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Saturday: September 17, 2005

Second Thoughts?

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:10 PM UTC

Silent Running reports from New Zealand that someone stole a small plane and flew it around Auckland for quite some time threatening to crash it into the Sky Tower, before ditching in the sea. I’d never heard of the Sky Tower, but from SR’s illustration, it looks a lot like Toronto’s CNN CN Tower, and Google tells me that it is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere, 1076 feet, with a restaurant more than half-way up.

I wonder if Prime Minister Helen Clark, while she waited to see what would happen, had any regrets about disarming the Royal New Zealand Air Force: it now consists of transport planes and helicopters. One of the seventeen A-4K Skyhawks that were retired in 2001 might have come in handy in this situation. Of course, it’s possible that the arrival of a fighter jet would have induced the man to go ahead and crash into the tower while he still had the chance, and shooting him down would quite likely have killed some on the ground. But it would have been nice to have the choice, instead of just waiting helplessly to see whether he would go through with his threats. It would have been a pity to lose the Sky Tower because Helen Clark couldn’t conceive of any reason for New Zealand to have an Air Force worthy of the name.


  1. It would be cheaper to maintain some Stinger missles or even anti-aircraft artillery than to maintain a combat aircraft.

    Comment by Anonymous — Monday: September 26, 2005 @ 10:05 AM UTC

  2. Stuff bumping around in my head today.
    Here’s a little story I’d missed… More interesting to me is Dr. Weevil’s take on it, and his commenters response. New Zealand’s Government is relying on the “we’re small, and we’ll be nice to everybody” system of defense. You can…

    Trackback by Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys.. — Friday: September 30, 2005 @ 11:25 AM UTC

  3. It would be cheaper to maintain some Stinger missles or even anti-aircraft artillery than to maintain a combat aircraft.

    By the time you’d finished buying the Oerlikons or whatever to ring Aukland with triple-A sites, completed gunnery qualification for the troops needed to man those sites — continually — and computed the cost of their support, an A-4 with a 20mm cannon begins to look like a fairly cost-effective tool.

    Comment by BillT — Friday: September 30, 2005 @ 1:01 PM UTC

  4. please, that is CN Tower in Toronto – as in Canadian National Tower. Saying CNN Tower makes you sound like a tourist….

    Comment by huh? — Monday: October 10, 2005 @ 8:06 PM UTC

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