Man charged in plot to bomb Pentagon with model airplane

It looks to me that the sad day we all knew would eventually come has arrived. The first person that I have heard of plotting to use R/C planes to bomb the Pentagon and the Capital building. It appears he was planning to use some kind of autopilot given that they stated the plane was to be "GPS guided". Below is a link to the CNN page that has the details. I only hope this doesn't lead to a complete lock down of the R/C and sUAS industry. It is so young and ripe for growth and innovation.

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Comment by Ramon L on September 29, 2011 at 8:03am

They knew that it was going to be pretty hard to ban model aircraft, so a little conspiration was all that they need. A funny unreal story. They didnt even tried to make it sound more realistic... 2003 photos,..WTF! Where is photos of the person involved? In other look, they put r/c jets photos as the responsible! LOL .. this is how our gov work..

Comment by Mike on September 29, 2011 at 8:15am

How many people have been killed in the USA by model planes and how many by guns sold legitimately under the right to bear arms...?

Comment by IKE on September 29, 2011 at 8:45am

This story reminded me of the elaborate plots of Professor Chaos from SouthPark

Comment by bGatti on September 29, 2011 at 8:52am

If they elevate r/c planes to the level of second amendment protected devices - it may /improve/ the regulatory regime, such is the distortion of the ever-changing definition of "bear arms" as written by a non-rifled, single shot, muzzle-load bearing forefathers.

Comment by David Long on September 29, 2011 at 10:14am

The AMA magazine, Model Aviation has an editorial on UAS this month.  It's positive, echoing points I've heard on this forum -- that inherently useful and instructive technology can't be abandoned because it can be used for evil. 

In the AMA, there are (ironically) old-fashioned attitudes among many members regarding "new-fangled" electronics.  However, in one club that I belong to near Sacramento, a significant number of members are developing UAVs.  Some of the old guys roll their eyes, but others are really interested.

The AMA can be a stodgy group, but that stodginess is a part of what gives them some clout.

I admit, sometimes I get annoyed by the pedantry of local "field marshals," but those old man attitudes do provide some safety, which is good for public perception in the long run.

Comment by Ramon L on September 29, 2011 at 11:25am

OK... so if a cellphone was going to be used as the detonator... this will affect the cell-phone industry too right?! now cellphones are as bad as r/c jets! we are even now!!

Comment by Hans on September 29, 2011 at 11:31am

aerial security here we come

Comment by Tommy Neubauer on September 29, 2011 at 12:50pm

Here is a link to the AMA's official response.

Comment by Nick Urban on September 29, 2011 at 1:36pm

I just heard about this last night, I was wondering how long it would take to show up here. I can't say this is surprising, honestly I thought we'd see an attempt like this sooner. I think we're still a long way from someone managing to make a drone without prior knowledge and ability, but this will certainly put us in the public's eye.


@Scott - I'm a member of AUVSI. It's not specifically a UAV organization, but I think it's much closer to what you're looking for than something like the AMA.

Comment by Geoffrey L. Barrows on September 29, 2011 at 2:21pm

Well, having just read the AMA's official response, I am pleased that "The AMA’s 143,000 aeromodelers throughout the country pledge to keep a vigilant eye in their communities on any suspicious activity involving RC aircraft". That makes me feel safe. Now, with Halloween approaching, I hope that all members of the World Champion Punkin Chunkin Association step up to plate and promise to report any disaffected individuals building trebuchets on roof tops in downtown DC.


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