Haitian Pirate Raided

Dale H. Cook radiotest@plymouthcolony.net
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?

Donna -

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 
considered objectionable):


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, 
Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA

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