Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is absurd...

F-16s Respond to `hostile Takeover' Talk

The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 13, 2007; 2:23 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- F-16s intercepted a small plane after officials misinterpreted a phrase uttered by the pilot as his aircraft flew over military airspace: "hostile takeover."

The pilot was talking about business, the plane's owner said. But a frantic air traffic controller couldn't confirm that because the pilot had turned off his radio, said Maj. Roger Yates of the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

Within minutes, federal aviation authorities scrambled the fighter jets to intercept the plane Monday evening just outside of Oklahoma City and escort it to the Clay County airport near Mosby.

Once it was on the ground, more than a dozen armed federal agents and tactical deputies surrounded the plane. Federal authorities, who interviewed the pilot for two hours, said Tuesday that there was no threat to anyone and no charges would be filed.

"People should be very careful in this heightened state of security about comments they make regarding airplanes and air traffic," said FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza.

The plane's owner, Dr. Kenneth E. Mann, said the pilot was heading back to Kansas City after dropping him off in Oklahoma, where Mann regularly travels to provide treatment at several hospitals. Neither he nor authorities would identify the pilot.

Authorities said the pilot was flying over Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma on his way back to the Kansas City area when he notified the air traffic tower at the air base that he was entering the base's airspace.

When asked what his destination was, the pilot said he preferred not to say because competitors could use such information to steal clients. He was not required to give a destination, Mann said. He said the pilot was concerned because he worked "in a hostile business environment."

The pilot was speaking about a "hostile takeover" of a company, Yates said.

Mann said FBI agents were at his home less than an hour after the incident.

"Mistakes happen," he said, "and in the times we live in after 9/11, it's better to overreact than not react at all."

© 2007 The Associated Press
So...anybody know how long this "heightened state of security" might last?


Blogger DaveFlys said...

Ever say something out loud and then IMMEDIATELY realize that it was the wrong thing to say, wishing you could just reach out and grab the words in mid air and chew them up? That very thing happened to my father-in-law a few years back...

He was going through airport security and happened to have a carry-on that was packed way beyond its "Max Gross Weight." TSA security, doing what they do, decided to open this particular bag as part of their random spot checks. My father-in-law, in an attempt to warn the agent of the overloaded status of said bag and the impending result of opening it, stated, "Be careful, that thing might explode on you."

Hmm, not a great choice of words. And of course, he immediately realized his mistake, turning white as a ghost. Fortunately, the TSA agent also understood and took the comment in stride - end of incident.

Now it simply makes a great story to tell. It's too bad the guy in the story above wasn't so lucky... How about a little common sense people? I understand the need for heightened awareness, but hello?!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Dave Higdon said...

Ah, yes, the overwhelming warmth of knowing these folks are on the job...protecting us from the casual pilot who works in a hostile environment, mothers with their infant's drippy cups, and, of course, those metharious elderly and their bottles of explosive diarrhea medicines and ultra-sticky Poly-Grip...


Head Exploding! head's really not an explosive...unless exposed to a bureaucratic catalyst, that is...

5:16 PM  

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