Pilot As Terrorist Suspect


How You, Too, Could Get A Visit From The FBI…

His only crime is fastidious attention to his airplane but an AVweb reader says the long arm of the law reached out and touched him because of his passion. Mike, who asked that his last name and hometown not be used (AVweb has verified his identity) says a dark tan, a black beard and the regular shipment of aviation-related merchandise to his home is all it took to have him branded (briefly) as a suspected terrorist. “What we have here is a textbook example of how things are not supposed to work,” Mike told AVweb a week after he was interviewed by the FBI on suspicion of being a terrorist. We suspect there are those who might feel the exact opposite is true. Mike does most of the maintenance on his 40-year-old complex airplane by himself (under a mechanic’s watchful eye) and he began assembling the stuff needed for his most recent annual about three months ago. Since he works during the day, he orders most of the parts and materials he needs from catalogues and has them shipped to his apartment. Over the past few months, boxes and shipping containers obviously containing aviation-related merchandise (some of them, like paints and lubricants, labeled as hazardous materials) began arriving at his home.