Low Flying Aircraft and Technology – Today’s Commentary by a Local Professor at MTSU

DESCRIPTION: Small aircraft, technology and FAA. With today’s commentary, here’s MTSU professor Larry Burriss…


Speaking: “We talked a little here about the dangers of technology, the Internet and computers. Loss of privacy, stolen data and fake news.

But last week, I heard about an incident that happened in a state where all these problems and worries became useful for at least one person. It’s a cautionary tale about what all these technological wonders can, and can’t, do to us.

It seems that a homeowner has filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration about a private pilot who flew less than 300 feet from his home. The affected citizen even had a video of a red and white plane landing at the local airport, where he confirmed everything.

The FAA has successfully identified an alleged felony pilot who is now facing a license loss and possible job loss for flying dangerously over home and operating the aircraft in a careless and negligent manner.

Enter new, and old, technology.

First, the aircraft in question is equipped with the latest technology that automatically tracks operations, and transmits multiple aircraft operations and flight information.

Because these reports are easily available on the Internet, some have complained about the possibility of some unsavory people tracking their movements.

But by superimposing the plane’s data on Google’s new mapping technology, the suspected pilot was able to show that he had indeed flown above the right house, but at 700 feet and some three hours after the video of another plane up different, and abuse. In addition, the records show that the pilot never landed at the airport in question.

And what about the video of the red and white plane being guilty? Well, a careful examination of the pictures shows that the helicopter is a two-seater, and the innocent plane has only one seat.

It is also interesting that for some reason the FAA investigator, who was later transferred, chose to ignore all relevant information in an attempt to “find” the innocent pilot. And he probably succeeded, except for all the new technologies that are familiar.

We have often said that the problem here is not the technology, but the users. But every once in a while, the good guys win one. – I’m Larry Burriss.”

About Dr. Burriss – Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from Ohio State University (BA in broadcast journalism, MA in journalism), University of Oklahoma (MA in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in newspaper) and Concord Law School (JD). He has worked in publishing, broadcasting and public relations, and has published extensively in academic and popular publications. He won first place in the Associated Press Tennessee Radio Contest nine times. Books by Dr. Burriss’s presentations include analysis of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to youth use of social media, legal research, and Middle Earth.

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Dr. Burriss previously served as director of the School of Journalism, Dean of the College of Mass Communication and President of MTSU’s Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Governors. He is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force and has served in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.

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