Past Features

January 14, 2015

The Strange McSally Border Visit
Something seriously amiss
Sierra Vista Herald / Review -- January 13, 2015  
McSally visits border on first day home
Newly-elected congresswoman meets with Border Patrol, ranchers
    Sierra Vista, Arizona -- After flying back to her district Friday night, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally spent Saturday touring the southeastern Arizona border, getting the perspective of the U.S. Border Patrol and ranchers who live near the international boundary.
    “I wanted to make sure I came out of the starting gates focused on the things that matter most to us,” McSally said, during a conference call with members of the press.
    Her fifth day as a member of Congress was highlighted by witnessing some of the challenges Border Patrol agents face as they try to identify and intercept drugs being brought into the United States by foot and by air. An ultralight aircraft was detected near the Border Patrol helicopter she was in, so she got to be on board during an attempted intercept.
    While she said the radar capabilities greatly aid the Border Patrol's situational awareness, McSally saw first-hand how hard it is to find one of these small aircraft without knowing its altitude. Though the intercept failed, the Border Patrol was able to locate a different ultralight on Saturday, once it had landed.

Glenn Spencer, American Border Patrol
Something Amiss Here
    American Border Patrol has followed the ultralight issue for years. We know of no government radar in Arizona that can detect ultralight aircraft. Second, primary radar cannot detect altitude -- this is done by querying a transponder on the aircraft. Ultralights smuggling stuff certainly wouldn't have one in operation!
    Ultralights usually fly at less than 100 feet. If the BP radar tracked it - they should have been able to intercept it.
    This story truly shows the seriousness of the ultralight problem.
    ABP has tested a system to detect ultralights, but the government isn't interested in it.
    As a former Air Force A-10 pilot, Rep. McSally must know these things -- and a lot more.
    There is something seriously amiss in this story.