Terrorist Plans to Use R/C Airplane to Attack Pentagon & U.S. Capitol
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 domestic terrorist 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 Academy 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.