simply f*cked-up and killed no one but himself – if he had, I would not be writing this! Since he did nothing but take his own life and cause nothing but pain and anguish to his family, God's sake, have a little charity! It doesn't make you any less a "macho" man>
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