"Sheesh, Those Things Are Everywhere!"
ANN APRIL 1st "SPECIAL"
EDITION: Boy, is his face red... and not because of the
sun shining through the windscreen of his Cessna 172. Acting FAA
Administrator Robert Sturgell recently was presented with the
chance to renew his formation flying skills, after his private
plane inadvertantly crossed the outer boundary to the infamous P-40
"Temporary" Flight Restriction over Camp David.
The incursion occurred sometime in early March, according to
"It was a beautiful day, and I thought I'd get a little closer
to my flying roots," said Strugell, a former US Navy airman and
commercial pilot. "So I rented a C172 from a local FBO, got checked
out again, and took the skies. I had my sectional chart and thought
I'd computed the wind-correction angle correctly, but I guess
"To be fair, I'm used to flying aircraft that tell the wind what
to do, not the other way around," Sturgell added.
Upon the aircraft's violation of P-40 -- a five-mile-wide swath
of restricted airspace overhanging the presidential retreat -- two
F-16s were dispatched from Andrews AFB to intercept the wayward
"Man, was that a sight," Sturgell said. "I know everybody says
this, but I wish I'd had my camera... I haven't seen precision
flying like that since my days at Top Gun."
Sturgell was directed on emergency frequency to land immediately
at a nearby, unnamed general aviation field.
Most TFR incursions result in at least a temporary suspension of
the offending pilot's license... but Sturgell was reportedly cut a
"I can't fly for 30 days," Sturgell said, "and I have to
complete an online AOPA course about TFRs. Still, I know I got off
lucky... and sheesh, those things are everywhere!"