Is General Aviation as a Terror Weapon a Real Threat or Red Herring?
Here’s a really good article on it: General Aviation as a Terror Weapon: Technology at Officer.com.
However, what post of mine wouldn’t be complete without my own spin?
Actually, on this one, it’s hard to improve on the article above. I completely agree. The media in general has been playing Chicken Little with General Aviation since 911, and as a private pilot, I know just how limited that threat really is, and how silly they are being. Small planes just can’t carry very much payload, and they aren’t very big and heavy (that’s sort of the point of an airplane – make it light so it flies), and they don’t carry all that much fuel. A typical light plane will carry around 48 gallons of AvGas. Since they burn 10 gallons per hour (some more, some less, but an easy number for discussion), unless some nutter’s target is right next door to the airport, odds are only 38 gallons would be remaining on board after you allow for taxiing around the airport, taking off, climbing, getting out of the pattern and heading toward your target.
My verdict: Red Herring