Haitian Pirate Raided
Dale H. Cook
Wed Mar 13 15:34:54 EDT 2013
At 12:31 PM 3/13/2013, Donna Halper wrote:
>But what I still find mystifying, at the risk of beating a dead
>horse, is why the pirate (it's still a pirate, is it not) in Boston,
>the wildly popular Touch 106.1, is still on the air. If you don't
>interfere with air traffic, you can be a pirate?
I've had some peripheral involvement with a couple of FCC
investigations of interference to aircraft communications. As a rule
the FCC is the cart in those investigations - the FAA is the horse.
The typical sequence of events is that a pilot notices interference
to comms and reports it to the tower or TRACON; the tower or TRACON
bumps it upstairs in the FAA; and the FAA calls the FCC EB to
determine the cause of the interference and take appropriate action.
The EB has the specialized equipment and the field engineers trained
to use it, and if the interference is coming from a licensed or
unlicensed transmitter operating from a fixed location it will be
located and shut down in short order. If, however, the interference
is coming from a mobile or portable transmitter it may take longer,
and require more field engineers with more equipment, to locate it
and shut it down - such was the case with the notorious "Roanoke
Phantom" some years ago, and that investigation also involved the
FBI. For information about that investigation see the document linked
to below, obtained by a friend who is an attorney under the FOA (but
be advised that some of the language quoted in the document may be
In ordinary pirate cases the horse is the FCC, not the FAA, and that
is a horse of a different color when public safety (i.e., commercial
airline passengers) is not threatened. So yes, Donna, if a pirate
doesn't interfere with aircraft comms they are far less likely to get busted.
Dale H. Cook, Market Chief Engineer, Centennial Broadcasting,
More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest