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Pilot involved in D.C. intercept confident in security network (AF Pilot not the scarred kid)
Air Force Links ^ | May 13, 2005 | Donna Miles

Posted on 05/14/2005 1:49:56 PM PDT by AZHua87

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- One of the F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots who intercepted a private plane that strayed into restricted airspace here May 11 said he was prepared to use force if necessary to prevent a potential attack, and expressed confidence in the security system protecting the nation's capital.

Lt. Col. Tim Lehman, of the District of Columbia Air National Guard's 121st Fighter Squadron, said he was surprised when the Cessna's pilot did not initially respond to signals meant to change his course.

Colonel Lehman's F-16 fighter jet made three passes by the plane, dropping warning flares to get the pilot to veer west, away from the White House and Capitol, he said. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the Cessna came within three miles of the White House before turning away.

While acknowledging that he was prepared to shoot down the plane if necessary, Colonel Lehman said that decision comes from higher-level authorities "outside of my cockpit."

The Washington, D.C., area has "multiple layers" of defense against terrorist attacks, including ground-based assets capable of engaging "targets of interest" if necessary, he said.

Colonel Lehman said he is convinced these defense layers "would have stopped an aircraft" before it was able to hit.

Colonel Lehman's unit is part of the 113th Wing, an Air National Guard unit that has served on rotational duty supporting Operation Noble Eagle since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: airguard; cessna; dc; evacuation; f16; falcon; fighter; intercept; pilot; plane; shootdown; usaf

1 posted on 05/14/2005 1:49:57 PM PDT by AZHua87
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; Radix; HiJinx; Spiff; JackelopeBreeder; Da Jerdge; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; ...

Just for you Zoomies out there.


2 posted on 05/14/2005 1:50:23 PM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: AZHua87

This aircraft is lucky to be in one piece. Really lucky.

Rumor is the FAA is not going to let this go quietly. Personally, I think the IP should be heavily fined, and license suspended even if it was not intentional.

Last traffic violation I got hammered for wasn't intentional, either.


3 posted on 05/14/2005 1:56:29 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: AFPhys
Well if the ground chief is anything like the ones on active duty they're both being punished. They probably got handed a hose, mop, rags, bucket and told to clean the foul smelling mess out of the cabin that they made.
4 posted on 05/14/2005 1:59:30 PM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: AZHua87

Wonder what a Cessna 150 would look like after it got nailed by a Sidewinder.


5 posted on 05/14/2005 2:05:35 PM PDT by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: AZHua87
I remember when the Chinese decided to play chicken with one of our reconnaissance planes They got that plane bumping good and it was a lot bigger than a Cessna. I bet an F-15 hitting afterburner over the top of this plane would cause a bowel movement.
6 posted on 05/14/2005 2:13:55 PM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: Kozak
Ever done turning work on a metal lathe an got a shaving in you finger? That's about the biggest piece you'd find.
7 posted on 05/14/2005 2:14:14 PM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: Kozak

Little pieces....


8 posted on 05/14/2005 2:16:32 PM PDT by Dog (Freeping since the crack of doom....)
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To: sgtbono2002

Either way the ground crew shief is telling the IP and the Student Pilot that they have to clean out the inside.


9 posted on 05/14/2005 2:17:10 PM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: Kozak

10 posted on 05/14/2005 2:17:42 PM PDT by razorback-bert
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To: AZHua87

... Not to be cold, but 3 miles from the White House, these Darwin Award candidates should have been shot down before they even got even that close. And it should not have been a direct hit -- they should have shot a wing off, so it sorta spiraled down, in case it had been full of C-4 explosives.


11 posted on 05/14/2005 2:20:51 PM PDT by Babu
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To: Kozak

"Wonder what a Cessna 150 would look like after it got nailed by a Sidewinder."

You've seen the confetti they throw off buildings in NYC during parades? Exactly like that. (with the possible exception of the engine block...)


12 posted on 05/14/2005 2:49:44 PM PDT by Old Student (WRM, MSgt, USAF (Ret.))
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To: AZHua87

Have we heard any explanation as to why the instructor ignored all visual and radio communications?


13 posted on 05/14/2005 2:55:31 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: randog
Not yet. Like I said the ground chief probably has him a little busy right now cleaning the cabin out of the mess he and his student made when they realized that they were only seconds away from getting shot down by an F-16.
14 posted on 05/14/2005 3:03:27 PM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: AZHua87; Tuba Guy; WestCoastGal; SevenofNine; appalachian_dweller; Velveeta; lacylu; ...

Ping


15 posted on 05/14/2005 7:44:08 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (Airspeed, altitude, or brains. Two are required to successfully complete a flight.)
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To: Aeronaut

Ping-able?


16 posted on 05/14/2005 7:46:04 PM PDT by Dashing Dasher ("You're my favorite Freeper. Ever" - Skooz 5/11/05 -- Entertaining FReepers since 2004)
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To: Babu
Love the graphic!

The potential Darwin Winners should lose their tickets for the rest of their adult lives - that's for sure...
Not sure about the "shoot 'em down" idea - but they should be riding in the back of a freighter for the rest of their lives and never see a cockpit again.

And that's from a pilot.
17 posted on 05/14/2005 7:48:58 PM PDT by Dashing Dasher ("You're my favorite Freeper. Ever" - Skooz 5/11/05 -- Beyond and Miss Behave agree!)
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To: randog

Well, the Wall Street crowd got a nice lesson! Let's see, short some index, have some small plane invade DC airspace, go long slightly before the all clear, make a fortune!


18 posted on 05/14/2005 8:01:56 PM PDT by GregoryFul (Liberals are pathological liars. They admire liars, they regale in lies, they spread lies.)
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To: AZHua87

Thanks for the ping!


19 posted on 05/14/2005 8:14:20 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Dashing Dasher
Never flown a plane anywhere near this airspace, but I would think that something looking like this on my sectional would make me be a little more careful than normal.


20 posted on 05/14/2005 8:23:38 PM PDT by Textide
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To: AZHua87
Ever done turning work on a metal lathe an got a shaving in you finger? That's about the biggest piece you'd find.

Not really, the sidewinder's warhead isn't all that big. But it would knock out the engine, probably kill both pilots, or it would blow off a wing or the tail, depending on what was closest when the proximity fuse went off.

21 posted on 05/14/2005 10:03:45 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: Dashing Dasher; Tijeras_Slim; FireTrack; Pukin Dog; citabria; B Knotts; kilowhskey; cyphergirl; ...

22 posted on 05/14/2005 11:26:43 PM PDT by Aeronaut (I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things - Saint-Exupery)
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To: sgtbono2002
That A/C the Chinese inspected and thumped was PR 32. Same air frame I flew while in VN.

If the F-16 pulled in front and turned on afterburners, the Cessna would cease to exist.

23 posted on 05/14/2005 11:43:06 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (I once opposed keelhauling but recently have come to my senses.)
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To: Kozak
I don't think the Cessna has a large enough heat signature to be seen by a sidewinder.

As for stopping it, all that would be needed would be a close proximity fly by w/afterburners and the Cessna would certainly go inverted before it was destroyed by blast turbulence and wake effect.

As far as not knowing where he was, that is a crock.
24 posted on 05/15/2005 5:23:30 AM PDT by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: bill1952

Yeah but the engine would remain intact and end up smashing into an elementary school at which point the Democrats would wet themselves in glee.


25 posted on 05/15/2005 5:32:50 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Kozak

I wonder how far the F-16 would have had to have stood off in order to take the shot? F-16s are notoriously bad at slow flight. Also, I wonder if the media would have covered the casualities on the ground since three miles north of the White House is about Georgia Avenue (those who know DC understand).


26 posted on 05/15/2005 5:52:43 AM PDT by Archangelsk (Handbasket, hell. Get used to the concept.)
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To: AZHua87
Is there background info on the student and the instructor?

My tin foil hat is vibrating that this was a planned attempt by someone to make the sheeple afraid, so that some new law or restriction could be planned.

Anyone else sensing this?

27 posted on 05/15/2005 5:58:32 AM PDT by Bear_Slayer
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To: randog

Because a lot of "instructors" are nothing more than CPLs who can fly an airplane to PTS standards from the right seat.


28 posted on 05/15/2005 6:00:25 AM PDT by Archangelsk (Handbasket, hell. Get used to the concept.)
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To: bill1952
I don't think the Cessna has a large enough heat signature to be seen by a sidewinder.

The newer versions of the Sidewinder have a very sensitive seeker head for head on shots ("shoot em in the lips" as the fighter jocks say). I guess if worse came to worse they could use the 20mm gatling gun if need be ( hell they might be able to take it down with jet wash alone), It's not like the Cessna was gonna run away....
29 posted on 05/15/2005 6:56:10 AM PDT by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: Bear_Slayer

The only sense I'm getting is a story heard on FNC where the kid was telling his dad that he was worried about the flight because they would be so close to the NFZ and he didn't want to wander into it.


30 posted on 05/15/2005 7:18:51 AM PDT by AZHua87 (Insurgent BloggerVet!)
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To: Textide
That's a good point.
The airspace looks pretty ominous!
31 posted on 05/15/2005 9:08:07 AM PDT by Dashing Dasher ("You're my favorite Freeper. Ever" - Skooz 5/11/05 -- Beyond and Miss Behave agree!)
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To: Archangelsk; All
Because a lot of "instructors" are nothing more than CPLs who can fly an airplane to PTS standards from the right seat.

The pilot of this Cessna was NOT (repeat NOT) a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor, for those non-aviators out there) - he was simply a private pilot, flying with a student pilot. I use past tense because the FAA has pulled his ticket.

I'm figuring these guys were both simply woefully ignorant of the D.C. ADIZ restrictions. They didn't file a flight plan, their radio was marginal, they weren't monitoring appropriate frequencies. It seems unlikely this was intentional penetration of the ADIZ as such action would be essentially 'suicide by shootdown'.

32 posted on 05/15/2005 12:12:39 PM PDT by IonImplantGuru (Give me heaven... or a 637!)
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