Sunday, October 14, 2007

N409L (Not So Mysterious Plane) Busts Bush Airspace

Update:
Corrections made thanks to a commenter who reminds me there are two Redmonds in the Northwest (Since I was born in and lived in Oregon you would think I would have remembered that.) "
cbaker97814" also informs me that "JCB" are the initials of the owner of Lancair, so my first guess was right: a 'principal' of Lancair DOES own it. As the cheerful commenter noted: I could have checked my facts more". But that means I would have had to put another 5 minutes into the project and then it would have been even later before I went to bed. I give myself an "A-" for the ten minutes of investigative journalism.

Hmmmm. Anyone heard who was flying this plane (owned by a New Orleans aviation (and more) attorney and prominent aircraft manufacturer) yet?

The original (corrected post) ...

Just heard this on the late (11PM Texas Time) news.
Apparently, it is believed that a light plane violated the airspace (probably inadvertent) over President Bush’s ranch today.

The report, while not identifying the name of the pilot, showed video of the plane on the ground in Addison, TX. The plane is a Lancair with retractable gear and a big “28” on the vertical tail surface and what looked like sponsorship markings on the fuselage. The registration was N409L.

This plane might someday be in the Smithsonian
Didn’t the reporters think the markings a little out of the ordinary? Couldn't they find anything else about the airplane?

It took less than 10 minutes to Google up the following:
1. This exact plane (Lancair IV) is a multiple FAI world record holder.
2. It is owned by “JCB5 INC” of Redmond, Oregon
3. The pilot who flew it at Reno for Lancair is a noted freelance experimental test pilot with his own website .
4. The plane is the PROTOTYPE Lancair IV and...
5. The plane raced at Reno and won at least twice
6. Redmond Oregon is the home of Lancair (and NOT Microsoft)

I will be surprised if “JCB5” is not a limited liability enterprise for Lancair (or one the principals) that protects them from potential adverse financial impacts that a bad racing experience could otherwise generate. (No longer a Second guess: a Microsoftee is involved.)

A smart reporter would have called Lancair right away to find out.

The airspace around Crawford is made for inadvertent penetration. This must be like the bazillionth time it's happened. If the President is home, the controlled airspace is huge. If he's away, it is only about a 3 mile radius around his ranch. Like they say in ground school: Woe be unto the pilot who doesn't read the latest NOTAMs.

1 comment:

cbaker97814 said...

Just so you know. I used to work for Lancair. The 409L was owned by Lancair and when Lancair was sold the plane was sold with it. JcB stands for Joe Bartels, who owns Lancair. Microsoft is not in Redmond, Oregon, but Redmond, Washington - about 200 miles NW of here. You might want to check your facts out too. tee hee