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View Diary: Exxon's Skies: Why Is Exxon Controlling the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill? (219 comments)

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  •  Big city police helicopters (35+ / 0-)

    do not close down airspace when they need to move quickly, safely and efficiently in chasing down crime suspects. They are moving crews into areas, they are not chasing down escaping oil globules. I smell bull pucky.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:44:40 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Hmm, good point. (9+ / 0-)

      The excuse does sound plausible though.  What's needed is some context - like what's SOP for a disaster, and how is the FAA's treatment of this one different from how it would treat one not involving oil interests?

      Going faster miles an hour, with the radio on.

      by Troubadour on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:01:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Counterexample: (9+ / 0-)

      Remember that notorious cop-killer holed up in the cabin at Big Bear Lake a few weeks ago?  For that, the police had their own TFR over the cabin, and the media helicopters hovered right on top of that.

      It takes time to get one of these things issued and to disseminate the information, so they tend to be associated with static situations, not pursuits.

      "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

      by craiger on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:26:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. There was substantial risk he was going to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, elwior, radmul

        shoot at helicopters.

        Do you think Exxon employees on the ground are going to shoot at helicopters?

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:49:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  beside the point (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Mad Season, Larsstephens

          I imagine that someone will chime in to the thread shortly to make that suggestion.  Or even to suggest that the USAF will shoot down news helicopters at 1200 AGL to protect Exxon's secrecy.  Some of the comments to this diary have been that dumb.

          "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

          by craiger on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:03:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There are corridors and strict rules (9+ / 0-)

      in the air space over every populated area. Among them in most places are altitude restrictions, typically 1000 feet in cities. (Actually I think 1000 feet above and away from anything you might hit... big buildings, radio towers, other structures.)

      Police take a very few, VERY well calculated chances, air ambulances take the most chances, and far too many end up in flaming heaps of twisted metal. (Ones flown by experienced pilots, with thousand of hours.)  If you ever watch a police helicopter land in a spot that is not an airport you will see them circling as much as half a dozen times as they descend.

      It's sphincter clenching enough to land outside a landing site. The consequence of missing something as small as a little tree branch or wire are almost certain death and destruction, including your own.

      This NOTAM takes was would (likely) be a 500' restriction up by 500'.  Enough to give the Exxon pilots (or whoever they've hired) just enough room to worry about clearing the shit on the ground, before they have to worry (too much) about any media circus in the air. (Though most pilots, even those who fly for the media, do NOT mess with the operation of another aircraft.)

      •  I appreciate the info (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, shaharazade

        While these guys are landing their birds, they aren't in an emergency or remote acccess situation, though. I'd venture to say the only reason they are using helicopters is to avoid driving through the goop on the ground.

        One of the side effects of the no fly zone, though, is that there is no media circus overhead. I suspect one of the lessons learned from the BP disaster was to not let independant observers or local news organizations into the area with video cameras.

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 12:03:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "No fly zone" ? (7+ / 0-)

          That's pretty loaded.  Guess you want to stick to the cover up theory eh?

          Technical stuff: If you had a guppy, and it had blue eyes, and you took it outside in it's little fish bowl, and you could convince it to look up, a person with a good camera could tell you what color eyes your guppy had from 1000 feet up.

          But why do that?  Arial photos may show the big picture, but there is going to be no diff on that from 1000 feet vs. 500 feet.  And as far as compelling images go, the press seems to have free access to a view from a few feet away.

          For example here:

          http://www.npr.org/...

          and here:
          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...

          There WERE instances in the BP oil spill where it seemed that the state of LA almost certainly assisted in a cover up of damaging images.  But it's really hard to argue that this very routine Federal agency issued NOTAMS is anything of the sort, and anything other than what it appears to be.  Especially since it does not stop people taking pictures, which  don't seem to be in short supply.

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