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Universities, companies use federal rule to block private plane flight routes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SixToe, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Alabama, Florida and Penn State among the universities that have requested their private plane flight records be hidden from public view:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-04-08-blocked-flights_N.htm


    Alabama cited its 2006 coaching search and the tracking of flights as its reason.
     
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Re: Universitie, companies use federal rule to block private plane flight routes

    Since these are public universities I don't think they should be able to do this, but, the flight stalking has gotten a bit insane.
     
  3. linotype

    linotype Well-Known Member

    Re: Universitie, companies use federal rule to block private plane flight routes

    Man, to paraphrase George Jones, I was a flight-tracker before tracking flights was cool. A few years back, that little trick helped me break a significant coach hiring at a BCS school. But you're right, it's gone over the edge now -- so now I've got to find a new trick (in addition to my shoe-leather beat work) to stay a step ahead of the game.
     
  4. Wonderlic

    Wonderlic Member

    Re: Universitie, companies use federal rule to block private plane flight routes

    From the USA Today story, which has an editing error in the second sentence:

    That's nice.
     
  5. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    Re: Universitie, companies use federal rule to block private plane flight routes

    Because that's significant.
     
  6. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Well, yeah. With the number of hires they're making these days, they've got to go to great lengths themselves to make sure nobody else knows which young f'n stud they're going to grab and from where.
     
  7. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Thank God. I covered Alabama's 2006 search and felt like Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" while I was in the midst of all the plane tracking. One guy called me and gave me a tip on a tail number that was registered to the University of Alabama, and was flying back and forth between Panama City and Birmingham twice in the span of about 45 minutes. Was it someone literally doing shuttle diplomacy between a prospective coach and Alabama BOTs? No. I called the re-fueling center at one of the airports where I learned it was a UAB hospital Med Flight plane transporting crash victims.

    Another time I got an eyeball witness to Steve Spurrier's South Carolina plane in Ocala, Fla. on the phone. She also told me the pilots had told this lady to call the car service to bring Spurrier's car around to pick him up. She knew it was him. I thought surely Spurrier was on some recruiting trip and Alabama's AD was gonna meet with him while he was on the road. I asked her for the tail number to what I thought was the Alabama AD's plane. She didn't know who was on it, but the pilot was over getting coffee and she would give him my number if I wanted. Yes, indeed! The pilot calls back about 15 minutes later and I ask him if he's flying Alabama's AD. The response?

    "HA! No, but if I was I'd tell him he's doing a sorry job!"

    "So you're not flying him."

    "Nope. (click)"

    There was more useless plane tracking, and one tracked flight that actually helped me find out that Kevin Steele was on his way into town before any of Saban's staff had been announced. I tracked the FSU plane into Tuscaloosa and got down tot he complex in time to see him pulling in the driveway so I was able to get that story up. Mostly, though, it was a huge waste of my life.
     
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Nice to see that USA Today, owned by Gannett, didn't note that Gannett was among the private companies blocking tail number tracking.
     
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