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Kamikaze Small Plane Pilot Hits Tampa's Tallest Building
Posted on 01/05/2002 11:00:54 PM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
A fifteen-year-old student pilot apparently trying to recreate the 9/11 kamikaze attack on the World Trade Center slammed a stolen Cessna 172 private airplane Saturday into Tampa, Florida's Bank of America building, the city's tallest structure.
Charles J. Bishop, a 15-year-old flight student from Great Britain, stole the small aircraft from Albert Whitted Municipal Airport in nearby St. Petersburg at about 5 p.m., law enforcement sources said.
Bishop was killed as the Cessna carrying 56 gallons of fuel slammed into the Bank of America tower, leaving the tail section of the plane dangling precariously from its side.
The fuel did not ignite, though authorities remain concerned over the potential for a Twin Tower-like conflagration.
Despite sharing national origin with American Airlines shoe bomber Richard Reid and attempting to mimic the 9/11 hijackers, the FBI said Bishop's stunt had no connection to terrorism.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was in pursuit of Bishop's plane after being alerted by local air traffic controllers of the unauthorized take off. Witnesses said the plane made no effort to avoid the Tampa skyscraper as the Coast Guard chopper crew frantically signaled it to land at a nearby Tampa airport.
The plane's wings tore from the fuselage when it struck the 23rd and 24th floors, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
Bishop, a student at East Lake High School in Palm Harbor, Florida who had taken flying classes for two years, was at the airport with his mother and grandmother performing a pre-flight check when he got into the plane and unexpectedly took off, Pinellas County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Greg Tita said.
KEYWORDS: 200201; 20020105; algerian; bankofamerica; bankofamericatower; bishop; bishopbishra; boa; boabuilding; cessna172; charlesbishop; charlesbishra; domesticterrorism; greatbritain; jamaica; jamaican; kamikaze; nonterroristattack; palmharbor; richardreid; shoebomber; stpete; stpetersburg; suicidepilot; tampa; tampacell; tampaterrorist; uk
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Anyone know of the kid was arabic or is newsmax just being newsmax?
Richard Reid is English. So is the kid. Nothing Arab about either one. Reid may be Muslim, but he is of Jamaican and English extraction.
Correction: so WAS the kid.
To: Sidebar Moderator
I want you to know that I clicked on the title of this thread EXACTLY when you changed the title to the correct one.
I thought I was in Poltergist.
You freaked me out............LOL.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:09:45 PM PST
I have no idea, but the obvious lead is that this is some kind of copycat crime. The motive may be unrelated to the method.
A crazy loon. The plane was too small to bring down the skyscraper. Shows you he didn't know the hell what he was doing except making a not too spectacular "final exit." Obviously Al Qaeda didn't drill this young'un in the fact it takes more than ONE plane to bring down a tall building and they'd never use a teensy weensy lil Cessna to do the job.
Don't ya wonder where those planes were that should have shot it down?
Richard Reid is English. So is the kid.----England seems to be a hotbed of Islamic extremism. Several notorious types are living in London on the dole as we speak. I'm not sure if this kid is one of these fanatics or not, but I wouldn't be suprised. If so, the press will be sure to let us know as slowly as possible...
posted on 01/05/2002 11:12:45 PM PST
I wonder if the kid was trying to copycat 9/11, looks as if he was.
I wonder if his parents will make an execuse for him i.e. Johnny Walker
Same here. The National Guard idiots should be fired. They should have shot down the plane the moment they saw what its intended destination was. One of life's mysteries they let this kid recreate 9/11 even though they had been forewarned someone might be crazy enough to try something like it again.
A crazy loon. The plane was too small to bring down the skyscraper. Shows you he didn't know the hell what he was doing except making a not too spectacular "final exit."
Well, your right, a small plane wont do much to big building BUT if flown into a school bus, a stadium, another plane...That plane should have been shot down.
Agreed my friend. If the kid had been more careful in his choice of targets we could have had a major loss of life on our hands. [shudder]. You're right there's NO EXCUSE for the plane not having been shot down.
I wonder if his parents will make an execuse for him i.e. Johnny Walker
Only if they are well-connected liberals living in Marin County. My condolences to the family of this pilot, but will they sue the airport for keeping an unsafe business? Maybe we need to start rounding up these ambulance chasers.
This seems like a stretch for the newswriter to ascribe a motive to this 15 year old kid. The 9/11 pilots had intense religious and ideological motives for their actions. Unless this 15 year old kid was a radical Muslim with the same motives, then you could say that this was a copycat flight.
But do we KNOW that? A 15 year old kid could have a lot of motives--the word"apparently" gives a lot of wiggle room while at the same time, allowing for a grave mischaracterization of why this happened.
I'd like to find out more about this kid. It is of interest that his mom and grandmother were at the airport when he stole the plane. I wonder if that if this an integral part of this story.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:20:44 PM PST
'Kamikaze' assumes it was on purpose.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:20:52 PM PST
What the hell are we doing letting underage, foreign student pilots get flight training in the US?
How are you going to shoot down a small craft over downtown and surrounding areas? Wouldn't you just be trading damage from a highrise to the buildings/people below? And if you miss, you could make double the damage.
Comment #19 Removed by Moderator
A good question. There are inevitable tradeoffs but if a shoot down order were in effect maybe it would dissuade someone from even trying it in the first place. Publicizing such an order might help to prevent future incidents from happening.
Glad this f*g didn't hurt anyone other than his sorry *ss. I would attribute this whole incident to America Hating/Islamic Extremism.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:26:15 PM PST
That plane should have been shot down.
That also would be a no-win for the guard...it might have hit a home, a store, a school, a church, etc. and then the loony left would be shrieking about how the trigger happy military killed whatever number of folks as well as the poor misguided "youth".
posted on 01/05/2002 11:28:09 PM PST
I'm skeptical, but understand your point. Perhaps we can just start by revoking permission for non-citizens to fly and having the FAA mandate some new rules for access to small crafts.
Comment #24 Removed by Moderator
I disagree. A guy could run out of fuel over a town and be headed for an open area--like a city park-- attempting to make a survivable forced landing. He could be (illegally) buzzing some pal in an office of the building. He could be lost and looking for ANYTHING to identfy what town he was over. This kid may not have even had a radio turned on--and if he did, likely not to the frequency where he could hear instructions from the pursuers. There'd be hell to pay if the military started shooting down every puddlejumper (like my 150) that happened to appear as if it was attacking some structure. And you'd rather have rockets and machine guns going off, ordinance putting holes in things, and pieces of flaming airplane raining down over town? C'mon--use some common sense.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:31:21 PM PST
They should have shot down the plane the moment they saw what its intended destination was.
And they realized his intentions when? Most likely just before he hit the building. And they should have shot him down with what? It was a Coast Guard helo that was following him, and likely it wasn't armed.
Let's imagine for a minute that the helo was armed, most likely with M-60s. The crew pulls alongside the aircraft and begins firing short, controlled bursts. Not all the rounds are going to hit the aircraft, some will fall into the city below, possibly causing death or injury on the ground. Now, they've killed the pilot, the aircraft wings over into the neighborhood below, possibly causing more death, injuries and damage.
Maybe they should have launched F-15s or F-16s to intercept him. Even more potential for additional damage. Seeing as how the Cessna can fly well below the stall speeds of the fighters, they would have been hardpressed to maintain contact with him (maybe that's why they sent a helo). How easy would it have been to get an infrared lock on the Cessna engine? Probably pretty difficult, and a radar lock against a low-level aircraft is a difficult thing too, especially when you're talking about trying to lock up a Cessna. So, maybe you're locked, maybe you're not, and you launch a missile, only to watch it lose the lock and go into the ground. Not good. But hey...we've got guns. Twenty millimeter cannons, in fact. So, out of the 20 round burst you fire, 10 of the rounds hit the Cessna and shred it. It falls apart and into a neighborhood. The other ten rounds continue on into the city a couple miles away. Oh, and the first ten rounds...a few of them continue on as well, because that Cessna barely slowed them down.
That's a sensible suggestion. What the f*ck is the FAA thinking in allowing non-citizens to continue student pilot flight practice AFTER Sept. 11th? It should have been revoked permanently. And now thanks to the FAA's lapse of foresight we had a repeat of Sept. 11th. Yeah the same FAA that couldn't keep Richard Reid off that transatlantic flight.
Fifteen year old non-citizens, at any rate. I find it amazing that supposed flight professionals would give untrained kids unsupervised access to planes particularly around urban neighborhoods and when they are not US nationals.
we had a repeat of Sept. 11th
Where? Tampa? One person dead, the building still standing. Hardly September 11.
Yeah the same FAA that couldn't keep Richard Reid off that transatlantic flight.
And the FAA is responsible for security in French airports in what way??
Good point! What a big mess a jet airliner would make. What do you suppose they would have done over NY if they had caught up to them--it would have been a different kind of mess?
Suppose we now need machine guns or some rockets at the airports so they can shoot them on the runway. Actually I think it shows just how helpless we all are and have been.
I say tighten the borders....and have said it for years. Travel visas only, require application for citizenship upon entry of any other type of visa, know English prior citizenship (no citizenship in reasonable time=deportation) and force immigrants to give up all other citizenships. Make citizenship mean something again.
Hey tough guy. Do you think the Guard "idiots" should shoot down every airplane they've intercepted since September 11? Do you even have any idea how many suspicious aircraft have been intercepted since Sept 11? I didn't think so. If even half of them had been shot down, there would be burning piles of wreckage in cities all over America. Maybe you'd like to use some of your brilliant insight to explain the destructive effects of a supersonic missile with a highly explosive warhead spraying thousands of pieces of shrapnel over a city. Or maybe you'd rather see about 200 rounds of high explosive incindiary 20mm bullets spray all over Tampa. All to take out a cessna that barely managed to break its way through a couple windows. It's a good thing that the true idiots like you are armed with little more than a keyboard.
posted on 01/05/2002 11:44:05 PM PST
Maybe Reed had too much ganja.
that kind of common sense will not make friends out of those who panic at the slightest provocation. Not that they don't have a good reason to be jumpy, but some rational thoughts might make some of them angry. =o)
posted on 01/05/2002 11:50:33 PM PST
Dadgummit, you're right. I forgot to turn on the commonsense kill filter before I came to Free Republic. Maybe I'll just turn it on permanently and run around panicking from now on. Looks almost like it could be fun...
I live in Irving, suburb of D/FW airport. The sight of low flying planes are not uncommon (taking off/landing), so maybe I understand why we haven't been issued anti-aircraft weapons.
BTW- why does the airport have the power of imminent domain over my town??
posted on 01/05/2002 11:55:59 PM PST
and run around panicking
LOL. They're not running around. They're under the bed with a flashlight and their notebook; dripping perspiration causing their fingers to slip off the keys.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:04:30 AM PST
Or would you rather see another another plane explode catastrophically into a building creating even LARGER loss of life? Imagine the fireball if that 56 gallon tank had exploded on impact. I don't want to even think about it. At least if it hits the ground its possible to minimize fatalities. Nothing in life is completely risk free and the best way to avoid future incidents is convince any one trying it they won't get very far if they're airbone.
Hmm, it looks like he hit the corner of the building, just like Mohammed Atta, when he aimed his plane. What a creepy kid.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:11:31 AM PST
"All right, any of you yahoos who thinks he's going to committ suicide had better think twice about it. You try something like that and I guarantee you, you will be shot!"
posted on 01/06/2002 12:13:56 AM PST
Between the floors. He actually thought he'd take the whole building down around him like in "Gottadamerung."
This was an act of terrorism even if our government won't say so. There are less conspicuous way to shuffle off your mortal coil if you are suicide minded. And fyi your typical suicide doesn't try to take other lives with him.
C'mon. I'm just having fun.
I would take issue though, in that many suicides are preceded by murder. Be it family, loved one, co-workers, etc.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:23:08 AM PST
OK, I'll lighten up. ;-)
You're talking about murder-suicides. Do you think this is what this kid behind the controls of his Cessna had in mind?
A myth has evolved surrounding the 9/11 attacks on the WTC that a plane crash into a tall building can cause it to crash by self destruction.
The WTC was fairly unique in its design in that it structurally was closer to box tubing than a pole or truss with cantilevered floors.
Even had a 727 crashed into the Florida building it probably wouldn't fall. The WTC collapse was IMHO well planned ahead of time and probably chosen in part because of those features as well as its reputation as a landmark.
The best way to insure more terrorist attempts is to create kneejerk regulations which alter our culture in response to each of these little episodes. Essentially we're dealing with little spoiled kids who never learned that they won't get what they want by acting up. If our society hasn't matured to the point to realize that those who are so immature should not be given any quarter, then we probably deserve to not remain in any controllable power.
The actions of terrorists don't warrant abandonment of Constitutional rights for the public, they warrant the curtailment of rights of the terrorist.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:26:28 AM PST
You're right about one thing: Charles J. Bishop didn't do his homework and he flunks out of life with an "F."
By way of comparison, 56 gallons of avgas coming from the wings of a cessna does not have the destructive effect of a high explosive warhead equipped supersonic air to air missile. And if that cessna had been hit by one today, the debris raining down onto Tampa would have been much more ugly than the impact that did happen. Also, exactly how long was our intrepid aviator actually airborne? How much time do you suppose is required to determine he had bad intentions? How much effort should be made to try to determine someone's objectives? Should we just blast away at anyone who flies near a city and doesn't respond on the radio? That ought to make for some exciting viewing for anyone living within 50 miles of a major city.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:32:35 AM PST
IMO it was an act of suicide (not terrorism) by a troubled teenager. He most likely was copying 9/11, knowing that he would receive a bunch of posthumous attention and notoriety.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:32:42 AM PST
We can't read minds. So we can't really stop any one until its too late and we can't stop them beforehand cause the damage to civilians and property beneath them would be greater than anything inflicted on the perp. So according to you we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. How wonderful.
You're probably right. Still how many teens do you figure cry for attention by going out in such a spectacular fashion? Thank heaven this Bishop didn't claim as many victims as they killers at Columbine did. And you can be sure of one thing: the anti-gun lobby can't milk this incident for all the publicity its worth since a gun wasn't used here.
Yes, I would definetely say we are stuck. The simple fact is, shooting down airplanes is not the solution we should rely on. A terrorist who hijacks an airplane with the intent of crashing it into something, doesn't really lose when we shoot him down before he gets there. We've still lost a hundred or so Americans, and worse yet, we had to pull the trigger. How about this solution...what if the FAA mandated that every airliner be equipped with a secure, remote control bomb that could be detonated if that airliner was hijacked. Do you think the public would buy off on that? I doubt it. Yet, we are willing to blow millions of dollars flying fighter aircraft around the clock in the hopes that they can reach, receive clearance and shootdown a hijacked airliner before it takes out another valuable target. It just isn't realistic, and it isn't a good solution. The simple fact is, it is almost impossible for the government to prevent another 9-11 attack. That job rests on the shoulders of every single person who flies in an airplane. We've already proven it can work. We just need people to take the responsiblity.
posted on 01/06/2002 12:49:45 AM PST
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