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Pilot Arrested For Flying Over Power Station  
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2798 posts, RR: 4
Posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 20638 times:
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I found this interesting article from the AOPA today. Apparently a glider pilot was arrested for flying over a Nuclear Power plant back in July. Local police officers charged him with breach of peace for the action which was not illegal. There is no restriction on the sectional saying he couldn't fly over the station. The charges were later dropped in exchange for his promising not to sue. I honestly can't believe that this isn't a bigger deal. The guy did nothing illegal. I understand security but this is over the top.
http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/article....mc_id=130111epilot&WT.mc_sect=gan
Blue


You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5648 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 20528 times:

He needs to find a new lawyer. 30 hours in a jail cell, for a stinkin' breach-of-peace charge? No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

It's too bad the UNICOM operator didn't tell the cops to beat feet when the FAA told them there was no harm done, and it's too bad the pilot didn't know any better to high tail it to another airport.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 20401 times:
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Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 1):
No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

Surely there is no 'deal' that could possibly be lawful stipulating that the defendant may not sue in the event of illegal detention or wrongful arrest?? Surely a deal is only a deal if it's lawful.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 20306 times:

Think he needs a better attorney - how did the attorney not see it as a massive cash cow!

User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5648 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 20183 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 2):
Surely there is no 'deal' that could possibly be lawful stipulating that the defendant may not sue in the event of illegal detention or wrongful arrest??

Such deals are not illegal in the US, which is pretty unfortunate, as many people are given such "deals" when their rights were clearly violated.

I wonder if he could still request that the FBI look into it as a civil rights violation, as well as a breach of jurisdiction (the FAA specifically told him he was not required to land, and they have exclusive jurisdiction over the skies).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 20083 times:
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Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 4):
Such deals are not illegal in the US, which is pretty unfortunate, as many people are given such "deals" when their rights were clearly violated.

Incredible. it stands to reason that any deal made by the cops on the basis of 'we were wrong' in the first place is a total nonsense.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 20050 times:

“’Haven’t you heard about 9/11?’—that’s what they said to me.”

Typical response from some inbred buck tooth good ol boy cop. That is all they can think about when the collective IQ of the police force does not reach triple digits. The 9/11 excuse for everything - accidentally flying over a power plant, being an aircraft spotter, taking pics of a bridge, blow a fart in the crowd etc.

This guy needs to get himself a good lawyer and sue that Barney Fife Police Force for what he had to endure. That was an unlawful arrest and I don't think they could force him down. Do you think the State Police would have gotten involved had he flown on to another county or would they not have bothered?


User currently offlinepeterinlisbon From Portugal, joined Jan 2006, 524 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 19992 times:

As far as I know it's ok to fly over buildings... what is not allowed since 9/11 is to fly into them.

User currently offlineiFlyLOTs From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 485 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 19916 times:

Quoting peterinlisbon (Reply 7):
what is not allowed since 9/11 is to fly into them.

Call me crazy but I don't think that's ever been allowed.

If this happened where I'm from almost every pilot would get arrested because the 45-entry to the downwind on one of the runways is right over a power plant.



"...stay hungry, stay foolish" -Steve Jobs
User currently onlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2104 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 19806 times:

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 8):
If this happened where I'm from almost every pilot would get arrested because the 45-entry to the downwind on one of the runways is right over a power plant.

I can only imagine the number of violations that would have accrued from passing over Three Mile Island on the way into KMDT.


User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 19741 times:

The cops need to be fired, forced to turn over all of their assets to this pilot, and then imprisoned.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 19605 times:

Quoting PROSA (Reply 10):

The cops need to be fired, forced to turn over all of their assets to this pilot, and then imprisoned.

Yup. Little boys with big badges.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 868 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 19557 times:
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How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc? It has been updated several times. The latest from the FAA website is as follows:

FDC 4/0811 SPECIAL NOTICE

THIS IS A RESTATEMENT OF A PREVIOUSLY ISSUED ADVISORY NOTICE.
IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PILOTS ARE
STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE, OR IN PROXIMITY TO SUCH SITES AS
POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES AND OTHER SIMILAR FACILITIES. PILOTS SHOULD NOT
CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.
WIE UNTIL UFN.


User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 19521 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc? It has been updated several times. The latest from the FAA website is as follows:

No, it doesn't restrict a thing. It asks pilots to avoid those areas, but in no way, shape or form, is that NOTAM enough to violate a pilot.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5648 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 19512 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
How many of you have heard about the FDC NOTAM in effect since 9/11 that restricts flight in vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, Dams, etc?

It's not a restriction: it's an advisory. Big difference.


There was nothing that this guy did that warranted an arrest, period, much less talk of "shooting him down" (I'd be curious to find out how the local police would arrange that).



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinefreakyrat From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 868 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 19482 times:
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But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21637 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 19365 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 15):
But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

Then we need to get smarter authorities who know the difference between "pilots are prohibited from...." and "to the extent practicable, pilots are strongly advised to...."

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5648 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 19269 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 15):
But we all know how the authorities interpret things.

Nobody interpreted anything here. This was nothing more than a power-tripping small-town cop who made up rules on the spot in complete defiance of the FAA and his own helicopter pilot. My bet is that he doesn't even know what a NOTAM is.

What's sad is that this guy was even cooperating the whole time, and the local d-bags still wanted to throw the book at him.

I also can't believe that his lawyer would allow him to talk to DHS of all people. Really?



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 18908 times:

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 18):
Jeebus Cripes, Fer ****s Sake. This little gem has to take the cake. Are you people this stupid to make a comment like this? Seriously? Tell me PROSA, how many years should he be imprisoned? 5-10? Lifetime? Why not just execute him, get it over with quickly, make an example of him.

I agree, but I it was intended as hyperbole so I think you could use a chill-pill to. I do agree that if not the individual officers, at the very least, the agencies need to be held responsible for the behavior of their officers. "We'll drop the charges if you don't sue." It's hard to imagine not taking this deal as to people in aviation it is obvious how ridicules this fiasco was, it might not be so obvious to your "peers" in the rurual south.

If a plea agreement is a contract, and contracts can be voided if it is found to be agreed upon under-duress, would that apply in this case or does the fact that he had a lawyer eliminate that argument.

Where are those officers from? Georgia, okay, tell them i'll meet them in South Carolina.


User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 18618 times:

This has happened a few times here in Arizona with pilots circling near Palo Verde nuclear power plant. I fly over it all the time, no problem. However I don't immediately turn over it and make circles. If I did then I'd probably make one of those headlines. Unfortunately there are a lot of police everywhere, and not just here in Arizona, that would love to have an arrest they could in any way imply was domestic terrorism. One of my instructors was threatened with arrest by a police officer after she and a student had to make a forced landing. Fortunately cooler heads quickly prevailed above that officer. Wickenburg Airport had an Air Force jet crash there in '09, luckily no casulties. Unfortuantely they forgot to put up a NOTAM closing the airport. Planes from various flight schools kept landing there until the NOTAM was put up. There is no control tower there and supposedly no one came on the advisory frequency to warn them away. I heard at least one pilot was threatened with being made an example out of since PD alledgedly said there was no way they couldn't see the plane from the air. Let's see an airplane painted in desert camoflauge the pilot should have been able to see from the air. Let me think about this. At any rate the plant NOTAM has been in force for years and as long as you don't practice turns around a point there you're unlikely to get in trouble for that.

User currently offlinesaafnav From South Africa, joined Mar 2010, 276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 18480 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Thread starter):


He needs to find a new lawyer. 30 hours in a jail cell, for a stinkin' breach-of-peace charge? No way would I ever agree to such a deal in those circumstances.

Sorry guys,

But have you ever thought to think about how it looks to the rest of the world when Americans start suing left and right?

Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.

Erich



On-board Direction Consultant
User currently offlineskywaymanaz From United States of America, joined May 2012, 521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 18281 times:

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners

It's astonishing for a lot of us that live here. I don't know about South Africa but many nations have a loser pays penalty in their civil legal system. The US does not and any attempt at reform along these lines is viciously attacked by ambulance chasing attorneys as infringing on the rights of a hypothetical little old lady being victimized by others with impunity. At any rate I wouldn't call detaining someone w/o cause a frivilous lawsuit. If I got put in jail overnight for legally operating my airplane in full compliance with FAR's and all current NOTAM's I'd be hiring an attorney too.


User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 17981 times:

Speaking of Three Mile Island, I was a journalist in Philadelphia at that time and when the initial warning sounded we immediately rented a helicopter and overflew the nuclear power base, along with the vent stacks. We were not the only ones. Later, all of the TV news channels did the same and no ATC ordered these overflies out of the area, or grounded. Mind you, this was pre 9-11.

User currently offlinejhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 14557 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
FDC 4/0811 SPECIAL NOTICE

THIS IS A RESTATEMENT OF A PREVIOUSLY ISSUED ADVISORY NOTICE.
IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PILOTS ARE
STRONGLY ADVISED TO AVOID THE AIRSPACE ABOVE, OR IN PROXIMITY TO SUCH SITES AS
POWER PLANTS (NUCLEAR, HYDRO-ELECTRIC, OR COAL), DAMS, REFINERIES, INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEXES, MILITARY FACILITIES AND OTHER SIMILAR FACILITIES. PILOTS SHOULD NOT
CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.
WIE UNTIL UFN.

Big difference between a NOTAM and a criminal law violation.



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4897 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 14218 times:

Quoting freakyrat (Reply 12):
PILOTS SHOULD NOT CIRCLE AS TO LOITER IN THE VICINITY OVER THESE TYPES OF FACILITIES.

It, however, does not prohibit a glider from circling in a thermal above the power plant to sustain lift.

Quoting saafnav (Reply 20):
Don't get me wrong, I love the US, but the amount of frivolous law cases is just astonishing for foreigners.

Yes, suing McDonald's because your coffee's too hot is a bit far-fetched. However, being illegally detained is a textbook example of a legitimate case.



Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
25 Post contains images Maverick623 : I find it hilarious that people still think that was a frivolous lawsuit. You should read up on it sometime.
26 Revelation : My cousin is a glider pilot in the UK and he says it's quite common to circle over the local power plant because it is a reliable source of thermals.
27 skywaymanaz : At the risk of hijacking the thread that was not a frivolous case. The jury award was insane though and that helps make everyone think that. The coff
28 toneale : The hot coffee suit was frivolous - I've studied the case at length. Yes, the coffee was hot - guess what, McDonalds still serves it that hot. Hot cof
29 MD11Engineer : Where I used to live before in Germany there are several huge coal burning power plants fed from several nearby huge lignite mines. The local glider p
30 Post contains images SPREE34 : This case is not frivolous. The man did nothing illegal. The Police acted outside of the law and their purview. They should be held accountable.
31 Post contains images Cubsrule : There are plenty of areas of US law that need some reform. A few of them have been discussed or hinted at in this thread. And some might argue that t
32 Post contains images AA94 : I agree. We've created a culture of unaccountability, where you can sue Airline X for "emotional distress" for scratching up your suitcase and slap a
33 Mir : Almost certainly not. Gliders are so light that he'd have had difficulty doing damage to anything more solidly built than a port-a-cabin. A glider wo
34 Post contains images Maverick623 : The reactor containment domes are designed to withstand a direct impact from just about anything except a large bomb or a large jet full of fuel goin
35 skywaymanaz : There's what I would do and then there's what others would do. I had the impression from watching his interview on AOPA Live that he's either not an
36 802flyguy : I have some friends who are LEOs, but the buffoonish / over zealous behavior shown by the cops in this case re enforces the worst Barney Fife/ Buford
37 Post contains images Mir : Considering the police let him go on the grounds that he agreed not to suggest that they did anything wrong, I can't see that happening. -Mir
38 JohnJ : Apparently the glider pilot isn't a Bruce Springsteen fan, or he would have been warned off that area: Driving out of Darlington County My eyes seen t
39 saafnav : I'm not saying this would be frivolous, but I doubt if suing would be my first action? What will you sue him for? Mental Anguish worth $2 million? Tru
40 Post contains images saafnav : I'm busing doing some background studying (starting Air Accident Investigation Course next week), found this. Remains of a Nimbus 4DM glider after a f
41 enilria : Well, at least they buy American for something to drag you behind. :p
42 Maverick623 : Just read a follow-up article on AOPA. The Sheriff said that they overreacted, and should have let the pilot go once he was on the ground. He blames
43 UA772IAD : That is a reductionist argument. I too have studied the case extensively in the context of juror decision making in relation to punitive damages, and
44 Post contains images rwessel : Definitely. You're not going get multiple thousands of feet out of it, but it's definitely there. Just make sure the plant is actually running. You c
45 skywaymanaz : AOPA Live this week covers some of the reaction over this incident. They mentioned a Congressional committee chairman thought there should be hearings
46 Goldenshield : Interesting that it charred like that. I'm assuming that it was a self-launch glider? The worst that a normal glider would do is break up, not char.
47 rwessel : The -DM is the two seat ("D") self-launching ("M") version.
48 sprout5199 : I am a pilot, but I do work for a law enforcement agency, so I can see both sides. Local LEOs always get the blame for things like this. If two days
49 Bureaucromancer : To be perfectly honest THIS is the kind of comment that makes me lose patience with law enforcement. What part of the fifth amendment don't you (LEO'
50 bond007 : I'm claiming this is certainly not "a major injustice". Somebody screwed up and a guy wasted a day in jail .... nothing more, no spouting of amendmen
51 802flyguy : I have been fortunate enough to never have been arrested. But, as I understand it, jails are not nice or very safe places. If I remember the story co
52 Bureaucromancer : If wrongful arresst and confinement at the hands of government officials are NOT what those rights exist to protect, what, pray tell, ARE they for? Q
53 Post contains images Flighty : So you had a good sniff, eh? Forget the government - you almost got an award from Charles Darwin himself!
54 Post contains images bond007 : Just keep it in perspective, that's all I'm saying. He's out of jail in 24hrs, and I'm sure one or more law enforcement folks will be getting a slap
55 Maverick623 : The DHS has been pushing for airline-style screening for all aircraft operations, down to Piper Cubs. Doesn't mean they're gonna get it.
56 Post contains images MountainFlyer : There is nothing to interpret here. It's an advisory. It's not even a statutory offense as pointed out above. Local law enforcement have about as muc
57 bond007 : I have to disagree. In the USA, in most cases, the outcome is a huge dollar amount for the lawyers, and no precedent at all ... in fact the rest of t
58 Cubsrule : Maybe so for businesses (though as someone who defends businesses all day long, I think the effect is somewhat overstated), but it's quite a bit diff
59 Mir : It had better be worse. He was heeding the advice from the NOTAM. He wasn't loitering, and he avoided the plant to the extent practicable. He was fly
60 skywaymanaz : Never say never I suppose but last I heard they were giving up on that . . . for now. Realistically it would close 90% of the airports in the US. The
61 bond007 : Just my personal opinion of course, since we have no idea what his thoughts or exact situation was, but I question that he made any attempt to avoid
62 802flyguy : Bad reporting? On an aviation story? Surely you jest!
63 rwessel : Some cooling ponds are quite warm when the plant is running. Perhaps that's what he meant by "lake".
64 MountainFlyer : Money is certainly a major motivator for lawsuits, and I agree the US is the laughing stock of the world because we allow (and reward in many cases)
65 Cubsrule : This is really important in the context of cases against government officials because of the concept of qualified immunity. Generally, a government o
66 silentbob : And trains and buses and cruise ships and....
67 Bureaucromancer : Exactly. To be honest I suspect that this would be one of those few cases in which it would be pretty easy to breach qualified immunity, and that is
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