Hasty Ruminations

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Report: FAA to punish pilot who violated airspace

(Thanks to the AP): The government is pledging to take serious action against the pilot whose small plane strayed over Washington last week, leading to the panicked evacuations of the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court, a newspaper reported Saturday.

"Any enforcement action we might take is not done lightly," said Greg Martin from the Federal Aviation Administration. The pilot and student took off from Pennsylvania to go to an air show in North Carolina. Their plane entered restricted airspace and then continued flying toward highly sensitive areas, prompting evacuations of tens of thousands of people as military aircraft scrambled to intercept it. Alert levels at the White House and the Capitol were raised to their highest level -- red.

Customs officials had scrambled a Black Hawk helicopter, which peeled away when two F-16 fighter jets arrived at the scene. The jets dipped their wings -- a pilot's signal to "follow me" -- and tried to contact the pilot on the radio. When the Cessna didn't change course, the jet pilots dropped flares.

Finally, when the Cessna came within three miles of the White House -- just a few minutes flying time -- it altered course. (At that time, I hear that Osama and Zarkauwi had to turn off CNN, because their sides ached too much from laughing so hard.) (In their cave.)

After landing in Frederick, the pilot and student pilot were handcuffed and questioned before being released. Authorities said the two had become lost.


The punishment? They may ground the pilot, and make him x-ray the baggage at Gate 3 at Dulles for a long, long time.


  • At 12:36 AM, Blogger Stew Magoo said…

    I have aspirations someday of getting my private pilots license.

    These bozo's ought to be publicly castrated. What they did was set the non-commercial aircraft back to the dark ages.

    Check the flight plan, they could have avoided the DC airspace altogether and it would have cost them all of fifteen minutes.

    I hope they get their asses handed to them on a platter.

  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger brendalove@gmail.com said…

    How can you not know you're flying directly into Washington? Ummmm....the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Pentagon....those are all pretty distinguishing visual characteristics on a clear, sunny day.

  • At 1:08 PM, Blogger Greg Finnegan said…

    You know, Brenda, when people get all confused in the cockpit, they
    start looking through all the stuff in the cabin, the maps, the books, etc. They can fly for miles and miles and never look outside! Scary? Ya think?



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