FAA Investigates Landing At Closed Airport

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A Boise, Idaho, pilot can expect a call from the FAA (if he hasn't already had one) after authorities in Sun Valley reported that an aircraft landed on a runway, littered with heavy equipment, that had been closed for some extension work. But, according to SunValleyonline, what particularly annoyed the folks at Friedman Field was that the pilot declared a fuel emergency to justify his April 27 landing and then took off again, from the same closed runway, without taking on any fuel. The airport operations manager told the news service the pilot took off "without clearance, without approval and in defiance of the airport manager's directive." In the meantime, he'd dropped off a passenger (believed to be his sister) who grabbed a cab and left the airport. As of Friday, the legal and regulatory ramifications of the alleged actions had not been sorted out. The airport's single runway was closed April 23 to add 600 feet at one end to allow heavier takeoff weights during the summer. The closed runway was marked at both ends with lit Xs and the pilot who landed there had to avoid the markers and the various pieces of equipment, pipe and supplies that are being used in the project. FAA officials wouldn't comment to the news service on the incident but civic officials say they're contemplating charges against the pilot.