Behind The Eyes Of An ADIZ Intercept Pilot...

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Repeat After Me, "121.5"

AVweb met U.S. Customs Service pilot Mark Cox on the grounds of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Cox was among several customs pilots on the show grounds this year displaying a Citation 550. Cox has flown three intercepts over Washington, including one that had authorities on the ground more than a little concerned. "It was a Lockheed Lodestar and it went right over the Capitol at 11,000 feet," he said. The Citation crew was finally able to get the pilot's attention and order him to land, something all pilots who enter restricted airspace can expect. "It would be irresponsible for us not to talk to them," he said. Cox stated plainly that pilots need to know exactly what to do if, despite their training, they blunder deep into restricted airspace and he needs to intercept them. "Immediately turn away and talk to us [on 121.5]." As simple as those actions might seem (to those of us who think it could never happen to us) Cox said it's surprising how many pilots don't know what to do [or otherwise lose their senses] when they see either his Citation or a Black Hawk helicopter on their wing.