Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:13 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:13:20 GMT
It's a crime that continues to generate anger and disbelief in Montgomery and beyond- the destruction of the home of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks. The case took center stage this Labor Day at an annualMore >>
The community is uniting to help catch the criminals who desecrated a piece of Montgomery history. The vandalism of Rosa Parks' home angered many across the city and hundreds have donated in an effort to help find those responsible. Crimestoppers is hoping a bigger reward will crack the case.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:01:11 GMT
With a new round of talks on easing the crisis in Ukraine about to start, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the participants to push for a cease-fire between Ukrainian government troops and...More >>
Pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence Monday, saying they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy - a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new...More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:30:18 GMT
I would like to take a moment to address our viewers who watch us through the DirecTV system. After midnight on Aug. 31, our signal was removed from the DirecTV system due to a lack of an agreement betweenMore >>
I would like to take a moment to address our viewers who watch us through the DirecTV system.More >>
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
The federal government deems them too dangerous to walk onto a commercial plane, but a hole in the law still allows homegrown threats to man the controls.
A CBS 5 Investigation has learned that nothing is stopping U.S. citizens currently on the no-fly list from learning how to fly.
In the weeks following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government understandably moved to ban foreigners on the no-fly list from enrolling in any type of U.S. flight school.
Most of the terrorists who piloted the planes that horrible day learned how to fly at schools in the United States.
Hani Hanjour, the man believed to be at the controls of the plane that targeted the Pentagon, trained in Phoenix.
A loophole in U.S. Homeland Security still allows those who might have sinister intentions to pilot planes.
They are prevented from being a passenger on a plane or, at best, they must pass through several layers of security before they are ever allowed on board. But if they simply have a driver's license, the federal government allows them to grab the stick and learn how to fly the plane themselves.
Steve Raether has been a flight instructor for more than 20 years.
"In light of incidences like Oklahoma, the Oklahoma bombing, you would think, well, maybe we have some security risks right here at home that we need to be concerned with," Raether said.
Raether points out this risk is probably smaller because the planes students train on are smaller, but the knowledge gained can easily transfer to larger threats like private jets or cargo planes that are not as tightly controlled.
"The basic understanding about pointing an airplane in the right direction is fairly simple," Raether said.
"[The loophole] does need to be closed," Jim Tilmon said. "There's no doubt of that in my mind."
Tilmon is a former commercial pilot and security consultant.
The loophole took him by surprise.
"I think everybody that takes flying lessons should be vetted," Tilmon said. "I don't care who it is. It doesn't matter to me where they are from or what they look like, or male or female, or anything else."
The TSA seems to agree. A statement to CBS 5 News reads, in part:
"At the secretary's direction, TSA is giving consideration to amending these regulations and we will work with the FAA and the FBI to address these concerns."
The TSA did not release a timetable on when that change might happen.
Tilmon said while closing the loophole may seem like a simple matter, he said government agencies are too big to move with the speed this threat requires.
"I don't dream that any system is going to be perfect," Tilmon said. "For every loophole that's closed, we'll discover two more."
The TSA does collect certificates from all flight students and says it scrutinizes them for potential threats, but the students are allowed to undergo training while that vetting process takes place.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.