The increasing harassment of their members by Homeland Security has caused the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to begin a political campaign against the agency.


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Gotta have your KGB: The increasing harassment of their members by Homeland Security has caused the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to begin a political campaign against the agency.

The link above takes you what looks like a fundraising letter sent about by the AOPA to its membership. The significance is that they are centering their campaign around the harassment by Homeland Security, which suggests that this harassment has become a very big issue within this community.

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5 comments

  • It appears the pilots are asserting their Amendment IV Constitutional rights. I applaud them for it. I see this as a similar issue for passengers traveling within the US, which are currently subjected to TSA body scanning devices or hand pat down searches.

    The IV Amendment reads, ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.’

    My interpretation of the current TSA policy, on their security measures for airline passengers, is that they see their searches as being reasonable in light of the fact they are not allowed to profile passengers. I disagree with their policy because they should be searching only those passengers that have been shown to be a risk under the Amendment IV process. However, policy makers have decided these unlawful searches are required and expedient to the commercial airline business, apparently because they do not have the resources and time to search only those passengers who would pose a risk for commercial air travel.

    Therefore current TSA policy is expedient to the government’s interests and not our Constitutional rights. Instead of raising our security as passengers (and for the pilots) the government has been treating all passengers as suspects, effectively lowering the standard of air travel and effectively disregarding our rights under the law.

  • Don

    DHS, TSA, et al are American fascist organizations. 1.5 billion hollow point bullets and counting.

    Add in the militarization of local police and look at the everyday violation of rights by these local police. 107 year old men aren’t safe from them.

  • Flying magazine has been reporting on this for a while now: http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/going-direct/isnt-america
    And there was this piece in the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/annals-of-the-security-state-even-more-airplane-stories/276239/

    The current most-plausible theory is the Feds have some secret interdiction program to nail pilots that may be bringing drugs out of CA and CO. For what it’s worth, that makes sense…but GET A FREAKING WARRANT, BOYS. What the hell happened to being “secure in our persons and property” except when there’s probable cause?

    That’s not really a question, of course. I think we all know the answer to that one.

  • P.S…almost forgot this one: http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/going-direct/pilot-arrested-charged-doing-nothing

    Different cause but similar vein – in this case, a glider pilot riding thermals above a nuke plant (a *great* place for thermals, BTW) is detained for violating a nonexistent “no-fly zone”. Read the story and note one off-the-hook-nuts deputy making noise about shooting it down.

    Good grief.

  • joe

    99.999 percent of these pilots did nothing wrong except get in an aircraft and fly, every once in a while a pilot gets caught with contraband stuff on board, but not often enough to justify warrantless searches, and in the case of the glider pilot, he spent the night in jail! the charges were dropped if he promised not to sue the authority’s.

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