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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Restrictions on small aircraft


Thread: [Acro] Restrictions on small aircraft

Message: [Acro] Restrictions on small aircraft

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From: Klusmanp at

Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 03:39:19 UTC


  Dear CNN:

As a private pilot, I think the idea of making the world a safer place by 
restricting access to general aviation aircraft is a bit simplistic and 

The recent suicide crash in Florida demonstrated how little potential there 
is for doing any real damage with one of these planes. Yes, you could easily 
kill several dozen people by flying a small airplane into a crowd, but we 
really need to consider how likely such an event would be and weigh it 
against other possible threats.

For a comparison we could look to another form of transportation: the 
automobile. This kid could have much more easily stolen an SUV and driven it 
through the playground of a local elementary school or down a crowded city 
sidewalk. The chances of an angry misguided individual gaining access to a 
car versus an airplane must be better than a million to one.

Lets look at this same comparison from another angle. Imagine I am standing 
out on the front lawn of a typical suburban home for a few hours. How many 
cars go by and how close do they get to me? How many small airplanes fly 
overhead and how close do they get?  Again the relative risk must be well 
over a million to one.

Should we restrict the use of automobiles?

I read an article recently that described how a cell phone was used as a bomb 
- in this case to kill a known terrorist.

Should we restrict the use of cell phones?

If you jab a person in just the right spot on the neck with a ball-point pen 
you can cause them to bleed to death in just a few seconds.

Should we restrict the use of ball-point pens? Imagine how many people have 
access to ball-point pens!

I would not be opposed to restricting individuals with a history of violent 
crimes from getting flight training. But if we are going to be realistic 
about managing risk we should do the same for automobile licenses. 
Unfortunately none of this would have stopped this kid in Florida from 
performing his act of drama and stupidity.

ANY technology can be used to do harm by people who have the twisted minds to 
do so. Once a person decides to kill or die in order to make a statement or 
gain favor with "God" there is little the rest of us can do.

Paul Klusman
Wichita, KS


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