Friday, February 12, 2010


Colt or not, whoever stole the small plane and flew it to Orcas probably doesn't know how lucky he (or she, but we all know it's probably a he, don't we?) is. According to this story on HeraldNet the plane flew an erratic course on its way to Orcas Island and may have blundered into restricted airspace.

The Vancouver Olympics begin tonight and are, naturally, a big fat terrorist target. Airspace around Vancouver is being strictly and seriously controlled. We can see the lights of Vancouver from here on Orcas, and the restricted zone extends almost to the north end of the island. The pirated Cirrus apparently crossed over the line, though I don't have any information yet whether its transponder was on or ATC tried to contact the pilot.

So, beyond the danger of flying to a tiny island airstrip at night (especially if you're not instrument trained), you have to add the threat of a Sidewinder suppository fired from an F-15.

[UPDATE: FAA says the plane did not cross into the Olympic airspace, though they were watching it closely because if was using the wrong transponder code.]

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