Kevin Garrison Launches FAA Trial Balloon
In a little less than a year and a half, we will have a new president leading our country. It's hoped, we'll get all the nonsense of general aviation user fees straightened out way before the next administration takes office. I have been trying to think of a dumber issue that should never have come into being, but I'm having a hard time.
With each new presidential administration comes a new executive team. This sometimes includes a change in who is the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. When and if this power change happens, I think I should be considered, nominated and confirmed as the new Sheriff in town.
I have absolutely nothing against the current Administrator, no matter who he or she is. I also don't care if a Republican or Democrat or Independent becomes the next president. I want the job of running the FAA anyway.
I think when you have a look at my new policies and have a chance to think them over that you'll probably start a letter writing campaign to whisk me into office. Heck, we may not even want to wait for the election – let's get me in there today!
Government officials who appear in flight suits tend to look lame. Just ask Dubya Bush about his flight suited appearance on that aircraft carrier a number of years ago. It is sort of like when Calvin Coolidge when he allowed himself to be photographed wearing an Indian Chief's Headdress. Harry Truman refused to be photographed in a hat and later presidents had mixed feelings on the subject. (Ed: Remember Dukakis in a tank commander's helmet? Remember Dukakis? Point taken.)
Personally, I think for the FAA Administrator, a dark blue flight suit is totally appropriate and in order. Fitting my status as a sworn government official, I would, of course, be carrying side arms. I plan on going to whatever military museum holds them and reclaim General Patton's pearl handled revolvers for this purpose. I've already discussed how dangerous a hat is to a politician so I would limit that part of my FAA uniform to a simple cap with fake seagull poop on the brim that had the letters "Ooops!" prominently on the front.
My flight suit could contain pen and pencil pockets just in case I found a pilot I wanted to issue a violation to and would have a side pocket with a Velcro ® closure on the side to hold my government issued credit cards.
Pimp the Administrator's Ride
I would need these government credit cards because I plan to fly around a lot and survey the aviation system I now run. I would fly around mostly in my modified F-18 or my executive branch pimped out Boeing 777. I would use the F-18 for those "hurry up" trips to places where I wouldn't need much luggage, and would save the 777 for fact finding trips to Monaco and, of course, my monitoring of our environment.
The F-18 would be painted a blue and white scheme to match my flight suit would have no "N" number. I'm the administrator – I don't need no stinking "N" number…
Another great feature of the F-18 would be the paint ball Gatling gun pods on the wings, which along with the big paint ball Hellfire Missiles would make a very big impression on FAR violators.
Let's say I'm cruising along at flight level 490 at mach 1.5 or so. Suddenly, my ATC violation alarm goes off. This alarm is a special pulsating red phone in my cockpit that tells me when an FAR violator is within range of my jet. Maybe it is some guy flying his banged-up spam can around without the proper BFR endorsement in his pilot logbook. Maybe it is an airliner like a Boeing 767 flying along illegally without a charged battery in their number three lav smoke alarm.
Either way, there is a violation of the FARs going on, and it is my duty to enforce the living heck out of them.
Instant justice; Getting a vector from my ATC guys until I get a visual on the target, I arm my Gatling gun. I come in high and in trail of the target, hopefully with the Sun at my six and spray the offender with about 2000 rounds of paint-ball ammo. It doesn't kill anybody, but when they land at the nearest suitable airport my FAR enforcement people won't have any trouble recognizing which aircraft to inspect.
I don't just plan on enforcing the FARs in the air. Let's say that people are illegally lining up their cars at a major airport like LAX. They have been told and told to keep moving but they insist on double and triple parking – jamming up my airport's peaceful flow of traffic.
There is a war going on – If your FAA Administrator is in the area he can roll-in and unleash a couple of those paint-filled Hellfire missiles on the traffic jam. You can bet the next time a police officer tells them to move along, they'll scoot.
In my new role as FAA Administrator, I'll be able to cut costs drastically. My personal staff will consist only of my F-18 crew chief, my ordnance loader and manager, my masseuse, a press secretary and my personal assistant, a very nice female Navy pilot (who will wear a light blue flight suit).
The biggest cost I'll be able to immediately cut will be the expense of too many air traffic controllers. This is nothing against the controllers. They're hard working professionals who will be vectoring me toward worthy targets. I just won't hire that many more controllers as the older ones retire.
How will I do that? After all, the airlines are already screaming about an upcoming controller shortage. Easy – I just make most of the airspace above our country uncontrolled. Less controlled airspace, fewer controllers.
Except for high-density areas and above flight level 180, all airspace in the United States will be uncontrolled. All closed local control towers will be made into eclectic restaurants featuring either a European cuisine or some sort of fried Catfish.
These rule changes mean you should be careful out there and consider taking the family to dinner.
There are Some Restrictions….
I will begin a National Parks of the Air system. Certain areas will be set aside for one particular type of flying. You know – special airspace areas designated only for World War One fighters, another set aside for airplanes without starters, and another reserved only for biplanes. Certain days will also be set aside as National Flying Holidays. Jimmy Doolittle's birthday, Battle of Britain Day and in the summer we can celebrate Wind Sand & Stars day.
The restricted airspace around the president and Congress will have to remain in effect. With so much hot air rising from DCA, it is more of a safety thing to keep you out of turbulence than a security precaution. Your plan to circle the White House while towing a banner stating your political position will have to wait for more peaceful times. Of course, as Administrator, I'll be able to buzz the White House at will.
It is Time…
Don't you think it's time to have an FAA Administrator who has a little flash and élan? Aren't you tired of the same old wrinkled suited mugwumps who make boring speech after boring speech? Aren't you ready for a by-gawd Administrator who enjoys administrating? Aren't you also ready for a little respect around this country of ours?
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being put down by the government and the public who thinks general aviation is nothing but yahoos crashing into mobile homes. Let's add a little edge and zip to the job of FAA Administrator.
I can see it now. At this year's Oshkosh, people are hanging around the ramp, expectantly waiting for the arrival of their new FAA Administrator. Before they even see me they hear and feel the sonic boom of my F-18. I do a Mach-one flyby, spraying the entire show line with thousands of paint ball rounds. Then I unleash a barrage of paint ball missiles on the ultralight area (damn Hippies!).
After I land, you can see Commander Bambi finishing up the post flight chores in the back seat of the F-18 as I taxi to the line and wave to the crowd.
I exit and am greeted by a smarmy representative of some low-down television cable news network who wants to ask me, the Administrator, about general aviation user fees. I calmly face my interrogator, draw my pearl handled revolvers and empty both weapons into his chest, firing all my paint ball rounds on target.
Then I break out the government credit cards and we all go out for dinner.
How could I not be the best FAA Administrator ever?
(That's the Blogteaser Quiz Question. You have 20 minutes to write your reply and post it in the Comments section below.)
Remember, Vote Blog Party and "Party like it's 2008!"