ATP Recertified After Low Approach
A Piedmont Airlines pilot who lost his ATP and his job after he flew extra-low over his house on his way to a landing in Maryland in 2012 now has his certificate back, USA Today reported this week. Edmund Draper's Dash-8 flight, scheduled as US Airways 4343, was en route to Wicomico Regional Airport when it descended within 500 feet of a shopping mall close to Draper's home on the approach path, according to records obtained by the Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland, in a Freedom of Information Act request. "On or about December 21, 2012, [Draper] operated an aircraft with reckless disregard for safety during a Part 121 flight with 24 passengers on board at an excessive speed and dangerously low altitude when not necessary for landing," according to an FAA statement. "Your acts endangered the lives of your passengers, fellow crewmembers and people and property ... You have demonstrated that you are unable or unwilling to comply with basic regulatory requirements."
"Everyone knows about the Draper One arrival," Piedmont First Officer Christopher Quillen told the FAA during its investigation, USA Today reported. "Ed has a house right off Highway 13 and he likes to fly over his house on the way into Salisbury. I hear he usually does it at 1,500 feet but I hear that on the 21st he did it at around 400 feet. Man, that's crazy being that low, and over the mall, all those people. That's like the busiest day of the year for shopping there." Quillen was not on board during the incident, and said Draper would only execute the maneuver when he had a young or less-seasoned pilot in the right seat. "I have been around and would not put up with that," he said. In February, Draper was reissued an ATP and an instructor certificate from the FAA.