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Man Charged For Throwing Toilet Paper Out Of Plane  
User currently offlinePlainplane From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 846 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 1 week 2 days ago) and read 3824 times:

Interesting story, a pilot of a C172 was charged for throwing toilet paper out of his plane in-flight as part of a practice run for a school display.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/101410_Westwood_HS_field_bombed_from_air_with_wet_toilet_paper_pilot_arrested.html

1 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3672 times:

Quote:
The Federal Aviation Administration said they would continue to investigate whether to press federal charges for reckless operation of an aircraft and dropping objects from a plane without proper authorization, said Jim Peters, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

Huh? Last time I checked, this is what FAR § 91.15 had to say:

§ 91.15 Dropping objects.

No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, this section does not prohibit the dropping of any object if reasonable precautions are taken to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.


I don't see anything there that would prevent him from dropping toilet paper on an open field. That is, of course, as long as he was above 500 AGL (or 1000 AGL if it is densely populated area).

Now, the article does mention a "state aviation statute prohibiting low-flying acrobatic stunts" but unless he was doing steep turns or something, charging him based on that just seems like overzealous law enforcement.

Quote:
“If this was a prank, it is a prank that will end in arrest for the perpetrator.”
Quote:
“I was actually in disbelief that anybody could be so stupid to fly around in a plane dropping things on a field where there are kids out there,”

Really?? ....It's frustrating to see how harsh/fearful some peoples' reactions are to things like this. I think it's indicative of the general public's mistrust/lack of understanding of general aviation on the whole. I was reading a great article the other day about a seaplane that recently violated a TFR in Seattle by accident. Fighters were scrambled (the seaplane had landed at its destination by the time they even reached the scene) but the community became upset about the sonic booms created by those fighters. Apparently the public's general reaction was one of suspicion/anger towards the seaplane pilot, who was viewed as some rogue troublemaker who thought he was above everyone else. Now, of course he was was in the wrong for not checking his route of flight before taking off and I don't mean to justify that irresponsibility with this post, but still, the public reaction to events like these often seems to driven more by fear and confusion more than anything else.



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