May 11, 2009

Who Was on Scare Force One?

That seems to be Ann Althouse's main question in this post, to which I can only answer with what the Air Force told me:

Mr. Owens--

Documents related to your inquiry may be requested through
the Air Force Freedom of Information Act office: request options and
instructions are available at However, the flight in question occurred as part of a scheduled training mission, so there were no passengers on board. Requested documents therefore will only list military personnel.

Lt Col Tadd Sholtis
Deputy Chief, Current Operations
Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs

No passengers = No VIPs = No conspiracy theory (or... a bigger one!).

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 11, 2009 10:30 AM

Hmmm, no passengers, eh? So were there "mission specialists" perhaps, with names like Ima Donor, Han Dover DaCashe, and Lotta Buxferbama?

Methinks the Lincoln Bedroom has been comprehensively one-upped.

Posted by: Stoutcat at May 11, 2009 02:27 PM

Apparently this Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis is informed on certain aspects of this mission.

Since you have a dialog started, how about asking him about the photographer tasked to take the pictures, what type of equipment was used, where the chase plane were from, etc.

Let’s milk this source for everything he’s worth.

Posted by: jwest at May 11, 2009 04:48 PM

Ask them why the Al.National Guard were training over New York City ?

Posted by: my my at May 11, 2009 06:00 PM

"the flight in question occurred as part of a scheduled training mission"


I thought it was to take PR pictures of VC-25 over NYC / Statue of Liberty to give as souvenirs to Obama "supporters."

Posted by: JALL at May 11, 2009 11:44 PM

"the flight in question occurred as part of a scheduled training mission"


I thought it was to take PR pictures of VC-25 over NYC / Statue of Liberty to give as souvenirs to Obama "supporters."

Posted by: JAL at May 11, 2009 11:45 PM

I still don't get the jet fighters that flew alongside 'Scare Force One' --> they had red tails.

I believe they are from Alabama, and they had to be flown up special for this little stunt. WHY? Why the hell bring up planes from there at additional expense? I'm pretty damn sure NY has an Air National Guard wing up there.

I still think the rumors that this had something to do with publicity photos for the upcoming Tuskegee Airman movie aren't too far from the truth.

Posted by: Uh-huh at May 12, 2009 12:09 PM

Maybe we're going about this the wrong way... Can you ask your source about the accompanying jet fighters? Were they from Alabama? If so, why they hell were they used, and not the local NY guys?
Who were the pilots of those jets?

Posted by: Uh-huh at May 12, 2009 12:16 PM

Third option: If Lt Col Tadd Sholtis does not know of any passengers on board, does not mean there were no passengers on board. It could just mean he was not *told* of the passengers on board.

Fourth option: Any donors on board were simply classified as "Crew" for the duration of the flight. Perhaps camera crew?

Lastly: Regardless of donors, somebody specifically planned and authorized the low altitude flight path Scare Force One took over the top of New York City, easily within 2000 feet of the top of any nearby obstacle (large buildings full of panicked people), and in violation of FAA rules, and within one of the tightest controlled pieces of airspace in the country. Not just the flight, which was “go fly AF1 to the Statue of Liberty and take some pics”, but the actual flight path. This somebody would have to have a great deal of authority to override air traffic controllers (you don’t hear any flight recordings of them ordering an errant plane back to altitude), and to have coordinated the whole thing. Sorry, but the one WH flunkey who approved the whole general plan just does not have the background or experience to have put this fiasco together.

More heads will roll. And I expect we will not know what happened until the first Air Force General who knows retires. (and writes a book)

Because think about this for a minute. In a Bush administration, the pilot, the co-pilot, half a dozen air traffic controllers, and three Air Force Generals would already have been dragged in front of the cameras. The mess hall cook for the Air Force base would have been interrogated about how many sack lunches went aboard. Any caviar? Champagne? The Times would have a front page story every week for a month.

Where did all our investigative press go?

Posted by: Georg Felis at May 14, 2009 10:28 AM

An hour after the NYC flyby, Air Force One was practicing landing approaches at Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton. And since we haven't had any buildings knocked down by big planes piloted by Saudis, apparently no one but me walking my dogs in the park noticed.

And absolutely not one fool in the MSM noticed.

Observant people know that Air Force One's fleet practices airport approaches throughout the US, and can be counted upon for being in the one's vacinity as often as four times a year. Usually, as it did at Allentown last month, it will line up on each of an airport's runways, and do each twice. I wouldn't be surprised if their practice includes a touch and go routine, but you have be at the airport to know that.

The planes of Air Force One are easy to spot and even easy to hear -- they are so heavy with electronics and luxury suites that they need really big engines which are much louder than usual.

All this wringing of conservative hands (and this isn't a critique from the left, I am not that) about what Obama and Air Force One is silly and tiresome. It was the air force crew taking in the sights.

It's not like that (sightseeing by pilots) hasn't happened before, and with worse consequences like the B-52 into the Empire State Building. Or the C-130 that crashed while its pilots were looking at their reflections in a lake. Or the aerial gondola in an Italian mountain valley getting smacked by a ground-hugging jet fighter.

Posted by: The Grouchy Right at May 14, 2009 02:56 PM

Why would they have to train to fly the president around the Statue Of Liberty and Washington DC? DC was planned, but cancelled after the Liberty uproar. What scenario would require flying the president around the two places at low altitude? I could see it if they were expecting a nuclear attack on NY and DC so the president could have a last look at them before they are blown up.

Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis could have been ORDERED what to say. Let's go back to Roswell NM where the Colonel investigating a "saucer" crash first called it a saucer, then later on he called it a weather balloon. He was there and saw what it was. Was he under orders to say it was a weather balloon? Is Lt. Col. Sholtis under orders?

What is most interesting is how there are more questions than answers. I am guessing there will be more incidences like this in the future for King Obama.

The Grouchy Right
You should have sent your suggestion to Obama. The problem with the "Practice Landing" theory is this would have happened before, and Obama said it was a "Photo Op." Please read what your king has already said before you try to come up with a way to defend him. It makes you look as foolish as he is.

Posted by: Smorgasbord at May 17, 2009 01:07 AM