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Owner of A/C That Crashed Into Tampa Building Was Publically Pro-Arab!!!.
St. Pete Times ^

Posted on 01/05/2002 2:13:06 PM PST by MindBender26

Part of article from St. Pete Times after Sept 11.

"Robert C. Cooper, president of National Aviation Flight School and Aviation Rentals, stressed that the extra security cannot be done at the expense of those of Middle Eastern descent.

"I don't want to get involved in profiling," he said. "I have faith in my government. I have to work on the belief that my government has basis to allow them into the country and show them proper respect." end of article.

Cooper is head of National Aviation Holdings that owned A/C. Many Florida flight schools train Arab students. Wonder if comment was made so as not to p. off students. Wonder if Arab pilot flew A/C into building. THIS IS FR EXCLUSIVE!!!

TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: accutane; airplane; airplanecrash; alqaeda; bankofamerica; binladen; bishop; boa; boabuilding; charlesbishop; crash; florida; kamikaze; naa; nationalaviation; obl; suicidepilot; tampa; terrorism; terrorists
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To: tpaine
I've read the speculation, where's the love note? Whats it say? You report, I'll decide.

The following is from that rabid right-wing ultra-conservative tool of big business and those hate-filled Republicans.... the Associated Press: (:~)

Police: Teen Pilot Supported Terror Attacks

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The teen pilot who crashed a small plane into a skyscraper left behind a suicide note expressing sympathy for Osama bin Laden and support for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, police said today. Bishop, 15, crashed the Cessna 172R into the 42-story Bank of America building yesterday after taking off without authorization."


So much for your claim that this is all "speculation."

The only thing there is no speculation about is your hate for anything American.

281 posted on 01/06/2002 5:07:03 PM PST by MindBender26
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To: MindBender26
OBL's apologists will need some new spin.
282 posted on 01/06/2002 5:11:28 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: MindBender26
Total bull. You can't back up ANY of those insane accusations with one post of mine. You lie.
283 posted on 01/06/2002 5:23:59 PM PST by tpaine
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To: MindBender26
I've read the speculation, where's the love note? Whats it say? You report, I'll decide.


Police: Teen Pilot Supported Terror Attacks

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The teen pilot who crashed a small plane into a skyscraper left behind a suicide note expressing sympathy for Osama bin Laden and support for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, police said today. Bishop, 15, crashed the Cessna 172R into the 42-story Bank of America building yesterday after taking off without authorization."


The title is sheer "speculation", as the note is not quoted. What is its wording?
I've learned not to trust what I read in the press. -- This site is dedicated, in part, to that idea.

The only thing there is no speculation about is your hate for anything American.

Nope, but your constant mindbending attempts to portray this forum as full of commies & tinfoil loonies is sure suspect, I'll grant you that.

284 posted on 01/06/2002 5:37:26 PM PST by tpaine
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To: tpaine
Now if you want to play with the big boys, we can have JR go back and recover the posts where you supported the words and works of the Communist Party recruiter for the CPUSA branch for North and South Carolina.

Tell you what, hock your doublewide, put up $100K and we'll let a jury of FReepers decide..... Otherwise, admit that little post from the AP I showed you "has some validity" and stop trying to change the subject and support the little OBL loving kid/airplane thief who crashed the 172 into the Tampa building..

FReepers who have been here a while have not forgotten your prior works... as much as you wish they would.

RE: the $100K, put up or shut up.

PS, good night. The wife is calling..... and when Mamma calls on Sunday night........

285 posted on 01/06/2002 5:41:01 PM PST by MindBender26
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To: tpaine
PS: MSNBC ran sound bite with Tampa PD cop, saying they had the note and it supported OBL & WTC attacks. Hillsborough County Sheriff said he had seen note and it was with Tampa PD. Also had comments from other kids in East Lake High School, in Palm Harbor, Florida area saying that this twit was an OBL fan and had expressed such publically on many occasions.

Of course, that was all faked....... :~(

286 posted on 01/06/2002 5:49:06 PM PST by MindBender26
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To: MindBender26
Your mamma calling is the only rational thing stated on that post.
- But by all means get JR to pull up those non-existent posts, then put up your nonexistent money. Its a bet.
287 posted on 01/06/2002 6:47:50 PM PST by tpaine
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To: MindBender26
Did I say it was faked? No. As usual, you lie & attempt to cheat in your arguments.

In any case, I want to read this note, and more of the details, before speculating further.

288 posted on 01/06/2002 7:11:08 PM PST by tpaine
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To: George W. Bush
Boy, you really had to stretch for that one. It was Jessica Dubroff, it was 1996, the aircraft was overloaded, the weather was perilous, her father was probably flying at the time, nobody on the ground was killed or injured, and no regulations were tightened after that crash, because even the FAA knows (unlike you) that you can't regulate stupidity.

You liberals are all alike - facts mean nothing to you. The primacy of your emotion is everything.

289 posted on 01/07/2002 1:56:31 AM PST by snopercod
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To: snopercod
290 posted on 01/07/2002 4:29:14 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: brat
Hey, what do ya know ? He was a terrorist ... -
15 year old pilot left note in plane supporting Bin Laden

291 posted on 01/07/2002 4:39:14 AM PST by Centurion2000
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To: snopercod
We must have rules for all circumstances of everyday living, you know.

Yes, for all that, we do. It's called common sense.

292 posted on 01/08/2002 3:27:56 PM PST by pray4liberty
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To: MindBender26

oldie bump

293 posted on 01/09/2012 2:07:55 PM PST by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: piasa

Hello, Freepers.

A friend sent me the link to this thread and I have read every post. I thought it appropriate to respond. It’s been over 10 years since the event and maybe I need a good catharsis.

My name is Robert Cooper, and I was the owner of National Aviation Holdings, LLC of Clearwater FL from 1999 to 2004. I was the guy in the center of the Charles Bishop incident in Tampa in January 2002, and I’d like to offer my perspective of it as I lived it. It’s something I hope no one has to go through on many levels. Hopefully this will clear up some misunderstandings.

1) I have been a libertarian most of my adult life and was a card-carrying member of both the National LP as well as the Florida LP at the time. I was very active in the local party and made a point of meeting every LP candidate for POTUS that came to the area: Ron Paul, Andre Marrou, Harry Browne (RIP, a Great American) and Michael Badnarik. I still hold libertarian principles near and dear, but not all.

2) National Aviation never had even one Middle Eastern student. Our students were local businessmen, students, retirees, career pilots and military officers.
I was not Pro- Arab or anything else. I have always been Pro-Individual Sovereignty and Freedom, and accept the risks of such.

3) The aircraft was the first new plane the flight school purchased, a 2000 Cessna 172R (not an RG (Retractable Gear; all three wheels retracted, not just the front), although we also owned an older RG), single engine, fixed gear, 160hp. Because it was our first new aircraft, it was most special to us.

4) On Saturday January 5, 2002 I flew my personal Cessna 182S from our base at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Int’l (PIE) to Myrtle Beach SC to pick up my niece. I flew her back on Sunday, January 7. The weather in route was spectacular, cool and perfectly clear. We landed and drove to my home in Vina del Mar, St. Pete Beach, where we spent the afternoon walking the shallow water next to the seawall looking for critters.

5) Around 5:20pm I got a call from my Chief Flight Instructor, Tom Jamin. “Bob, come to the flight school now. NOW. We have a problem.” That never happened before. I asked some questions and he didn’t answer, just told me to go to the airport ASAP. On the 35 minute drive to the airport I turned on WFLA, the local talk radio station. They were buzzing about an airplane that crashed in Tampa. I was sickened and my mind just reeled. I really shouldn’t have been driving. I called my lawyer, Mike Cronin of Clearwater on my cell. He answered.

“Mike, this is Bob. I need you at the airport.”

“I can’t. I’m playing basketball with the kids.”

“Mike, I’ve never asked this before. I need you at the airport. NOW. There’s a problem.”

Brief silence. “Ok, I’m on my way.”

6) I arrived at the airport. There were already a bunch of Police cars there. Nobody knew who I was so I went up to the flight school to my office (please note I also owned the FBO that housed the school.) There were several ashen faces of my employees, and Tom was there. I went into his office. He told me the crashed airplane was 71November (the aircraft identifier shorthand) and Charles Bishop was inside.

My mouth was dry and I couldn’t think straight.

About this time Mike Cronin, my attorney, came in. He pulled us into my office and instructed all that we were not to talk to anyone, that he was in change until further notice. I had no problem with that at all.

7) In the next couple of hours the entire airport was buzzing and every branch of government law enforcement was there: local, the Feds, the FAA, FBI, PCSO, NTSB, FDLE and (literally) the secret service and CIA. I even thought I saw the cigarette smoking man from the X-Files. I spoke to no one. We turned off all radios and TV’s per Mike’s orders.

8) It turned out that the FBI agent in charge was one of our former students who earned his Private License and rented aircraft from us. I knew him reasonably well, and he knew us and all our procedures. Mike told us to cooperate fully with him, so we did.

9) I didn’t really personally know Charles Bishop beyond knowing who he was by sight. He was what we in aviation called a “ramp rat”: an airplane-loving kid who hung around the airport, schmoozing with instructors and pilots, washing airplanes once in a while to earn instruction time. For perspective, Chuck Yeager was a ramp rat as a kid.

Charles was a pleasant, smart kid who was always sincerely polite. The employees and instructors liked him, and my chief dispatcher took a particularly fatherly role with him at the school. He was tall and gangly, not a particularly attractive kid, and had a good case of acne. Occasionally his grandmother would come to the school and buy a lesson or two as a reward for good schoolwork. That was the extent of how I knew the kid. He was one of several.

10) Charles flight instructor, Paul, was still in a stupor when telling us what he knew: Charles grandmother brought him to the airport and waited in the FBO lobby. Paul told Charles to preflight the plane-solo- and he’d be down shortly. Everyone who is a pilot has done this: prepping the plane alone. Paul said as he went downstairs for the lesson he saw the plane taxi past the ramp hold line…and just go. His grandmother was very upset. Paul quickly called the tower, who already knew “what” but not “who.” That is all Paul knew until hearing about the crash.

11) We waited in the fight school until late. I could look out the windows and see the parking lot full, and there were maybe six satellite trucks set up. There was traffic everywhere. The phone rang so much we disconnected all but the “back” line that only a few knew about. I didn’t answer my cell.

12) About midnight the FBI group came in. We went to my office and closed the door, the FBI guys, Mike and me. They told us we could say nothing until they made an official announcement, but there was a suicide note that showed he had the entire thing planned. We had no culpability or security breach as far as they were concerned. They clearly felt badly for us.

13) Around this time, MOL, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Dept. spokesperson released their statement claiming it was suicide. I didn’t hear it but was told.

14) The FBI guys left. Mike told me to go home and sleep and be back at the airport @ 6am. Seems he knew we’d be making statements to the press. The TV networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and a German and Japanese network wanted us to appear with them. Still few knew me, and they had all gone home. I walked through the FBO lobby through a sea of reporters and nobody knew who I was. I drove home and slept. Well, not really; I just lay in bed.

15) I got up at 5am, cleaned up, put on a tie and went to the airport. Mike was there as were TV network technicians setting up a couple of remote studios. All the networks shared the same equipment, technicians and makeshift studios. I learned something. Mike gave me a sort of script to follow: sympathy for the Bishop family and the owners of the bank building, we followed standard time-honored and legal flight school security protocols and that’s about it. He said just think before talking and be cool. At around 6:30am we appeared before all the networks, one after another.

The TV appearances went well and Mike was rock-solid and golden. The only problem was with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric who tried goading me into saying that our security was bad and it was our fault. I held my ground, and at one point told them point-blank that they had no idea what they were talking about; it was a breach of trust, not a breach of security. They just stammered after that. Pure win. (BTW: I received hundreds of emails thanking me for standing up to them.)

The German and Japanese networks were the only ones who didn’t try putting words in my mouth.

Finally the interviews were over, but the reporters were massed around the FBO. Fortunately the flight school was upstairs and off limits to everyone.

16) Around 8am the FBI guys came back and asked if I wanted to go to the Bank of America Building to the scene of the crash. I didn’t want to go, but David Cunningham, the chief dispatcher did.

17) Around 10am, some NTSB and FAA guys and tower controllers came with some Coast Guard guys. I got a briefing about what the tower did and how the Coast Guard responded. Let’s just say it was nearly instantaneous. The tower knew something was up as soon as Bishop crossed the hold line and didn’t respond. They knew something was up before Paul (instructor) called because he didn’t have his transponder on. Bishop hadn’t even left the ground before they were alerting everyone in the airspace on off frequencies. The airspace was immediately closed to all traffic. The Coast Guard chopper was on Bishop just as he left the airport. They said Bishop never looked at them when flying next to him; just straight ahead. They all said the airspace had been fully cleared, Bishop headed to McDill AFB, very close by, dropped altitude like he was going to buzz the field, then gained altitude and headed for downtown Tampa just a few miles away. The Coasties said they were with him until he crashed.

All these folks are part of the aviation fraternity and came to offer help. They knew we had nothing to do with what happened, and were afraid of the fallout that was likely to come.

18) A little after 12pm, David came back and was very depressed. I didn’t ask him about what he saw, and he didn’t volunteer. All I could glean is a head won’t stay on a body when the body, strapped in, suddenly stops at 110mph.

18) At around 2pm, Mike came and said that there would be a short press conference at 2:30 where he would give a prepared statement. By this time everyone knew we were also victims-Bishop stole my airplane-and was sympathetic. I didn’t attend, but Mike had me speak to several reporters one-on-one afterwards. Overall they were a cordial bunch, but I never fully trusted them.

19) I interviewed with Fox News that evening, an audio interview by phone. I forget which gal I spoke with, but it wasn’t Greta Van Sustern. Things were a blur.

20) It took almost a week before all the satellite trucks and news people left. The Japanese stayed the longest. They were very nice. People magazine asked Mike if I’d let them take a few pictures and we let them.

21) I met Bishop’s mom once. Neither of us said much. I did tell her I was very sorry for her loss and felt badly for her. She told me that we had been great to Charles and she knew we had nothing to do with the situation. She apologized to us. Her mother, Charles grandmother, was a wonderful person, kind and warm. She felt like a failure. I felt terrible for her.

22) I heard about the extreme dysfunction of Charles immediate family through the news I read. I began to see why this kid was screwed up. I’d never been exposed to anything like it. I won’t go into details. I’m sure interested people can google for themselves.

23) After the dust had settled a little, I had some conversations with top military brass at McDill. I wanted to hear their story. Seems they knew well in advance a 15y.o. kid was coming into their airspace, and they were ready. They had numerous weapons trained on him the entire time (50cal guns). They knew a Cessna was no real threat. I asked why they didn’t shoot him down; they laughed and said that would have been a PR nightmare, the military shooting down a civilian aircraft piloted by a 15y.o. I could see their point.

24) The insurance company was great. They came and did their own thorough investigation. They paid for the airplane within a couple of weeks. Additionally they let us know they intended to offer a staunch defense if necessary.

25) Almost immediately some democrat FL legislators were trying to pass some absurd, knee-jerk rules about flight school security. They wanted an FBI clearance, paid by the potential student, BEFORE their first lesson, and they didn’t want a student to be alone in an aircraft. I was asked by the FL Flight Training Alliance (FFTA) to help them combat this; they really weren’t prepared for government lobbying of this sort. I was referred to an experienced registered lobbyist in Tallahassee, flew to TLH to meet him, he accepted us pro bono and before I knew it was testifying before a Committee that was about to send it to the House. I was told it was a slam dunk to pass because emotions were running hot. But after testifying there weren’t enough votes to pass, and the sponsor, a big bag of political wind, was visibly upset. Another win.

The FFTA asked me to become a member of their Board, and I accepted a two-year term.

26) I was asked to speak at the 2002 National Air Transportation Assn. Convention in Indianapolis about “it could happen to you; have plans prepared.” Although not a public speaker my talk in front of the full assembly was very warmly received.

27) The Bishop family sued the pharmaceutical company that produces Accutane, claiming it caused the behavior of Charles. But I didn’t know it. I got a call from a lawyer from S FL on a different pretense asking if he could come and chat. I accepted. Turns out he was representing the law firm representing the pharma company. He tried tricking me into making incriminating remarks about Bishop. I didn’t fall into the trap. Ultimately, the suit went nowhere. The defense thought I would be a hostile witness and I never got deposed. The truth is I had no idea either way. Charles mom ended up dropping it.

28) The owner of the Bank of America building sued me for $800,000 for negligence causing damage to their building. Of course the case was subrogated to the insurance company who hired a serious pit bull defense litigator. They dug their heels in and fought tooth and nail. The insurance company initially offered to settle for a tiny fraction, about the cost of basic repairs. The case went on for years. Several of my employees were deposed as was I. It is not a pleasant experience being a hostile witness. But our lawyers were there to help and did a great job. Ultimately, after many years, the case was settled for the initial offer the week before trial.

29) Bishop had crashed into the office of a lawyer late Saturday afternoon. The lawyer had left his office just 30 minutes before. He’d been preparing for a trial. When the dust settled he reached out and we had a most pleasant telephone conversation.

The entire episode was difficult and emotionally painful. I lost my love for flying. I sold the flight school and the FBO in ‘04 and finally my airplane in ’06. I’ve not renewed my FAA physical and haven’t flown a small plane since.

My life has moved on, and today I live in the tropical mountains of the Dominican Republic with a wonderful wife, 3 dogs and 2 cats. I do web design ( and have a motorcycle tour company (

Yes, I made the statement that I didn’t want particular groups profiled, and I didn’t. I still don’t. I’m certainly no apologist for any single group, nor will ever be accused of being a bleeding heart. I don’t have all the answers, but taking freedoms from one group so another can have a false sense of security is something I fundamentally disagree with. And now we have the DHS and TSA, the forever Big Brother bureaucratic fallout from 9/11. So we all get profiled and felt up. Just wonderful.

That is the whole story as best as I can remember it. Thanks for bearing with me. I’m happy to answer any questions y’all want.

294 posted on 04/09/2012 11:27:42 AM PDT by El Jefe del Caribe
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To: El Jefe del Caribe

It was very gracious of you to come and tell your story. So many times, out of our own kindness, bad things happen that were enabled by that same kindness. I have a hard time thinking that anyone would hold you responsible for what this young man did. Bad things happen to good people, but thankfully, being good people remains popular. I guess that’s life...

295 posted on 04/09/2012 11:37:40 AM PDT by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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To: All


296 posted on 04/09/2012 11:41:47 AM PDT by Maverick68
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To: El Jefe del Caribe

Thanks for adding your side of the story.

297 posted on 02/10/2017 1:30:54 AM PST by piasa
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