Mon, May 16, 2005
FAA Contemplates Stringent Action
Washington is gearing up to take its retribution from at least
one of the two pilots who blew through the DC ADIZ last Wednesday.
In the meantime, the younger of the two men on board that Cessna
150K is being hailed as a "hero."
"Any enforcement action we might take is not done lightly," said
FAA spokesman Greg Martin, quoted by the Washington Post. He said
an agency investigation could very well result in revocation of
69-year old Heyden "Jim" Schaeffer's flight priveleges.
"It's quite evident from anybody who witnessed Wednesday's
incident that the pilot clearly had no idea what he wandered into,"
But the 36-year old student pilot
flying with Schaeffer, Troy Martin, could fare much better. That's
because officials said, while Schaeffer froze at the controls when
he saw a DHS UH-60 Black Hawk suddenly appear very close to the
150K, suddenly having trouble handling the controls of the small
aircraft, Martin apparently took over and was able to fly the
Cessna to Frederick, MD, where he safely landed. The two men were
handcuffed and taken into custody. Only after more than an hour of
intense interrogation were investigators satisfied the deep
incursion was nothing more than a navigational mistake -- the two
men were lost.
The Post reports Martin has just 30 hours total time when he and
Schaeffer took off from Smoketown, PA, on their way to an air show
in Lumberton, NC, Wednesday. Their flight took them to within three
miles of the White House before they were intercepted by a pair of
F-16s and a Black Hawk helicopter. The ADIZ incursion forced the
evacuation of the White House, Capitol and US Supreme Court.
Sources told the Washington newspaper Schaeffer failed to obtain
a weather briefing, failed to file even a VFR flight plan and was
navigating by landmarks -- without a GPS on board.
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