In the June 3, 2005, issue, both Dave Sclair (Lost pilots hurt us all, Page 14) and Charles Spence (How did two Cessna 150 pilots cause worldwide hysteria?, Page 11) apparently don’t know that a Cessna 150 is a single pilot aircraft. Although a “student pilot” was also aboard the aircraft that violated the ADIZ in Washington D.C. in May, he was merely a passenger and certainly not responsible for a violation of any FAR.
This would be true even if the “other pilot,” the non PIC in the 150, held an ATP. The comments expressed by both Mr. Sclair and Mr. Spence state incorrect assumptions and perpetuate the myths and misconceptions the general public believe about general aviation in the same manner as the non-aviation press. Although the flight over Washington, D.C., appears to be a really dumb mistake that gave us ordinary but maybe a bit more careful or lucky pilots a bad rap, Mr. Sclair and Mr. Spence should get in a 150 and try flying on a 180° heading at 2,500 feet agl with heavy haze on a sunny day. Maybe then they would revise their haughty, holier than thou, Top Gun pilot attitudes and find something constructive, with a little more tolerance for human foibles, to write about. These kinds of comments perpetuate the politically inspired, government by fear attitude that made the handcuffing of two scared, embarrassed and totally non-threatening pilots a nationally televised, totally absurd event.