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  1. #1
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    steveeverson's Avatar
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    Exclamation Steve's 737 approved by local police..

    Hi Everyone,
    Had a visit by 2 detective constables from the local police station this morning- 'nothing to worry about sir, but we have had a report that you have a flight simulator in your house and have come round to investigate..'

    As it turned out they were very nice and i invited them up to the spare room where they could see my cockpit build in progress.. fired up the sim and one of them even tried a takeoff from london heathrow. They couldn't tell me where they got my information from but reading between the lines it seems they are sometimes passed leads from the internet.. They were very happy that i wasn't doing anything suspicious, especially as i explained that i was a member of the local gliding club and also involved in UK worldflight as one of the pilots (flying a friends 747 sim) and raising money for charity.They also asked who flew with me and i explained that it was just friends/family etc.

    Also explained about our growing hobby, vatsim etc.. They were both very impressed and i think actually quite enjoyed themselves.

    They liked the fact there was a builders/flightsim community and asked if i could mention to everyone that we should always pass on any information about people who may contact us wanting to fly our sims with any suspicious intentions (i guess that means anyone wanting to learn to fly and not to land etc..)

    Anyway- interesting morning. Certainly shows that the uk government take things seriously.
    Steve

  2. #2
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    As large as this site has become, don't think that it is not watched by a number of government agencies from a number of countries!
    Bob Reed

  3. #3
    300+ Forum Addict David Rogers's Avatar
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    Wow - I'm really taken back by that Steve..... I mean, in one sense, yes, it is good that the security aspect is there, but on the other hand, with regards to privacy and one's rights to enjoy a hobby in the privacy of their own home ....... one can't help thinking it's another brick in the wall of the world becomming a Police state ....

    It's not at all my intention to provoke any political debates (this is surely not the place), and I know people have starkly different views on things like this. Perhaps the world now needs this type of surveillance ..... sad if that's the case.

    Oh well, I best get the kettle on if MI5 are due any day !

    The fact is, the intelligence agencies of the world should realise the perhaps scary fact that, you don't need a home cockpit to learn how to fly a plane - a copy of flight simulator 2004, and a couple of advanced add-ons could potentially teach people what they need to know about some airliners.

    Anyway, the most reassuring thing Steve, is that they were decent blokes and treated you respectfully. It's one thing making a polite enquiry but I'd be most upset if my front door was busted in, or the SAS arrived on ropes through my attic window....

    Note to UK Intelligence agencies - you're welcome to see my 'pit but I'd recommend waiting 2 weeks, until I've painted the pedestal !

    Not making light of the crucial work that the security services do, I am just applying some light heartedness to some of the mad ways our world is changing.
    David R
    Durham, England

    1979 Mooney M20J Cockpit builder ......

  4. #4
    Executive Assistant Geremy Britton's Avatar
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    blimey - didn't think they would be allowed to do that sort of thing. (especially if it got out in papers etc. i'm sure they would make a meal of it as usual)
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products
    www.geremy.co.uk

  5. #5
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    steveeverson's Avatar
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    Mycockpit.org steves 737

    Thanks David, they were really decent blokes and very polite- only wished that the centre eicas came up as it usually does- ! usual software/network problems. Still good exercise in flying without all the instruments!

    Ps must have a uk builders meetup sometime!

    Steve

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Trevor Hale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 737 Gez View Post
    blimey - didn't think they would be allowed to do that sort of thing. (especially if it got out in papers etc. i'm sure they would make a meal of it as usual)

    I am sure that if you had requested some kind of a warrant, you would have nothing but problems. Bottom line for all of us this is a hobby, and if you have nothing to hide, why not let them in.

    Great story. Wish someone would show some interest like that in my setup ROFL...

    Just goes to show what kind of a different world we all live in since 9/11

    Best regards,

    Trev
    ________________________
    Trevor Hale

  7. #7
    Executive Assistant Geremy Britton's Avatar
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    yeah, i remember my parents taking me up to the flight deck and i used to gaze around in amazement at all the switches not knowing what anything does! (now i do obviously) I still have a look in the flightdeck on some occations after landing if the pilot lets me - depends.
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products
    www.geremy.co.uk

  8. #8
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    Police State- that is definitely what comes to mind in this case. Thankfully they just had a look around and realized straight away that it (in your case) is nothing more than a hobby. That kinda crap better not happen here (in the US) or there will be heck to pay.

    I have known controlled substance sellers down the street from me with cars coming and going at all times of night and cops are well aware of it, but the amount of time it takes to surveil and get a warrant to bust them is too much we're told. There in the UK a couple of blokes show up and demand to look around at a home flight simulator that is well document on the internet-that's a bit much IMNSHO.

    Sadly, like Trevor mentioned, there would likely be more issues by refusing entry than not.
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  9. #9
    "That kinda crap better not happen here (in the US) or there will be heck to pay"

    Is this really that a big deal? The police knock on the door, you show them the sim, take a flight, chat about the hobby and have some fun in the process. The police are happy, the security agency is happy and your name is struck off the list.

    I think its great that people are still being vigilant in our countries when it comes to security. God knows we need to be and outside of our community this hobby isnt normal is other peoples eyes.

    Gary

  10. #10
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    No to "normal" people we look like fruits! You should see peoples expressions when I say what my hobby is but that does not compare to when I show them the cockpit.... Hmm is that a guy in a white coat at my door? Nice jacket he has there for me, but why are the arms so long?
    Bob Reed

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