Fourteen-year-old Joseph Sutherin got the memorable first day of school he hoped for, when his father dropped him off in the schoolyard in a Hughes 300 helicopter early Monday morning. But his father Bart got more than he bargained for, when school officials "freaked out," according to the Orlando Sentinel, and called the sheriff and the FAA. The elder Sutherin said he had just hoped to "make a positive impression on the other students." Joseph, an honors student, said he just thought it would be fun. "It would be extraordinary, and I could say, 'Yeah, I flew into the school in a helicopter,'" he told the Sentinel. An FAA official said it didn't appear that any regulations had been violated. Sutherin, a father of three, is certified to fly the helicopter and landed in a clear area away from students.
Principal David Cunningham seemed to find the event disruptive. "It's not something that needs to happen every day -- or ever," he told the Sentinel.