*click the site above to see some pictures taken from the Morris Airport Rededication on Saturday, June 16th of 2007
"Flying high into a new era
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2007
By Philip Drown
"Top photo, preparations for Saturday’s Morris Airport renaming celebration continues. The airport will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” to honor the late Morris flyer many consider the backbone of local aviation.
Top photo, preparations for Saturday’s Morris Airport renaming celebration continues. The airport will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” to honor the late Morris flyer many consider the backbone of local aviation.
There will be plenty to see and do this Saturday for kids and adults at the Morris Municipal Airport.
The airport, which will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” during a ceremony honoring the late aviator, will have an abundance of events and activities surrounding the rededication.
“It should be just a fun-filled day,” said Keith Davison, Chair of the Airport Advisory Committee.
The activities will begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the Morris Firefighters, which will last until noon.
There will also be a skydiver dropping by, live music in the airplane hangar, lots of aircraft on display, and plenty of chances for people to get a taste of the wild blue yonder.
“If the weather is decent there will be balloon rides,” said Davison.
“The flying club will be giving airplane rides,” said Dick Vanmoorlehem, a member of the Airport Advisory Committee and one of the organizers of the events, “and, of course, we will have the B-25 Miss Mitchell bomber there for those that have reserved a space on the flight.”
According to Vanmoorlehem, response from the community to reserve a space to ride on the B-25 was immediate. The committee needed at least 10 people to sign up and pay the $350 ticket price in order to make bringing the aircraft to Morris worthwhile. As people heard about the possibility of rides on the craft, they started calling right away, he said.
“There has been lots of interest,” said Vanmoorlehem. “We have well over the needed number of people and the B-25 will be here. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it.”
In addition to the B-25, there will be several other WWII warbirds present to view. On display will be a P-40 Warhawk, a T6 Advanced Trainer, and a P-51 Mustang, widely considered to be the “ultimate warbird”.
According to Vanmoorlehem, having the B-25 and these other WWII aircraft at the Morris dedication is a genuine privilege. “Eventually, in 10 years, there will be no such thing as a ride in this bomber. It will be in a museum somewhere.”
Also present will be crop dusters, a UPS cargo plane, a brand new model from the Cessna Company’s line of aircraft, and pilots from a 100 mile radius flying in for the festivities.
All of these events and activities will bookend an 11 a.m. ceremony rededicating the airport and renaming it after Charlie Schmidt.
Charlie Schmidt, who died in 2006 at the age of 90, was a staple of Morris aviation history. A native of Morris and a pilot since 1942, Schmidt is remembered by many as “Mr. Aviation”.
“He was the founder of modern aviation in Morris as we know it,” said Vanmoorlehem. “He taught a lot of people in this area how to fly.”
Schmidt taught flying in the Morris area from the grass landing strip on his farm for 20 years, did crop spraying for 10 years, was a founding member of the Minnesota Flying Farmers. He was named Flying Farmer Man of the Year in 1974. Renaming the airport in honor of his legacy to Morris aviation seemed fitting to the Airport Advisory Committee.
“We’d like to see a lot of people there,” said Davison, “to show them the importance of the airport to this community.”
According to Davison, many those who fly in and out of the airport understand its importance to the community. But, those who do not fly themselves often have no idea just how much it is used.
“A number of doctors who do not live in Morris fly in,” he said. “Several businesses have airplanes of their own or use charter flights, UPS comes in with packages regularly. It’s important for business.”
The airport has come a long way since its early days and has undergone a series of upgrades and improvements over the years.
“Around 1981 or 1982 we did the first major work,” said City Manager Ed Larson. “We extended the runway to 3,400 feet. A couple of years later we built a new hanger.”
In 2006, the City of Morris received $363,356 from the Federal Aviation Administration to make improvements.
“We extended the runway to 4,000 feet to accommodate larger craft, built a six stall T-hanger, and installed a new fuel distribution system,” said Larson. “We also put in more up to date aviation technology.”
“I remember when this airport had a grass runway,” said Davison, who has been a pilot himself for more than 50 years. Today, there is a comfortable lounge where people can meet with their pilots and high tech aviation tools are in place for navigation and guidance of incoming aircraft, said Davison.
For Davison, and many others, this Saturday’s events are much anticipated and Davison hopes the public turns out for a good time.
“We’ll have an aircraft parked by Dr. Hauger’s office on Friday, for advertising,” said Davison. “That’ll be a real novelty.”
A chance to relive Doolittle’s derring-do
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Saturday, June 02, 2007
By Philip Drown
Organizers of the June 16 dedication ceremony at the Morris Airport are working to bring in a B-25 Bomber similar to the plane above. The bombers were instrumental in the U.S. victory over Japan in World War II. Photo courtesy Michael O’Leary.
To aficionados of aviation and World War II history, the North American B-25 “Miss Mitchell” Bomber will forever represent memories of courage, overcoming impossible odds, and a daring campaign that would restore American morale in the dark days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
An original B-25 Mitchell is expected to be part of the events surrounding the upcoming rededication and renaming of the Morris Airport on June 16.
Anyone interested and able will have the opportunity to take a one-hour flight on the bomber and, for a short time, walk in the footsteps of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle and the men under his command.
The story of the B-25 Mitchell and Doolittle is well-known and was first memorialized in the book and subsequent film “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo.”
The famous Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942 involved a crew of 80 men and 16 highly modified B-25 Mitchell bombers armed for strikes against Tokyo and Nagoya. The bombers were launched from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier deep inside enemy controlled waters 600 miles east of Japan.
The campaign was important in that it was the first U.S. air strike of WWII against the Japanese home islands, and it caused Japanese forces to recall several fighter units back to the islands for defense. The raid embarrassed the Japanese high command and demonstrated that the home islands were vulnerable to Allied air attack.
When news of the raid reached the American home front, morale rose from the despair it experienced in the months that followed Pearl Harbor.
The inspiration of Doolittle’s mission and a love for classic aircraft are what motivates the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, which will bring the “Miss Mitchell” to Morris, to fly craft like the B-25. While this B-25 is not one of those flown on Doolittle’s mission, it is one of the originals in use at that time.
According to the CAF Web site, “It is the mission of the Commemorative Air Force to restore and maintain historic warbirds in flyable condition so that they can tell the story of those who have served our nation in war and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. The "Miss Mitchell" is one of only about 34 B-25s still flying today.”
The Morris Airport Advisory Committee invited the CAF to be part of the June 16 rededication events.
Dick Vanmoorlehem, a Morris resident and member of the Advisory Committee, discovered the CAF while “calling around looking for people with World War II fighters” to participate. He was immediately impressed and excited.
According to Vanmoorlehem, passengers will enjoy take-off while safely belted in Aviation Administration approved seats, but will later be free to walk around the plane and explore the recesses of the craft.
According to the CAF, passengers can “try out the 50 caliber waist gunner positions as well as climb into the tail gunner's position for a 280 degree view of the countryside.
“Passengers in the front of the plane can watch the pilots from the navigator's seat and crawl up to the bombadier's position for a view and look through the crosshairs of the famous Norden bombsight that was top secret during the war.”
According to Vanmoorlehem, as exciting as this opportunity is for the airport dedication events, it is not yet guaranteed. In order for the airport committee to bring the CAF and their B-25 to the June 16 dedication, they need a minimum of 10 interested people to reserve a place on the plane.
The B-25 requires 400 gallons of fuel for the flights. At current prices, doing a tour like this is not cheap, Vanmoorlehem said.
While the committee would prefer to underwrite the expenses, it is not realistic and passengers must pay for their own ticket, he said. The full experience, which includes a preflight briefing, engine run-up and flight time, will cost $350 per passenger.
The airport dedication will have other events as well.
“There will be several other warbirds on display,” said Vanmoorlehem. “The flying club will be giving free rides, there will be a UPS cargo plane, and Superior Industries will have a large twin engine turbine plane there.”
There will also be a ceremony honoring Charlie Schmidt, after whom the airport is being renamed, and the Morris Firefighters will host a breakfast.
Anyone interested in taking a ride on the B-25 should reserve their space no later than June 10 by contacting Dick Vanmoorlehem at (320) 589-4148 or the Morris Municipal Airport at (320) 589-2083.
Above is an overhead photo of the B-25 Bomber made famous by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s raids over Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War II.
At right, a B-25 takes off from the deck of an aircraft carrier as some of the ship’s personnel look on. Organizers of a June 16 dedication ceremony at the Morris Airport are working to bring in a B-25 for the event. The plane will not be one that took part in Doolittle’s missions, but the “Miss Mitchell” is an original model that was in use during that time. "
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In midst of the uproar over new airport security measures, a Hopkins woman says her experience with Transportation Security Administration agents made her feel like a criminal.
Betty Clark of Hopkins doesn’t look disabled, but she has diabetes and a condition that prevents her from feeling her feet. So, because she needs shoes to be more stable, Clark could not stand sit while being scanned.
When Clark was told she needed a pat down, she refused and was ordered out of the airport.
"I’m 61 years old being walked out of the airport like a criminal and I done nothing except go through the scanner and not have the pat down,” Clark said.
After talking with a supervisor, she finally agreed to the pat down, which she found to be extremely aggressive.
"They feel under your breasts. They literally put their hand up you when they say ‘spread your legs.’ I just know it’s a humiliating experience,” said Clark.
Clark also wants people to know that she understands the need for security.
"I am from New York. I certainly understand 9/11. This just does not seem to make any sense,” she said. “The scanner didn’t work and will probably never work for someone who is disabled.”
The TSA says that anyone who cannot stand still enough for the scan will have to go through a pat down. But they do say that anyone with a disability or special needs should talk with TSA agents before doing the scanner.
Clark is hoping that next time she will be able to go through a metal detector, because she can pass through those with no problems. "
They don’t work anyway, since anything can be hidden in a body cavity or under the skin (or perhaps under fake skin too). The Israelis won’t touch them. However, they are making money for Chertoff, the second head of DHS, whose company is lobbying for them. (The machines themselves are made in Malaysia but the company that produces them, Rapiscan, got federal stimulus money. Obviously cash is more important than civil rights or common sense.) I hope more and more people protest this worthless abuse of our bodies.
'...RENO, Nev. (AP) — The death toll rose to nine Saturday in an air race crash in Reno as investigators determined that several spectators were killed on impact as the 1940s-model plane appeared to lose a piece of its tail before slamming like a missile into a crowded tarmac.
Moments earlier, thousands had arched their necks skyward and watched the planes speed by just a few hundred feet off the ground before some noticed a strange gurgling engine noise from above. Seconds later, the P-51 Mustang dubbed the Galloping Ghost pitched oddly upward, twirled and took an immediate nosedive into a section of white VIP box seats.
The plane, flown by a 74-year-old veteran racer and Hollywood stunt pilot, disintegrated in a ball of dust, debris and bodies as screams of "Oh my God!" spread through the crowd...
"Reno, Nevada (CNN) -- The number of people killed when a pilot lost control of his vintage plane and crashed into spectators during an air race over Reno, Nevada, rose to nine Saturday.
Seven people died on the tarmac, including the pilot, and two more died in hospitals, Reno police said. Officials had previously put the death toll at three. Close to 60 were injured in the incident, which occurred Friday.
National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said investigators are looking at whether the plane's apparently damaged elevator trim tab -- whose breaking apart was captured in a photograph -- played a role in the nosedive crash. Authorities do not know why the aircraft went down.
"We're aware of that, and in fact, a component has been recovered in the area where it was observed, but it's critical at this point to note that we have not identified this component," Rosekind told reporters. "It will be examined, so we don't know what the component is and whether it came from this particular aircraft."
A full investigation could take six to nine months, he said...
"..A single-engine airplane crashed Saturday at an air show in Martinsburg, West Virginia, a spokesman there said.
The T-28 military training aircraft crashed at the Thunder over the Blue Ridge air show, Lt. Nate Muellerof the 167th Airlift Wing said. He had no information on the circumstances of the crash or on injuries.
The aircraft was part of the Trojan Horsemen aircraft demo team, according to The Journal of Martinsburg, West Virginia.
The crash occurred during a stunt in which two T-28s were flying belly-to-belly, according to The Journal. The plane crashed in a fireball in front of hangars, The Journal reported.
"A Boeing 787 jet took corporate loyalty to new heights when it "drew" the letters "787" followed by the company's logo across several thousand miles of North American skies. The etching of the letters and logo, while not visible from the ground, can be seen in the flight path plans.
"Boeing's 19 hour test flight of the 787 Dreamliner was a great opportunity to test the limits of the 787, FlightAware's flight tracking, and the FAA's flight plan system," FlightAware Chief Executive Officer Daniel Baker tells Yahoo News. "It was the longest domestic flight we've ever handled and it required three FAA flight plans to accomplish, not to mention dozens of people coordinating the flight overnight."
FlightAware, which provides live flight tracking, coordinated with Boeing on delivering the unusual and spectacular images.
In the above image, you can see the 787 Dreamliner's flight path, which was first reported by Gizmodo. The flight path was meticulously designed and coordinated with airports across the country in or to avoid violating restricted airspace.
"This wasn't a joy ride," wrote Boeing's vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth on the company's blog. "It was an 18 hour Maximum ETOPS (Extended Operations) Duration flight test for a 787-8 with GE engines. Our team coordinated with the many air traffic control centers, choosing the routing to avoid restricted airspace. In the end, the flight covered over 9,000 nautical miles." The path stretched between Iowa and Washington State.
Boeing conducted another sky drawing back in August, reports Wired, when the 747-8 Freighter outlined a "747" over several states. The BBC reported on the Dreamliner's maiden commercial voyage last October, traveling from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
It's an exciting time for air travel enthusiasts. Billionaire developer Paul Allen recently unveiled designs for his company's Stratosphere plane, which is designed to take passengers on commercial voyages above Earth's orbit.
Other popular Yahoo! News stories:
• Woolly mammoth video a hoax
• Shark devours another shark whole (Photo)
• Diving Dogs: Underwater dog photography reveals news animal perspectives (Photos)"
Budgie the Little Helicopter - Intro Theme (closed captions)
"Intro to the 1994 animated TV series Budgie the Little Helicopter, created by Fred Wolf Films and The Sleepy Kid Company, 39 episodes were created.
Budgie is a young and cheeky helicopter that works in Harefield Airfield, creating mischief and general trouble for the head helicopter Lionel.
The series begins two new aircharf are introduced to the airfield, Pippa a passenger plane and heavy-duty American copter Chuck.
The series was based on characters created by the Duchess of York, in a series of picture books. It was directed by Gary Blatchford and produced by Michael Algar.
The current rights of the show are owned by Entertainment Rights."
1955 Cessna, a plane that a friend (Kathleen S.) told me about
Liberty University Aviation: A Word From Capt. Ernie Rogers.
"This video invites you to listen to the testimony of Captain Ernie Rogers, USN (Ret.). Captain Rogers is the Chair of the Department of Aviation at Liberty University, and he strongly believes in how his department teaches about flying while providing a Christ-centered environment."
"Uploaded on Aug 30, 2009
DID THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION covertly blow-up the World Trade Center, ignite the Pentagon, and shoot down United Flight 93 to pave the way for a new American empire? The answer is "YES"
News & Politics
Government ADMITS secretly SPRAYING POISON on us!!! Also admit secret tests hundreds of times!
"Uploaded on Feb 1, 2009
PLEASE RATE, COMMENT, AND SUBSCRIBE! Download this and any other youtube or google video quickly and easily using the FREE player from http://www.realplayer.com/ DON'T JUST WATCH THIS, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Most Americans HAVE NO CLUE that the Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE, FOR PROFIT CORPORATION! DON'T BELIEVE ME, LOOK IT UP FOR YOURSELF AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! JFK, Ron Paul, Woodrow Wilson, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and many others have spoken against the horrible Federal Reserve system we now have which is unnecessary because our government can print the money without paying interest to the private for profit Federal Reserve. While our government can print money for free, the people who own the private Federal Reserve have made trillions off of creating the US money. They loan money to the US government at interest, when our government could print it without them for free. JFK tried to get rid of the Federal Reserve by printing United States Notes because he realized that if private super rich bankers own the Federal Reserve and they loan money to the government, they essentially own the government. The Federal Reserve is the MAJOR reason why this country has declined financially! The Federal Reserve can be abolished and the government can do the same thing by printing money with United States Notes instead of the Federal Reserve Notes. This will save the country trillions! Watch documentaries like "Money Masters" or "Freedom to Fascism" for more detailed info on the BIGGEST FINANCIAL SCAM ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE in History! The Federal Reserve is THE MAJOR REASON why the poor is increasing in numbers and the rich continue to get richer! Stop wasting time with things that don't matter like sports or tv. Expose the truth of the corruption going on, and do something about it!
" Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Barium Poisoning
The possibility of barium poisoning is a reality among people working in and living near heavy industrial sites such as chemical plants, factories that produce rubber products and other such places. That is because barium is one of the components used in manufacturing the products created in these plants.
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The Space Preservation Act was introduced in 2001, 2002, and 2005 in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) to prevent the weaponization of space..."
HAARP & CHEMTRAILS HR 2977 !! SPACE PRESERVATION ACT
"WASHINGTON (AP) — Heads up: Drones are going mainstream.
Civilian cousins of the unmanned military aircraft that have tracked and killed terrorists in the Middle East and Asia are in demand by police departments, border patrols, power companies, news organizations and others wanting a bird's-eye view that's too impractical or dangerous for conventional planes or helicopters to get.
Along with the enthusiasm, there are qualms.
Drones overhead could invade people's privacy. The government worries they could collide with passenger planes or come crashing down to the ground, concerns that have slowed more widespread adoption of the technology.
Despite that, pressure is building to give drones the same access as manned aircraft to the sky at home.
"It's going to be the next big revolution in aviation. It's coming," says Dan Elwell, the Aerospace Industries Association's vice president for civil aviation.
Some impetus comes from the military, which will bring home drones from Afghanistan and wants room to test and use them. In December, Congress gave the Federal Aviation Administration six months to pick half a dozen sites around the country where the military and others can fly unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of regular air traffic, with the aim of demonstrating they're safe.
The Defense Department says the demand for drones and their expanding missions requires routine and unfettered access to domestic airspace, including around airports and cities. In a report last October, the Pentagon called for flights first by small drones both solo and in groups, day and night, expanding over several years. Flights by large and medium-sized drones would follow in the latter half of this decade.
Other government agencies want to fly drones, too, but they've been hobbled by an FAA ban unless they first receive case-by-case permission. Fewer than 300 waivers were in use at the end of 2011, and they often include restrictions that severely limit the usefulness of the flights. Businesses that want to put drones to work are out of luck; waivers are only for government agencies.
But that's changing.
Congress has told the FAA that the agency must allow civilian and military drones to fly in civilian airspace by September 2015. This spring, the FAA is set to take a first step by proposing rules that would allow limited commercial use of small drones for the first time.
Until recently, agency officials were saying there were too many unresolved safety issues to give drones greater access. Even now FAA officials are cautious about describing their plans and they avoid discussion of deadlines.
"The thing we care about is doing that in an orderly and safe way and finding the appropriate ... balance of all the users in the system," Michael Huerta, FAA's acting administrator, told a recent industry luncheon in Washington. "Let's develop these six sites — and we will be doing that — where we can develop further data, further testing and more history on how these things actually operate."
Drones come in all sizes, from the high-flying Global Hawk with its 116-foot wingspan to a hummingbird-like drone that weighs less than an AA battery and can perch on a window ledge to record sound and video. Lockheed Martin has developed a fake maple leaf seed, or "whirly bird," equipped with imaging sensors, that weighs less than an ounce.
Potential civilian users are as varied as the drones themselves.
Power companies want them to monitor transmission lines. Farmers want to fly them over fields to detect which crops need water. Ranchers want them to count cows.
Journalists are exploring drones' newsgathering potential. The FAA is investigating whether The Daily, a digital publication of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., used drones without permission to capture aerial footage of floodwaters in North Dakota and Mississippi last year. At the University of Nebraska, journalism professor Matt Waite has started a lab for students to experiment with using a small, remote-controlled helicopter.
"Can you cover news with a drone? I think the answer is yes," Waite said.
The aerospace industry forecasts a worldwide deployment of almost 30,000 drones by 2018, with the United States accounting for half of them.
"The potential ... civil market for these systems could dwarf the military market in the coming years if we can get access to the airspace," said Ben Gielow, government relations manager for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry trade group.
The hungriest market is the nation's 19,000 law enforcement agencies.
Customs and Border Patrol has nine Predator drones mostly in use on the U.S.-Mexico border, and plans to expand to 24 by 2016. Officials say the unmanned aircraft have helped in the seizure of more than 20 tons of illegal drugs and the arrest of 7,500 people since border patrols began six years ago.
Several police departments are experimenting with smaller drones to photograph crime scenes, aid searches and scan the ground ahead of SWAT teams. The Justice Department has four drones it loans to police agencies.
"We look at this as a low-cost alternative to buying a helicopter or fixed-wing plane," said Michael O'Shea, the department's aviation technology program manager. A small drone can cost less than $50,000, about the price of a patrol car with standard police gear.
Like other agencies, police departments must get FAA waivers and follow much the same rules as model airplane hobbyists: Drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, stay below an altitude of 400 feet, keep away from airports and always stay within sight of the operator. The restrictions are meant to prevent collisions with manned aircraft.
Even a small drone can be "a huge threat" to a larger plane, said Dale Wright, head of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's safety and technology department. "If an airliner sucks it up in an engine, it's probably going to take the engine out," he said. "If it hits a small plane, it could bring it down."
Controllers want drone operators to be required to have instrument-rated pilot licenses — a step above a basic private pilot license. "We don't want the Microsoft pilot who has never really flown an airplane and doesn't know the rules of how to fly," Wright said.
Military drones designed for battlefields haven't had to meet the kind of rigorous safety standards required of commercial aircraft.
"If you are going to design these things to operate in the (civilian) airspace you need to start upping the ante," said Tom Haueter, director of the National Transportation Safety Board's aviation safety office. "It's one thing to operate down low. It's another thing to operate where other airplanes are, especially over populated areas."
Even with FAA restrictions, drones are proving useful in the field.
Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office in Colorado can launch a 2-pound Draganflyer X6 helicopter from the back of a patrol car. The drone's bird's-eye view cut the manpower needed for a search of a creek bed for a missing person from 10 people to two, said Ben Miller, who runs the drone program. The craft also enabled deputies to alert fire officials to a potential roof collapse in time for the evacuation of firefighters from the building, he said.
The drone could do more if it were not for the FAA's line-of-sight restriction, Miller said. "I don't think (the restriction) provides any extra safety," he said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, north of Houston, used a Department of Homeland Security grant to buy a $300,000, 50-pound ShadowHawk helicopter drone for its SWAT team. The drone has a high-powered video camera and an infrared camera that can spot a person's thermal image in the dark.
"Public-safety agencies are beginning to see this as an invaluable tool for them, just as the car was an improvement over the horse and the single-shot pistol was improved upon by the six-shooter," said Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel, who runs the Montgomery drone program.
The ShadowHawk can be equipped with a 40 mm grenade launcher and a 12-guage shotgun, according to its maker, Vanguard Defense Industries of Conroe, Texas. The company doesn't sell the armed version in the United States, although "we have had interest from law-enforcement entities for deployment of nonlethal munitions from the aircraft," Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said.
The possibility of armed police drones someday patrolling the sky disturbs Terri Burke, executive director of the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"The Constitution is taking a back seat so that boys can play with their toys," Burke said. "It's kind of scary that they can use a laptop computer to zap people from the air."
A recent ACLU report said allowing drones greater access takes the country "a large step closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which focuses on civil liberties threats involving new technologies, sued the FAA recently, seeking disclosure of which agencies have been given permission to use drones. FAA officials declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about the lawsuit.
Industry officials said privacy concerns are overblown.
"Today anybody— the paparazzi, anybody — can hire a helicopter or a (small plane) to circle around something that they're interested in and shoot away with high-powered cameras all they want," said Elwell, the aerospace industry spokesman. "I don't understand all the comments about the Big Brother thing."
AP Television producer Thomas Ritchie contributed to this report."
".. Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Air passengers should be made aware of the health risks of airport body screenings and governments must explain any decision to expose the public to higher levels of cancer-causing radiation, an inter-agency report said.
Pregnant women and children should not be subject to scanning, even though the radiation dose from body scanners is “extremely small,” said the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety report, which is restricted to the agencies concerned and not meant for public circulation. The group includes the European Commission, International Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Energy Agency and the World Health Organization.
A more accurate assessment about the health risks of the screening won’t be possible until governments decide whether all passengers will be systematically scanned or randomly selected, the report said. Governments must justify the additional risk posed to passengers, and should consider “other techniques to achieve the same end without the use of ionizing radiation.”
President Barack Obama has pledged $734 million to deploy airport scanners that use x-rays and other technology to detect explosives, guns and other contraband. The U.S. and European countries including the U.K. have been deploying more scanners at airports after the attempted bombing on Christmas Day of a Detroit-bound Northwest airline flight.
"There is little doubt that the doses from the backscatter x-ray systems being proposed for airport security purposes are very low," Health Protection Agency doctor Michael Clark said by phone from Didcot, England. "The issue raised by the report is that even though doses from the systems are very low, they feel there is still a need for countries to justify exposures.”
A backscatter x-ray is a machine that can render a three- dimensional image of people by scanning them for as long as 8 seconds, the report says. The technology has also raised privacy issues in countries including Germany because it yields images of the naked body.
The Committee cited the IAEA’s 1996 Basic Safety Standards agreement, drafted over three decades, that protects people from radiation. Frequent exposure to low doses of radiation can lead to cancer and birth defects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Most of the scanners deliver less radiation than a passenger is likely to receive from cosmic rays while airborne, the report said. Scanned passengers may absorb from 0.1 to 5 microsieverts of radiation compared with 5 microsieverts on a flight from Dublin to Paris and 30 microsieverts between Frankfurt and Bangkok, the report said. A sievert is a unit of measure for radiation.
European Union regulators plan to finish a study in April on the effects of scanning technology on travelers’ privacy and health. Amsterdam, Heathrow and Manchester are among European airports that have installed the devices or plan to do so.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has said that it ordered 150 scanners from OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan unit and will buy an additional 300 imaging devices this year. The agency currently uses 40 machines, which cost $130,000 to $170,000 each, produced by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. at 19 airports including San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington D.C. "
Body Scanners Linked to Cancer?
"NaturalNews) For several years now, air travelers flying in and out of American airports have been forced to endure increasing amounts of unconstitutional abuse, harassment, and embarrassment at the hands of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of presidential candidate and Texas Representative Ron Paul, wants to reverse this horrific descent into tyranny by putting an immediate end to the agency, having recently launched a campaign to End the TSA.
Sen. Paul’s End the TSA initiative is the first major effort to date to eliminate an agency whose entire existence is based on one of the biggest government scams in American history, the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Created as part of former President George W. Bush’s obscene Patriot Act, which effectively discarded Americans’ constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism, the TSA has ironically evolved into one of the most threatening terrorist organizations on American soil today.
As reported by Paul Joseph Watson over at InfoWars.com, Sen. Paul recently sent an announcement about his End the TSA bill via the Campaign for Liberty mailing list. And with this announcement, he included a petition link for liberty advocates to express support for the bill, which you can access here: http://www.chooseliberty.org/tsa_sign.aspx?pid=0501n
“The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane,” wrote Sen. Paul in a recent statement. “It’s time to END the TSA and get the government’s hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.”
Among TSA’s many abhorrent violations of personal liberty over the years are the following extreme cases, all of which occurred just in 2011:
*A TSA screener at Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, La., conducted an “intense” full-body pat down on a six year old girl, which caused her to cry. The young girl was forced to spread her arms and legs while the TSA screener sexually assaulted her by touching her “sensitive areas” (http://news.travel.aol.com).
*TSA screeners at Detroit Metro Airport in Michigan ignored a bladder cancer survivor’s warning that he was wearing a colostomy bag. TSA screeners carelessly broke the bag, which forced the retired special education teacher to board the plane crying and covered in his own urine (http://www.msnbc.msn.com).
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
*A TSA screener at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York subjected an 85-year-old woman to a strip search after she indicated she could not go through the naked body scanner because of her defibrillator. The strip search resulted in the woman getting a painful gash on her leg that left her bleeding (http://www.naturalnews.com).
These are just a few of the many, many cases of outrageous abuse against innocent American travelers, in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant or probable cause (http://www.archives.gov).
The time is NOW to End the TSA
With the so-called “War on Terror” having officially ended, according to a recent Obama Administration announcement (http://www.naturalnews.com/035666_war_on_terror_Al_Qaida_Obama.html), there is no better time to officially end the federal government’s war on terror against the American people via TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.
Be sure to sign Sen. Rand Paul’s End the TSA petition at:
Sources for this article include:
Don't Touch My Junk (the TSA Hustle) song + video by Michael Adams
"Don't Touch My Junk takes aim at the TSA with its obscene pat-downs and naked body scanners now installed at airports across the USA. Written by Mike Adams (the Health Ranger), a strong advocate of freedom and civil liberties, this song is based on a true story by a traveler named John Tyner who told the TSA, "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested."
Free download of the MP3 music file at www.NaturalNews.com/music" Rap Video Glorifies TSA Groping in ‘Sexy’ Patdown Fantasy
May 8, 2012
"A Texas congressman is at loggerheads with the Transportation Security Administration over a pat-down last week that he says "hurt my privates."
"Freshman Rep. Francisco Canseco, R-Texas, said the San Antonio Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer handled that sensitive moment of the screening process roughly, causing him pain," writes FOX News Latino, one of several media outlets reporting on the incident.
MORE TSA NEWS: TSA defends pat-down of 4-year-old at Kansas airport
USA TODAY: TSA screeners charged with drug trafficking at LAX
"As he was moving up my leg, he moved his hand aggressively up to my crotch and he hurt me," Canseco adds to the Politico. "The natural reaction is when someone goes for your crotch and it hurts, you're going to pull back — and my right arm came down and moved away his hand briskly."
Canseco's response didn't sit well with the officer, who told the congressman he himself may have been "assaulted" with the brush-away.
Politico reports "it took 20 minutes for police to untangle the spat, but no charges were filed and no citations were issued."
However, that didn't end Canseco's run-ins with the TSA. He was again selected for additional screening during another trip this week. Canseco thinks the incidents are related, though the TSA says both checks were random and part of the normal security process.
Regardless, Canseco is speaking out. He says he understands the need to be vigilant on airport security matters, but says the agency needs to find a way to put fliers through that process in a more dignified manner.
"I'm seeing firsthand what happens," Canseco says to KSAT TV of San Antonio, making reference to passenger complaints about the TSA. "What happened to me probably happens 10, 20 times a day to a lot of good citizens. You feel that your dignity is being assaulted, you feel like you're being assaulted. And it's not right, especially (when) you see 4-year-old children being patted down and searched out or 80-year-old ladies."
Conseco adds to the Houston Chronicle:
There are other ways of security airways from terrorists without forcing people to make such sacrifices, which I believe we in the Congress should look into."
" SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- Life Magazine called him one of the top five test pilots in the U.S. His illustrious career extended into his eighties, well beyond the time most retire from the grueling physical demands of high-performance jets.
Russell O'Quinn in the cockpit
“I knew what I wanted to be at the age of five,” says Russell O’Quinn, the internationally recognized test pilot and aircraft designer. As a child during the Great Depression, his father decided to re-roof their house, which was under the final approach to a local airport.
Since Russell’s mother was away, his father decided on a creative way to look after the lad while he worked. “He took a hammer and nailed the seat of my pants to the roof,” Russell recalls. “A 10-penny nail is a very effective babysitter.” He spent an afternoon watching planes fly overhead, which began his love affair with flying.
As a teen, he begged his parents for flying lessons, but they were afraid of flying and refused. When Russell got a job at the airport as a “grease monkey,” he worked out a clever trade. He received free flying lessons on Saturday mornings in exchange for other work. “I agreed not to spend any money on flying lessons and I didn’t,” he notes. “I was learning to be devious and legalistic at an early age.”
Eighteen months later, he got his license to fly. “The mistake I made was the day I got my private license I decided to celebrate by buzzing the house,” he recalls. “Somehow my parents knew who it was.” Grounded for six months, he continued to press the issue with his parents until they relented and allowed him to continue flying.
A Hollywood movie, “Test Pilot,” starring Spencer Tracey, Myrna Loy, and Clark Gable stole his heart and planted a seed for his future course. “I went to see that movie 100 times,” he estimates, but he wasn’t sure how to achieve his goal.
Then he heard about a National Aerobatic Contest held each year, where the best pilots displayed their skills. “I figured if I could get good enough to compete, that would be a major stepping stone into aviation.” Russell began to practice eight-point slow rolls and other maneuvers. But, his parents happened to drive their car underneath one of his aerobatic displays. Horrified, they grounded him again.
After Russell graduated from high school, he stayed with relatives in Oklahoma during the summer. “I had one weird aunt who did strange things like pray out loud before she ate meals,” he says. She also attended church several times a week, which seemed odd to the young man.
“My parents were fine moral people, but there wasn’t time for church in my family,” Russell notes. “We went to church maybe once a year. This made this woman terrifying to me.”
“I was afraid she was going to corner me and pour religion down my throat,” he adds.
Russell stayed as far away from her as possible, but one day she cornered him with some advice. “If you want to amount to anything in your profession, you should go to college and get an aeronautical engineering degree,” she suggested.
Then she dangled a carrot. “If you go to college, I’ll pay the first year’s room, board, and tuition.”
It was an offer he couldn’t refuse, but he didn’t realize she had already selected a small Christian college in the Ozarks as part of the deal. After he got into his dorm room, he went out to explore the campus. “As I was walking along I ran into a bunch of nuts carrying Bibles,” he recalls. “Then I knew my aunt betrayed me and I had fallen into a hotbed of religion.”
But by 2:00 a.m. he found at least a dozen other young men who had been “conned” into attending Christian school. “Instead of leaving, we decided to form a club and see what kind of devilment we could create.”
His aunt made one critical mistake in her plan. She gave Russell the entire year’s college money in advance. He discovered he could buy a war surplus army training aircraft for about half of what his aunt gave him in cash. He bought the plane, paid the first half of his college expenses, and decided to “let the second half worry about itself.”
The college had a small, unused airstrip at the foot of the campus, which Russell decided to put to good use. However, buying the fuel for his plane with his remaining funds didn’t fit into his plan. As he began to run short of cash, he modified the engine of his plane to run on automotive fuel, and then siphoned gas from state roadwork vehicles that sat unattended on the weekends.
Russell held off as long as possible from taking a required class at the school – Bible. With a push from the administration, he enrolled and sat in the back. After a few weeks, he received an invitation to the instructor’s home for dinner.
“I could tell he cared about me,” Russell says. “He took time from his busy schedule to talk to me, so I decided to listen.”
After dinner, they began to talk in the professor’s study. “Sooner or later you will take a course that deals with the origins of the universe,” the instructor began. “After studying this subject, I came to the conclusion there are only two basic premises behind it. One holds there was a cataclysmic explosion eons ago and through evolution everything we see came about. The other holds there is an almighty, powerful God who created the heavens and earth.
“As I studied the sciences and saw the design, creativity, cohesiveness and power, I came to the conclusion somebody had to be behind all this,” he added. “I became aware of a word that describes evolution, and that word is ‘accident.’
“I could not reconcile what I learned in the sciences with the word accident, so I began to believe there is a God,” he said.
Then the professor began to talk about Jesus, someone Russell had only known in a profane way. “He performed a work so matchless it allowed a way for man to find his way back to God,” he concluded.
As the professor walked Russell to the front door he said, “I want you to know my wife and I care about you and we’ve been praying for you.”
Russell pondered the professor’s words in his heart, but continued his dual educational pursuits – flying, along with his regular studies, trying to stay a step ahead of the campus authorities.
One of Russell’s friends got interested in flying, and Russell began to train him. When he became proficient in the aircraft, the day arrived for his friend’s first solo flight. “We inspected the aircraft,” Russell recalls. “I helped him on with his parachute. I watched him strap in and go through the start procedure.”
Russell tapped his friend on the shoulder, then got off the wing and watched his trainee taxi away. Once in the air, his friend attempted an aerobatic maneuver he watched Russell perform in the past. “At about 500 feet he lost control of the airplane, pitched over, and drove straight into the ground at about 150 miles per hour.”
It was an awful spectacle to witness. “I had never seen death before,” he says. “It hit me like a runaway freight train that I was responsible. I’ll never forget that day.”
Nothing in Russell’s past had prepared him to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude. “For death I had no answer whatsoever.”
He went back to his room, locked the door, and got down on his knees. “I didn’t know how to pray, so all I could do is cry out, ‘God, what’s happened to me today is too great for me to bear.”
Then he remembered a formal pray he heard in his professor’s class, which he repeated. “Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner. Save me for Jesus Christ’s sake."
In that moment of surrender, Russell was born again. “The next day I had a sudden desire to begin studying the Bible, which was a miracle,” he notes.
Russell was able to overcome the tragedy and graduated from college. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later joined Douglas Aircraft and became their representative on a classified Reconnaissance Jet Bomber program based in Japan.
After leaving Douglas, Russell established the first civilian flight test company in the U.S. He acquired a fleet of jet fighters and used them to provide flight test programs for the aerospace industry and the Department of Defense. The news media referred to him as the "owner of the world’s 14th largest jet air force.”
At the request of the U.S. State Department, Russell headed a U.S. food airlift to Biafra during the Civil War in Nigeria and another relief effort in Bangladesh.
More recently, he designed and developed a new concept tactical jet fighter. As an octogenarian, he became the world’s oldest test pilot still flying high-performance jet aircraft. He has been a guest on the “Today Show” and many other network programs. Russell and his wife, Mary Alice, live in Southern California near Edwards Air Force Base.
"God performed a miracle in me,” Russell declares with gratitude. “He changed my life. He allowed me to achieve every dream I had as a boy.”
“Romans 10:9 says this, ‘Whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Have you ever called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and received Him as Savior?”
"As airfares keep flying higher, consumers may need to reassess what constitutes a bargain.
A Federal Aviation Administration report released Thursday predicts that a combination of crowded planes and shrinking capacity will continue to lift fares this year — and experts say higher fuel prices are further exacerbating prices. Airfares increased 17% last year, according to Farecompare.com, and prices are already up 4% this year.
Consumers will need to adjust their expectations when it comes to fare sales and when a deal is good enough to buy, says George Hobica, founder of fare-tracking site Airfarewatchdog.com. Where $200 was a great deal for travel to Europe a few years ago, he says, today the best-available fares are in the $700 to $800 range. “If $200 is your benchmark, you can wait until you’re dead and never go to Europe,” he says.
[Related: 10 Great Spring Break Getaways]
But it’s not all doom-and-gloom for fliers. “Even though airfares are rising as a whole, you can still find great deals,” says travel expert Johnny Jet, host of Travel Channel’s “Hot Spots 2012.” Delta, for example, recently offered round-trip flights from Los Angeles to Singapore for as little as $655, including all taxes. (Other fares for the same time period cost at least $900, and more typically $1,400, including taxes and fees.)
With this new normal for airfares in mind, travelers can employ a handful of tactics to make sure they’re getting the best price:
Set fare alerts
“These days, there aren’t any secret deals,” says Ed Perkins, a contributing editor for advice site SmarterTravel.com. But many are fast-ending, lasting just a few hours as seats fill up. To snap up good deals, travelers can sign up for general bulletins and alerts on specific routes from Airfarewatchdog, Bing Travel, and other sites. Alerts can also help after buying, if the airline or booking site offers a best-price guarantee.
As we’ve previously reported, studies show that the cheapest time to book airfare is on a Tuesday afternoon, when the maximum number of sale seats is available. Experts say prices tend to rise seven and 14 days prior to departure, so book at least three weeks out – and ideally, more like three months out.
Buy a package
Hotel-airfare combos are often cheaper than buying each component separately, Jet says. Prices can be lower than just buying a flight, too, which makes them worth perusing even if you don’t need a hotel. He recently took advantage of a $490 package of a flight and three-night hotel stay in Denver, which was $100 less than the cost for the flight alone.
[Related: 'Turn Off All Electronic Devices:' And What Happens if You Don't]
Consider alternate airports
Fare sales often make one local airport significantly cheaper than another — price gaps that may be big enough to justify a longer drive to the airport or extra time in the air, Hobica says. For travel abroad, fliers may be able to save by finding a fare sale to any major city and then hopping on a low-cost carrier to their intended destination. “Get your a– over the pond and then work the rest out,” he says. “Berlin might be $600 a trip, and everywhere else is $2,000.”
Be flexible on dates
Traveling on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday usually results in a cheaper fare than on other days of the week, says Jet. Use a flexible-date engine like Kayak, Google Flights or FareCompare to find the cheapest combination. But don’t check just one site, he says — many don’t include low-cost carriers like Southwest and JetBlue."
"(CNN) -- The pilot glanced outside his cockpit and froze. He blinked hard and looked again, hoping it was just a mirage. But his co-pilot stared at the same horrible vision.
"My God, this is a nightmare," the co-pilot said.
"He's going to destroy us," the pilot agreed.
The men were looking at a gray German Messerschmitt fighter hovering just three feet off their wingtip. It was five days before Christmas 1943, and the fighter had closed in on their crippled American B-17 bomber for the kill.
The B-17 pilot, Charles Brown, was a 21-year-old West Virginia farm boy on his first combat mission. His bomber had been shot to pieces by swarming fighters, and his plane was alone in the skies above Germany. Half his crew was wounded, and the tail gunner was dead, his blood frozen in icicles over the machine guns.
But when Brown and his co-pilot, Spencer "Pinky" Luke, looked at the fighter pilot again, something odd happened. The German didn't pull the trigger. He nodded at Brown instead. What happened next was one of the most remarkable acts of chivalry recorded during World War II. Years later, Brown would track down his would-be executioner for a reunion that reduced both men to tears.
Listen: A bond between enemies
Living by the code
People love to hear war stories about great generals or crack troops such as Seal Team 6, the Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden. But there is another side of war that's seldom explored: Why do some soldiers risk their lives to save their enemies and, in some cases, develop a deep bond with them that outlives war?
And are such acts of chivalry obsolete in an age of drone strikes and terrorism?....
The German pilot who took mercy
Revenge, not honor, is what drove 2nd Lt. Franz Stigler to jump into his fighter that chilly December day in 1943.
Stigler wasn't just any fighter pilot. He was an ace. One more kill and he would win The Knight's Cross, German's highest award for valor.
Yet Stigler was driven by something deeper than glory. His older brother, August, was a fellow Luftwaffe pilot who had been killed earlier in the war. American pilots had killed Stigler's comrades and were bombing his country's cities.
Stigler was standing near his fighter on a German airbase when he heard a bomber's engine. Looking up, he saw a B-17 flying so low it looked like it was going to land. As the bomber disappeared behind some trees, Stigler tossed his cigarette aside, saluted a ground crewman and took off in pursuit.
As Stigler's fighter rose to meet the bomber, he decided to attack it from behind. He climbed behind the sputtering bomber, squinted into his gun sight and placed his hand on the trigger. He was about to fire when he hesitated. Stigler was baffled. No one in the bomber fired at him.
He looked closer at the tail gunner. He was still, his white fleece collar soaked with blood. Stigler craned his neck to examine the rest of the bomber. Its skin had been peeled away by shells, its guns knocked out. He could see men huddled inside the plane tending the wounds of other crewmen.
Then he nudged his plane alongside the bomber's wings and locked eyes with the pilot whose eyes were wide with shock and horror.
Franz Stigler wondered for years what happened to the American pilot he encountered in combat.
Franz Stigler wondered for years what happened to the American pilot he encountered in combat.
Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket. He eased his index finger off the trigger. He couldn't shoot. It would be murder.
Stigler wasn't just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code. He could trace his family's ancestry to knights in 16th century Europe. He had once studied to be a priest.
A German pilot who spared the enemy, though, risked death in Nazi Germany. If someone reported him, he would be executed.
Yet Stigler could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him:
"You follow the rules of war for you -- not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity."
Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn't shoot down the slow-moving bomber. (The Luftwaffe had B-17s of its own, shot down and rebuilt for secret missions and training.) Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany.
"Good luck," Stigler said to himself. "You're in God's hands."....
Mission Aviation Fellowship President, Himself a Former Pilot with the Ministry, Describes Situation on-the-ground in Haiti
By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 "...He writes that medical supplies have already been depleted in many locations. "People are desperate. It’s truly a gut-wrenching situation," he said.
"Within a few hours of the quake, MAF Disaster Response manager John Woodberry was dispatched to Haiti," said Boyd.
"By the time you receive this emergency letter, John will be there with staff from the MAF Haiti flight program, evaluating damage and quickly determining needs. He’ll be issuing firsthand reports and helping to formulate how MAF can respond in the most effective ways, relaying all back via satellite phone." ..
"Full body scanners at airports could increase your risk of skin cancer, experts warn.
The X-ray machines have been brought in at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.
But scientists say radiation from the scanners has been underestimated and could be particularly risky for children.
They say that the low level beam does deliver a small dose of radiation to the body but because the beam concentrates on the skin - one of the most radiation-sensitive organs of the human body - that dose may be up to 20 times higher than first estimated.
He says children and passengers with gene mutations - around one in 20 of the population - are more at risk as they are less able to repair X-ray damage to their DNA.
Dr Brenner, who is originally from Liverpool but now works at the New York university, said: 'The individual risks associated with X-ray backscatter scanners are probably extremely small.
'If all 800 million people who use airports every year were screened with X-rays then the very small individual risk multiplied by the large number of screened people might imply a potential public health or societal risk. The population risk has the potential to be significant.'...
"Whether or not you agree with our current foreign policy, it is important we all support the brave men and women serving in the U.S. Military. You may not be sure what to do, how to help, or how to get started. These 101 ideas are offered to help propel you to get started and then guide you as you move forward. Be sure to watch our exclusive flash movie called a Special Tribute at www.A-Special-Tribute.com"