Plane & Pilot
Monday, August 1, 2005

A Chance Meeting

Sometimes reviewing the latest NOTAMs and TFRs isn’t enough

The president had been running late, visiting wounded soldiers and their dependents at the Fort Hood hospital, and he had departed quite a bit behind schedule. Finally, after a half-hour of discussion on the ground in Killeen, the Secret Service agent called his supervisor and told him, “The pilot is totally cooperative, and he apparently was operating on the best information that was available.”

He folded up the phone and told us that we were free to go. I asked him if there would be any ramifications of the incident, and he said that there had been no violation, so that would be the end of it.

Fortunately, the rest of my trip was uneventful. We arrived in Lakeland, Fla., the following day, and I dropped by the FAA building to ask an inspector about the incident.

He smiled and said, “Yes, that happens all the time. The schedule gets screwed up, and there’s no way to make certain that everyone has the message. Don’t worry about it.” Why do I still worry about it?

Bill Cox is entering his third decade as a senior contributor to Plane & Pilot® and provides consulting for media, entertainment and aviation concerns worldwide.
E-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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