The “Pennsylvania 2”

I am sure everyone remembers the furor last spring when a plane not only strayed into the ADIZ around Washington DC area but also into the FRZ over the capitol building itself. The media had a field day over it, the PIC of the flight had his licence revoked, and pilots everywhere shook their head in amazement that anyone could be so clueless.

Well, AOPA published an interview with the two ocupants of that flight in their magazine and online (AOPA membership required) and frankly I was amazed at the tone of the article. Rather than portray the flight as careless (or clueless), they try to convince us that it was a simple chain of small mistakes. The student pilot involved does his best to say he had nothing to do with it – what kind of pilot will he make where he cares not about the actions of the PIC? He also says this has convinced him never to fly without a handheld GPS – no, it should convince you to fly using pilotage and the navigational aids certified for use in your craft. Handheld GPS’ are great, I use mine all the time, but it is a backup not an ‘essential’.

I am surprised that AOPA chose this tact, it looks too much like protecting our own rather than exposing the ugliness for all to examine and learn from. ADIZ incursions are 50 a day, air space will only get further restricted if this continues. By saying these are simple mistakes does the rest of us an injustice and only hurts future general aviation. I’d rather see more consequences and people make more of an effort to keep it legal.

In futre I suggest they use TFR Check

One thought on “The “Pennsylvania 2””

  1. I remember the day these yahoos flew into DC. I was arriving at work and could see the f-16s flying over the city and was enjoying the show. However when I later saw the news report I knew the student pilot and his instructor were a couple of morons. I learned to fly in the DC area and it’s not difficult to keep track of where you are. I-70, the Capitol Beltway, the Potomac River, and of all things, the Washington Monument are evident for all to see. I agree with you. GPS is a great thing but pilotage is a basic skill that every pilot must know. These two are making things worse for other pilots and for airports like the College Park Airport and others that are close to DC.

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