Tue, Dec 26, 2006
Schumer Says FAA "Needs To Tighten Up Its Ship"
The New York Post reports 2006 was a bad year when it came to
pilots violating restricted airspace over the city, with the number
of incidents rising 42 percent compared to 2005.
Authorities say 112 pilots violated airspace and/or altitude
restrictions in 2006, up from 79 reported incidents the year
Restrictions around New York range from TFRs in effect when the
UN General Assembly meets, to permanent restrictions on airspace
corridors that govern course and altitude.
The busts weren't limited to private pilots, either. Over a
two-day period in September, military jets intercepted a State
Police chopper that violated a presidential TFR. Within 24 hours, a
pilot for the Middlesex County (NJ) Mosquito Extermination
Commission was chased by a US Customs helicopter.
The news gave one lawmaker, already known for his anti-GA
stance, fodder to unleash new attacks.
"It may be five years after 9/11, but we can't let our guard
down. The FAA ought to tighten up its ship immediately," Senator
Charles Schumer said.
The year's most prominent New York-area aircraft incident --
October's crash of a small plane piloted by Yankees pitcher Cory
Lidle into a Manhattan highrise -- appears to have occurred as
Lidle and his flight instructor attempted to manuever away from
Class B airspace over LaGuardia.
As Aero-News reported, the
FAA enacted new restrictions on low altitude flights of fixed-wing
aircraft around Manhattan shortly after that crash. The agency now
requires all pilots to be in contact with air traffic controllers
when flying through the East River Corridor.
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