By now you have probably seen the headline
from Wednesday evening about 26-year-old Massachusetts terrorist wannabe
Rezwan Ferdaus' plans to use radio controlled aircraft and a small
clan of fellow terrorists to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. According to
reports, the PoS, who precisely fits the description of a White, right-wing Christian
extremist as published by Homeland Security as being the most likely to fit their
profile, had purchased what he thought was 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, three grenades
and six fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles (see
DoJreport). Fredaus also had a ready-to-fly
F-86 jet model airplane delivered to a warehouse, ostensibly for use as a delivery
means for the C-4. As a life-long aircraft modeler, I am very familiar with that
type of model. It is made entirely of styrofoam and uses an electric ducted fan
for propulsion. With only a 34" wingspan, 256 in2 of wing area, and a
normal flying weight of 54 oz (about 3-3/8 lbs), the wing loading is great enough
to require a fairly high airspeed to maintain level flight. The ducted fan unit's
2.8 lbs of static thrust is obviously high enough for an unladened model, but if
even one pound of C-4 (and required triggering mechanism) was added, the airplane
would probably never get off the ground, much less be capable of flying from a launching
place close enough to its intended target to do any damage - so much for his physics
degree from Northeastern University. I'm guessing the idiot does not even know how
to fly radio controlled airplanes, but figured using a jet model would be the best
choice (he has probably never operated an AK-47 either). The same company that makes
the F-86 also makes a few other models that are much more capable of delivering
a good portion of the 25-lb cache of C-4 and and requisite triggering gear. Personally,
rather than arresting the fool at this point, the agents should have let him blow
himself up while screwing with the C-4.
There is an unreported facet of this story
that will almost certainly serve to further restrict freedoms of law-abiding citizens.
For many years, the
of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has been working with the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent radio controlled
model aircraft from being included under the same airspace usage rules as military
and law enforcement unmanned aerial vehicles, in the category of small Unmanned
Aircraft Systems (sUAS). Under the original FAA proposal, all model aircraft would
be regarded no differently than a full-scale Predator drone. As such, every manufacturer
and flier would be under the auspices of the FAA's iron-fisted rulemaking bureaucracy.
Much progress has been made in pushing back against the usurpation of freedoms,
including the assistance of a handful of U.S. senators and congressmen, but now
this incident will probably be just the "crisis" the government needs to force its
hand. Remember the admonishment famously issued by former Chief of Staff (now Chicago
mayor) Rahm Emanuel that "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.
And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do
before." Just what is a "serious crisis?" Anything they want it to be. I'm predicting
that within 2 years I will be required to have a license with photo ID on record
to be able to fly my models.
America is filled with sympathizers of terrorist
groups, including Al Queada, like this scumbag.
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