Third Party & Independents: Archives

May 09, 2007

At Least Disney Land Is Safe

We are supposed to be protecting ourselves post 9/11, but we have not been doing that good of a job as a piece on ‘Scarborough Country’ showed.

I had not known about this until yesterday, but in 2003 Disney parks in Anaheim, California and Orlando, Florida were given a no-fly zone status. Yup, thats right Disney has had a no-fly zone status since than, similar to that of the White House.

In fact, "Disney is the only commercial operation in the United States with a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week flight ban. It‘s a ban that keeps all aircraft three miles away and 3,000 feet at least above the park." (1)

What's interesting about this is that some of the highest potential terrorist targets, such as LAX do not have such status. And we can assume if LAX does not have this no-fly zone status than most airports across the country do not.

On Scarborough Country they note: "We hired a pilot and a small plane and flew over the airport terminals, fuel tanks and even active runways. Then we headed south to Orange County and flew over another potential terror target, the San Onofre nuclear reactor. There are no flight restrictions here, either." (1)

Our government needs to get it's act together. We shouldn't be worrying about Disney Land as much as we should be worrying about protecting our airports.

Think about what they did on MSNBC, they ran a small plane right over the fuel tanks of LAX and it was legal! But they can't fly over Disney Land? This is nonsense. We need to update our no-fly zones to make them protect us.

1. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18574754/

Posted by Richard Rhodes at May 9, 2007 09:57 PM
Comments
Comment #219952

Wouldn’t it be kinda hard to have no fly zones around airports and still land aircraft there?
The pilot that buzzed the fuel tanks, terminals, and runways was breaking FAA regulations. If they managed to get the number off the plane he could and should get grounded. But then I reckon a terrorist aint worrying about all that being illegal and no fly zones when his intent is murder in the first place.
Disney Land needs a no fly zone. And I need another hole in my head. Again a terrorist aint gonna worry about no fly zones when he has murder on his mind.
Reckon maybe we ought to have fighter aircraft circling these Disney Land and airports to shoot down anyone buzzing these places?

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 9, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #219963

Richard,

Aviation in this country is subject to a great many regulations. Airspace is divided into all sorts of classes, which determine permissible uses. Flying into most areas requires flight plans. Approaching airports such as LAX has to be done at certain altitudes. Whenever I fly with my dad, we have to use constantly updated charts and navigational devices in order not to run afoul of frequently changing restrictions.

Restricting aircraft from airports is equivalent to restricting cars from parking garages.

Nuclear power plants are formidable. Light aircraft simply do not have the mass to penetrate their containment, nor do they have the payload capacity to carry enough explosives.

Here’s a quote from a relevant study:

Given that aircraft size and speed are two crucial elements in the damage equation, a light, general aviation aircraft weighing less than 6,000 pounds traveling at under 300 miles per hour simply lacks the energy to cause significant damage. In comparison, a commercial aircraft like the Boeing 757 weighs upwards of 250,000 pounds and travels at speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour. Most experts agree in the event an aircraft similar in size to a Boeing 757 airliner were to strike a nuclear power plant, in all likelihood, it would be unable to penetrate the outer containment vessel. But, even if it did manage to do so, the reactor vessel, which contains the nuclear fuel, would remain intact, eliminating the threat of public exposure to radioactive materials.

Others have speculated a light aircraft laden with explosives might be used to breach a reactor containment building, again implying this would result in a full-scale core meltdown. Again, the capabilities of light aircraft argue against such an attack being successful. Very few general aviation aircraft have a payload as high as 1,000 pounds, even if flown by a small pilot and carrying minimum fuel. Further, the explosives would be carried in the cabin placing them at a distance from the point of impact. Modern explosives must be detonated, and impact has a small probability of causing detonation. So, even if the terrorist rigged a contact fuse on the nose of the airplane to set off the explosives, there would be several feet between the reactor building and the detonation. That distance would reduce the damage to the point that, even should the containment building be breached, there would be little damage inside (and no aircraft fuel to cause a fire). Again, such an attack would be an exercise in futility as there would be no radiation release and no public involvement.

For reading pleasure, here are the relevant sections of the Federal Register.

Posted by: Gerrold at May 10, 2007 01:18 AM
Comment #219972

Protecting sites is a charade, and illusion, designed to subdue American fears. The true vulnerability for America is her borders and illegal immigration population, some of whom are likely our nation’s enemies, as last weeks busting up of a terrorist ring planning an assault on one of our Army bases, attests.

Security comes from knowing who is in our country, from whence they came, and what they do in the public sector, for example, buying groceries or large amounts of diesel fuel and fertilizer.

As an open society which depends upon legal immigration and personal privacy rights, we can never be completely safe from terrorism. But, too, we are extremely vulnerable when we leave our front and back doors wide open and unsurveilled and have no definitive way of telling who are Americans and who are foreign enemies.

The Democrats and Pres. Bush have no desire to make this nation and her people safer. If they did, they would not be pushing this kind of open border amnesty plan for illegal occupants in our country.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 10, 2007 08:16 AM
Comment #219994

Richard,

I have to agree with Gerrold above. A light aircraft carrying explosives would maybe, maybe breach a nuclear power plant…but what kind of damage could a light aircraft do if it was loaded with explosives and steel ball bearings and suicided in the middle of a crowded amusement park full of children?

Of course, this is all useless anyway. Stop and think.

How long would it take a light aircraft travelling 80 miles an hour to go 3 miles and dive from 3,000 feet AGL?

Now…how long would it take to scramble an F-16 pilot, light up his aircraft, get off the ground and then travel the distance to intercept that light aircraft?

It is without a doubt the light aircraft would do its damage long before any help would get there.

Fly zones…no fly zones…all are useless unless you have 24/7 CAP that can be on the scene and intercept in moments.

Posted by: Jim T at May 10, 2007 11:43 AM
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