[nfb-talk] canes and planes

David Evans drevans at bellsouth.net
Sat Jun 27 02:16:05 UTC 2009

Dear Brian,

As a well adjusted blind person, a scientist and engineer, I well understand 
the reasons that some people choose to use a ridged cane versus a folding or 
telescoping cane.
I also understand the reasons that the cane must be removed for a minute to 
be inspected by security at the airports.
Explosives or other dangerous things could be made to resemble a cane, to be 
gotten pass security.
I am certainly capable of walking a few feet without the service of my cane 
and understand this is needed to preserve everyone's safety and security in 
traveling these days.
I have to do the same thing every time I go into a government building or a 
high security area anyway.
They also make people take their shoes off too, don't they?
I am not going to get bent out of shape over it.  I understand the reasons 
why and I can live with it.
When I was younger, I worked in top secret programs, where security was very 
tight. and can only say that I often had to fly to work, at a location I can 
not talk about freely, where I had to go through a strict inspection before 
I got on the plane and then an through an even tougher one when I got off.
We could not see out of the windows, did not know exactly where we were or 
how long we might even be there.
We were not let off the plane until it was inside the hanger and the doors 
were closed.  Then we had to go  through a special security check where we 
had to insert our own special I.D. card into a slot and place our fingers on 
a special sensor plate to read our finger prints.
We were then allowed to go down into the underground to a long hall we just 
called "Broadway."
Broadway led of to many shops and labs as well as sleeping rooms, a gym, 
movie theater, cafe and meeting rooms.
Access was very restricted and you were discouraged from talking to people 
from other shops and labs.
I had to fill out a form each week and name who I saw, spoke too and what we 
talked about.  I had people follow me around and keep tabs on me even at 
home and sometimes go through my trash.    If there was any question, I was 
hauled into a office and hooked up to a lie detector and grilled like a hot 
dog at the beach.
As maybe you can see, there is allot more things tougher than the airport 
security you have to put up with.
I was legally blind even then but did not yet carry a cane as I do today. 
The projects I was working on were the SR-71 and the F-117 Stealth Fighter 
Programs and I don't think I have to tell you who ran the programs do I?

David Evans, NFBF

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bryan Schulz" <b.schulz at sbcglobal.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 5:33 PM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] canes and planes

> dave,
> i have done the same with no problems but we were using common sense.
> what about the older people who refuse to use anything other than a rigid
> one piece cane that you can't easily put out of the way then they raise a
> stink or threaten legal action when it is taken from them?
> what about going thru the security point?
> in 1999 in st. louis to san fran and in 2006 st. louis to dallas, the
> security staff will not let you walk thru the walls with your cane.  they
> put it on the conveyer belt and reach thru from the other side, grasp your
> hands and help you from bumping the walls then give you back your cane.
> Bryan
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David Evans" <drevans at bellsouth.net>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 3:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] canes and planes
>> Dear Kat,
>> I have never had my cane taken away from me ever, when flying on a plane.
>> I do carry a NFB telescoping cane and usually collapse it upon entering
>> the plane and hang it on one of my belt loops with the "D" ring clip that
>> is tied to the top of the cane.
>> Most people never even see it there.  I then take it off, after I am in 
>> my
>> seat and slide it into the seat pocket in front of me.
>> I have always found it strange that they don't want to let me sit in the
>> exit row because I am blind.  Especially since I help develop and test 
>> the
>> special "butterfly" valves that are used to inflate the 90 foot long exit
>> slides at the emergency doors.
>> They are afraid that we can not read the instructions on how to open the
>> doors and when they should be opened.
>> They think that we are not smart enough to know that you don't open the
>> door if there is fire outside on that side of the plane, like we would 
>> not
>> know just from all of the reaction of the other passengers yelling about
>> it as soon as they see it.  There is also the fact that some of the doors
>> open inward and weigh about 90 pounds.  Some open outward and some 
>> inward.
>> Most require you to pull a "bobby pin" safety pin and then lift up on a
>> handle to get the door to open and automatically inflate the slide.
>> I think that letting a passenger get too drunk is a far greater danger
>> than the presents of a blind person sitting in the exit row.  Especially
>> when the lights go out.
>> Just enjoy your trip and good luck with your presentation.
>> Former resident of NAS Agana Guam.
>> David Evans, NFBF
>> Nuclear/aerospace materials Engineer
>> Builder of the Lunar Rovers and the F-117 Stealth Fighter
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Kathleen Millhoff" <kmillhoff at gmail.com>
>> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Friday, June 26, 2009 2:17 AM
>> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] canes and planes
>>> Hi,
>>> thanks very much. there are still days when it occurs to me that for
>>> many in society almost anything would be acceptable other than
>>> blindness.
>>> Still, I expect we're going to win in the long run.
>>> This helps.
>>> kat
>>> On 6/24/09, David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com> wrote:
>>>> There were several incidents in the 1980's where people were
>>>> arrested, people were removed from planes, planes were held up
>>>> etc.  Then basically, with the passage of the Air Carrier Access Act,
>>>> in 1986 or 88 I think, we lost any legal defense we might have
>>>> had.  The airlines were able to put into this law that anyone sitting
>>>> in an exit row had to be able to do certain things visually.
>>>> So, we have lost that battle, but the war isn't over yet.  I think we
>>>> were to early in our protests -- that is society just wasn't far
>>>> enough along in its thinking at the time where they could understand
>>>> and accept what we were saying.
>>>> The one thing we did accomplish, which benefits all airline
>>>> passengers is that we forced airlines to look at their practices
>>>> concerning exit row seating, and give it more attention.  Way back
>>>> then people who shouldn't have sat there were allowed to do so,
>>>> people who sat there were allowed to get inebriated etc.
>>>> Dave
>>>> At 04:17 PM 6/23/2009, you wrote:
>>>>>Good Morning from the Western Pacific,
>>>>>I'm getting ready to present some opening remarks at a technology
>>>>>conference here, and wonder if I could have some help; specifically,
>>>>>I'd like to move beyond myth, legend and hearsay and learn the truth
>>>>>about what happened when the NFB protested against having canes taken
>>>>>away on airlines. By the way, I'm pretty old, and never had a problem
>>>>>with my cane on a plane but since lots of people did, and the NFB
>>>>>dealt with it, I'd like to know some specific things. For one thing,
>>>>>I've heard or read or just intuited, that people blocked planes from
>>>>>take-off somewhere. I was working it into my talk when I realized that
>>>>>I didn't really know if this happened. Having been aided, corrected
>>>>>and advised many times on this list, I hope someone will help me learn
>>>>>the reality of the situation.
>>>>>Thanks very much.
>>>>>kathy millhoff - "Let each morn be better than its eve, and each
>>>>>morrow richer than its yesterday."
>>>>>nfb-talk mailing list
>>>>>nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
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>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> -- 
>>> kathy millhoff - "Let each morn be better than its eve, and each
>>> morrow richer than its yesterday."
>>> _______________________________________________
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