Wikipedia: ” A Hobson’s choice is a free choice in which only one option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option, the choice is therefore between taking the option or not; take it or leave it.” Too much of life is like that.
Once again, the bad guys are targeting the aviation system. Package bombs cleverly disguised as printer cartridges made their way on to at least two cargo aircraft a few weeks ago. I’ve often thought of computers and their peripheral devices (such as printers) as being nefarious but this raises aviation paranoia to a new level.
GA remains, as ever, under the watchful eye of the security folks and it raises the question of just how reactive and protective we should be. Let’s be honest – the external locks and ignition switches on most light aircraft would slow down a thief about as long as it takes to read this blog. Is GA a target? Does it matter?
On new aircraft, I’d really like to see the aircraft manufacturers incorporate some smart technology for throttles, controls or ignition to render an aircraft unflyable. This is not rocket science and doesn’t even rise to aeronautical engineering but it’s something that might be considered.
- If the government provided your choice of prop lock, throttle lock or wheel boot, and in exchange, required that it be used whenever the aircraft was left unattended (not a quick turn fuel stop) on other than a secured ramp, would this be a good trade off?
There are two sides to this – It makes it significantly harder to steal an aircraft, is highly visible and is relatively unobtrusive. It has high value from a public perception perspective and may keep the government from fencing GA airports since locks are far more cost effective. It may also keep them from implementing other more onerous procedures. Seems like we’re constantly on the defensive
The other side is that it’s over-reactive and gives up another freedom. And, are we prepared to deal with a public and political firestorm if a GA aircraft is stolen and used inappropriately? Hobson’s choice?
Give us your thoughts.