...And Good Intentions From The FAA

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Although the NTSB has issued only preliminary findings on an Aug. 3, 2004, crash that killed six people near Austin, Texas, The Oklahoman has revealed that the pilot was appealing an FAA suspension at the time of the crash. According to the paper, Richard Allen Fisher's ticket was pulled for 240 days by the FAA but he was allowed to continue flying until a hearing could be set for his appeal on the suspension to the NTSB. Fisher, along with three other adults and two young children, died when the Piper Aerostar hit a house near Lakeway Airpark. The NTSB's preliminary report says the plane was slightly overweight and may have had trouble gaining altitude. Fisher had come to the attention of the FAA at least three times in the previous two years, according to The Oklahoman. On Sept. 10, 2003, passengers allege he almost hit a mountain and came close to running out of fuel before making a landing in fog at an airport near Creede, Colo. In September of 2002 he ran out of fuel and made a gear-up landing near Piedmont and the previous April he landed downwind and went through a barbed-wire fence at the end of the runway. Fisher's mother, Delorise Renfro, told The Oklahoman she believed the FAA actions were being dealt with and no suspension would have occurred. "I have no idea where that would have come from when he'd been cleared of everything," she said.