Hey, that could be…me

This article on AVweb references a flyer apparently distributed by DHS around Hickory, NC, in the last few weeks. It says to be on the lookout for suspicious operations and aircraft that may be exhibiting “indicators of suspicious activity”. Those indicators have a disturbing level of familiarity, to wit:

A customer that does not want to provide any identification, or provides identification from a Southwest Border state of foreign country

OK, I never have any problems providing identification if asked, but if I do, it’s likely to be a combination of a U.S. passport and an AZ driver’s license.

A customer who insists on paying cash.

I don’t do this all that much, but a lot of guys I know do. It’s common practice.

A customer who displays numerous cellular telephones

Only one for me. I do have a drawer full of dead ones, though.

Transfer of luggage or bags from one person or aircraft to another.

Uh Oh. Been there, done that. Especially if I’m at a marginal strip, and have a friend with a heavy hauler that can safely pack out some gear.

Guards posted around the aircraft.

Not so much guards, as a few guys standing around with beers when we’re done flying for the day. I don’t think we look much like guards, though.

Rents hangars for short periods of time.

Admittedly, that one’s pretty rare.

Excessive amount of luggage for only one person.

Anyone ever seen my camping setup? “Excessive luggage” is fitting.

Vague about their travel itinerary.

Well, yeah. “Trying to get around this weather to <xxxx>, might take a couple of days. Maybe go east, maybe west, maybe I just won’t get there…”


Depends on just how bad that weather was…

Altered “N” numbers.

Probably not so much.

Dirty undercarriage or tires.

(Ding!!!) We have a winner!!!

Uses self refueling very late at night or very early in the morning.

I almost always self-serve when I can, and it’s often early or late. I’m cheap^H^H^H^H^H thrifty, and only a 325nm range, so we’re talkin’ a lot of fuel stops.

Flying an aircraft that is worn out but has a very nice GPS system.

Define “worn out”? Sounds to me like half the airplanes in the western U.S., Canada, or AK.

That looks like about 9 of 13 for me, depending on interpretation. So, I think it’s safe to say I better avoid North Carolina for awhile.


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