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Squawks & HeadlinesAOPA demands response to aircraft searches.

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AOPA demands response to aircraft searches.

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AOPA questions CBP's authority to conduct searches of private aircraft and demands a response from the government to questions of who is responsible, what authority they have. No response has been given so far. AOPA threatens to "elevate it to Congress". (www.aopa.org) More...

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Moviela
Ric Wernicke 2
Recently a pilot had his domestic telephone calls monitored and key words of $240,000 for a legitimate capital project and a vacation in Mexico resulted in a search and detention in TN after a flight from TX. Flight tracking had been spoofed to show crossing into Mexico and an attempt to detain the pilot in TX was made. He was able to take off in his MU2 because the FBO refused to detain him. There was a personal relationship, and the FBO knew the pilot had a stellar reputation.

Blame whom ever you like at the agencies involved, but the buck stops in the Oval Office.

Pres. Obama and his AG, Eric Holder has shown a blatant disregard for the Constitution. The President should be impeached and Holder prosecuted with all possible dispatch. The Congress needs to put partisan politics aside and take notice before more civil liberties are extinguished by the administration.

This situation is more serious than the Nixon/Mitchell Watergate scandal or even Bill Clinton and his cigar.

If the CBP protection rolls up to you during domestic operations, LOCK THE AIRCRAFT, do not consent to any search, do not answer any questions except your name, and repeat the phrase "I am not willing to do that" for any demand they make like surrender the keys, or allow inspection of your property. They may pat you down in what is called a Terry Search to be sure you do not have a concealed weapon. If they try to move your location, demand an attorney and say nothing beyond that. Remain polite, respectful, and stay calm. In the field they have all the power and weapons, but in a Court of Law where the weapons are intelligence, wit, and logic, they are unarmed.
Pileits
Pileits 2
Here are some responses you may wish to consider:

“Do you have a warrant to search my aircraft?” If they have a properly executed warrant, stand aside.
“Am I under arrest? If so, what are the charges?”
“I want to leave. Am I being detained or am I free to go?”
“If this is a ramp check, then who is the FAA inspector here and where is your identification card, called a FAA Form 110A.?”
zcolescott
Zachary Colescott 1
Has there been any comment on where these searches have been happening? This isn't the first I've heard of these searches, but what I haven't heard is where and under what circumstances they've been happening.
zcolescott
Zachary Colescott 1
Okay, answered my own question. They are happening far inland, nowhere near a border. AOPA's website has more info on this. Disgusting.
ChezFunk
Mike Meyer 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

AOPA Takes A Stand On Customs Searches

They're aware that about 12 of their 400,000 members have been stopped and searched by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and AOPA Wednesday sent a letter to CBP seeking clarification regarding the authority for, and legal limits of, such searches. According to AOPA, none of its pilot members who have been stopped knew of any reason for the searches. The pilot group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents related to those events, "but so far they have been unresponsive," Steve Hodges, AOPA director of media relations, told AVweb Thursday. Meanwhile, AOPA has crafted a kneeboard-sized advisory checklist for pilots, titled "What to do if stopped by law enforcement." CBP has already given AOPA a timeframe within which it can expect a response to its concerns. And through its letter, AOPA has offered a litigious reply.

http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archives/avflash/2541-full.html