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FAA Memo: Feds Knew NYC Flyover Would Cause Panic

Threatened Federal Sanctions Against NYPD, Secret Service, FBI & Mayor's Office If Secret Ever Got Out
Furious Obama Apologizes: "It Will Never Happen Again"

April 28, 2009
by Marcia Kramer
wcbstv.com

NEW YORK (CBS) -- A furious President Barack Obama ordered an internal review of Monday's low-flying photo op over the Statue of Liberty.CBS 2 HD has discovered the feds will have plenty to question.

Federal officials knew that sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz ground zero and Lady Liberty might set off nightmarish fears of a 9/11 replay, but they still ordered the photo-op kept secret from the public.

In a memo obtained by CBS 2 HD [Ed: posted below] the Federal Aviation Administration's James Johnston said the agency was aware of "the possibility of public concern regarding DOD (Department of Defense) aircraft flying at low altitudes" in an around New York City. But they demanded total secrecy from the NYPD, the Secret Service, the FBI and even the mayor's office and threatened federal sanctions if the secret got out. (Emphasis added)

What are your feelings on federal officials demanding the NYC flyover be kept secret by the NYPD and the mayor's office?

"To say that it should not be made public knowing that it might scare people it's just confounding," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "It's what gives Washington and government a bad name. It's sheer stupidity."

The flyover -- apparently ordered by the White House Office of Military Affairs so it would have souvenir photos of Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background -- had President Obama seeing red. He ordered a probe and apologized. [continued]

Remainder of article, with excellent photos, video of news report, and link to comments are at source URL: http://wcbstv.com/topstories/air.force.one.2.996457.html


Air Force What?! FAA Memo Details Presidential Photo Flop
Posted April 28, 2009 at ohmygov.com

Bloomberg: "I'm annoyed -- furious is a better word -- that I wasn't told"

FROM: FAA Air Traffic System Operations Security (AJR-2)

SUBJECT: Flight Notification- New York City -Statue of Liberty Photo Op, Upper New York Bay / Newark Bay on April 27, 2009, 10:00L. (amended 4/23)

The information in this document is considered FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, and should only be shared with persons with a need to know. Information in this document shall not be released to the public or media.

1. The Department of Defense (DOD), in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will conduct a flying photo op in the New York City Area on April 27, 2009 involving a transport and fighter aircraft. Below are the details regarding the operation.

• Date: Monday April 27, 2009 (Primary), April 28 or April 30 (weather backup dates)
• Number / Type Aircraft: 1 VC-25 and 2 F-16s. Actual photo op will only have VC25 and 1 F16.
• Callsign: VENUS01
• Departure point: ADW
• Arrival point: ADW
• Flight Plan: Crews will file two separate IFR flight plans:
ADW-JFK: KADW.. PALEO V44 SIE CAMRN4 JFK
Requested altitude FL190B210
EWR-ADW: KEWR..EWR7.BIGGY J75 MXE V378 BAL KADW

• Planned Departure Time: 0930 approximately
• Planned Time On Photo Op Location: 10:00 -10:30L.
• Planned Photo Op Altitude: 1000-1500ft
• Number of Passes: 2, possibly 3

The aircraft will depart ADW via IFR clearance as a three (3) ship formation to Sea Isle (SIE). At SIE one (1) of the fighters will leave the flight and return to ADW IFR via SIE ATR V308 BILIT ADW.

The VC25 and 1 F16 will proceed IFR to CAMRN intersection south of JFK. In the vicinity of CAMRN intersection the aircraft will cancel IFR and proceed VFR with New York TRACON (N90) towards the Verranzano Bridge. N90 will hand the aircraft off to Newark Tower (EWR) for the flight in the Upper NY and Newark Bay. Upon completion of the final pass the aircraft will be treated as a EWR departure and pickup an IFR clearance back to ADW.

The photo op portion of the flight will be VFR in accordance with the specified ground track as per the attached map (Attachment 1). On the northbound flight segments the fighter aircraft will be offset to the east by approximately ½ mile. During the southbound flight segment the fighter will re-position to remain offset to the aircraft within the depicted box.

The operation will be monitored by FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinators (ATSC) at the Domestic Event Network at FAA Headquarters from start to finish. Any questions or issues can be directed to the FAA ATSC at the DEN. The FAA ATSC can be reached at (202) 493-5107.

The Public Affairs posture for this effort is passive. No media or press releases are planned. Please direct all media inquiries to the FAA Air Traffic Security Coordinator at (202) 493-5107. Due to the possibility of public concern regarding DOD aircraft flying at low levels, coordination with Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies, emergency operations centers and aviation units has been accomplished.

//SIGNED//

JAMES J. JOHNSTON, FAA Air Traffic
AJR-2 System Operations Security

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