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Author Topic: Hate to be this pilot.  (Read 10457 times)
stealth71
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« on: October 28, 2005, 01:04:33 AM »

I heard this plane saturday while listening to Live ATC. Then today, this showed up in the newspaper.

FAA investigating Griz pregame flyover
Posted on Oct. 26
By Bill Schwanke of The Missoulian


   
The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking information from witnesses who saw a P-51 Mustang aircraft fly low and fast over Washington-Grizzly Stadium prior to Saturday's Montana-Cal Poly football game.

The plane - on a flight from Shelby to Missoula - landed at Northstar Air Express at the Missoula International Airport. Because of the ongoing investigation, FAA and Northstar would not identify the pilot or the aircraft wing number. An FAA source said the plane is not based in Montana.

Investigators are trying to determine if the pilot violated federal aviation regulations during the late-morning flyover. The first - FAR91119 - states a pilot will not fly less than 1,000 feet above any obstacle within 2,000 feet of the aircraft. The second - FAR91117-A - says a pilot will not fly faster than 250 miles per hour below 10,000 feet.

Early information puts the altitude of the plane at between 200 and 500 feet when it passed over the stadium. The P51 is capable of speeds up to 400 miles per hour.

Ken Willett, director of public safety at the University of Montana, is assisting with the FAA investigation. Willett said the flyover was considered a serious safety hazard.

"Just imagine if that plane had flown by while the skydivers were coming down," Willett said.

The FAA wants information from witnesses who can describe the aircraft or identify the wing number and model. They also are seeking information about the plane's altitude and speed. Willett said witnesses should use the "M" on Mount Sentinel at 800 feet and the roof of Aber Hall at 100 feet as reference points.

Those with information should mail it to the FAA Flight Standards Center, 2725 Skyway Drive Suite One, Helena 59602, or e-mail it to Willett at WillettK@mso.umt.edu.
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Chris Hart
Missoula International Airport (MSO) live feed.
http://www.liveatc.net/search/?icao=kmso

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C172SP
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2005, 11:05:00 AM »

This is perplexing. Anybody with access to a Mustang ought to have enough smarts about them not to do that. Aviation is in enough trouble without people making it look unsafe and uncontrolled.

There are folks around this area who want to ban all general aviation flying that occurs above private property. This Mustang stunt only lends credibility to that absurd idea.
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Sirclown82
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2005, 12:20:24 PM »

The P51D is my favorite A/C, and i am NOT a pilot yet, but even i know better than to do something like that.

I bet there will be big fines on the pilot if they find wrong in this situation.

 Sad
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Chris
gfw123
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2005, 02:34:18 PM »

Quote from: sirclown82

I bet there will be big fines on the pilot if they find wrong in this situation.

 :(



Fines? He/She would be lucky to get away with their license intact I would think. Just depends on intent and circumstances. I thought all sporting events of 30,000 or more had TFR's around them anyway. That is big if they violated that knowingly. I know the SeaHawks stadium here has one:

Notam ID: FDC 3/1862
Type: Sports Event
Altitude: Surface to 3000 AGL

It is not clear from the text above how many people were there and how big the stadium is.

caveat: I am not an aviation lawyer but I play one on the Internet. In fact, I rarely get this stuff right.

--greg.
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stealth71
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2005, 06:37:29 PM »

I'll post updates as the investigation continues. Nothing new as of yet.

Grizzly stadium seats about 24,000, and it was almost full that day...we won in the last half of the 4th quarter. Cheesy

GFW, what's the plane in your avatar? Looks like a Milennium edition 206. It's not N181ME by any chance? I ask because we recently sold ours, looks like the one in your pic.
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Chris Hart
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gfw123
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2005, 07:07:37 PM »

Quote from: stealth71

GFW, what's the plane in your avatar? Looks like a Milennium edition 206. It's not N181ME by any chance? I ask because we recently sold ours, looks like the one in your pic.


It is a C172/G. I think the tail number was N436ME. I had just finished my first solo in that plane when that picture was taken. 3 touch and goes and the plane still flys!

--greg.
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digger
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2005, 01:49:27 AM »

Quote
They also are seeking information about the plane's altitude and speed.  



It's hard to believe that the FAA itself is unable to determine those figures from radar data. I wonder how the coverage is in that area?

Quote
Willett said witnesses should use the "M" on Mount Sentinel at 800 feet and the roof of Aber Hall at 100 feet as reference points.
 

Not to say one way or the other if the guy was in violation, because I have no way of knowing, but....  

I'd cetrtainly not put a whole lot of faith in the judgement of untrained observers as to what altitude and speed an aircraft was travelling. To people who are only accustomed to seeing light planes droning along at 120 knots 3000 feet overhead, a Mustang at 1200 and 240 would seem awfully low and fast.

As a member of the Civil Air Patrol, I was taught that potential eyewitnesses are very vulnerable to the "power of suggestion". If you were searching for, and to ask people if they saw, "a blue, high-wing single engine aircraft, heading east at about 10 a.m., with the engine making funny noises", you'd get a lot of "yes" answers, even from people who could never have possibly seen the object of your search. On the other hand, if you simply explained that you were looking for a missing aircraft, and asked if they'd seen anything out of the ordinary, and they described "a blue, high-wing single engine aircraft, heading east at about 10 a.m., with the engine making funny noises", that would carry a lot of weight. The news story provides all the details necessary to describe a flight that was in violation, even if you were asleep in your basement at the time.

Besides that, I'm on record as always being skeptical about the news media's ability to get the details correct...
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stealth71
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2005, 05:30:38 PM »

Digger, I agree. People always inflate numbers towards the dramatic, not to mention it's pretty tough to determine the altitude of something that is right above you going a few hundred knots. Missoula has ASR-9 (I believe) terminal radar with D-Brite on the field about 5 miles from the stadium, so we were all wondering as well why they couldn't just pull the loops and see what it shows for altitude.

Fortunately during today's Montana-Portland game, no such event took place again.

Congrats on the solo, Greg. My brother did his solo out of Tacoma Narrows over there.
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Chris Hart
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Jason
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2005, 07:23:35 AM »

Quote from: stealth71
Missoula has ASR-9 (I believe) terminal radar with D-Brite on the field about 5 miles from the stadium, so we were all wondering as well why they couldn't just pull the loops and see what it shows for altitude.


Very dependant on the aircraft's compliance to squawk Altitude (Mode C) or even squawk at all.  If he doesn't have the transponder turned to ON or ALT, then only if he was within coverage there would be a primary target blip, but would show the track, no altitude.

Also--welcome to the LiveATC.net community Greg!  cheesy
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digger
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2005, 09:01:44 AM »

Quote
then only if he was within coverage there would be a primary target blip, but would show the track, no altitude.


But speed could still be determined from that information.

And if the field is only 5 miles from the stadium, and he landed there, you'd think the tower would have had to have a pretty good idea of his whereabouts all along. I can't imagine that he wasn't talking to the tower already, at only five miles away.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. It just seems odd that the FAA doesn't quite have a handle on exactly what he did, and has to ask for public input.
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Sirclown82
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2005, 10:41:49 AM »

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Besides that, I'm on record as always being skeptical about the news media's ability to get the details correct...


Dont blame you, they usually get the right news wrong, but thats the media for you. ---> My opinion  wink
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Chris
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2005, 12:41:00 PM »

Quote from: gfw123
Fines? He/She would be lucky to get away with their license intact I would think. Just depends on intent and circumstances. I thought all sporting events of 30,000 or more had TFR's around them anyway.


Yep, there is a standing TFR in the US preventing any aircraft from flying at 3,000 agl or below over a stadium of 30,000 or more people from one hour before to one hour after the sporting event.

Of course, when receiving a standard flight briefing, FSS is usually unable to provide a list of the various sporting events going on shocked so it is up to the VFR pilot to know all events along his/her route.... yeah, right.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
JohnM
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2005, 10:06:11 AM »

I've never worked that one out either. I'm a Brit living near New York and regularly go and fly round Manhattan. I always ask the FSS for the TFRs and sometimes they know if games are on - other times it's up to me to find out.

It's a big grey area IMHO. Am I meant to read the paper or surf the web before a flight to find out who's playing?

John.
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cal737pilot
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2005, 10:50:16 PM »

While what this pilot did was not very smart, there was a way for him/her to avoid a civil penalty should this pilot be caught.

Had the pilot filled out a NASA or ASAP report within 24 hours of the incident, the pilot probably would not receive anything more than a slap on the wrist.


However, the Fed's probably knew the person didn't file and that's why they are looking for help in catching this person.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2005, 11:56:18 AM »

Quote from: cal737pilot
Had the pilot filled out a NASA or ASAP report within 24 hours of the incident, the pilot probably would not receive anything more than a slap on the wrist.

However, the Fed's probably knew the person didn't file and that's why they are looking for help in catching this person.


The FAA does not use the NASA forms for incrimination.  This is why these forms were placed in the hands of NASA to begin with - to encourage pilots to use this reporting system without fear of prosecution from the FAA.

The only time these forms are used is *after* the FAA has determined that a violation has occurred and already has the pilot/aircraft identified.  At that point the pilot can step forward and demonstrate proof that a NASA form was filled out within the required 24 hour period.  This action  will often lessen the severity of the punishment.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
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