Bridge Stunts Concern FAA

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Local authorities and the FAA are wondering what to do about an apparent fad among some pilots in northern Michigan. For the third time in two months, aircraft have been reported flying under the giant Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. The last time an airplane was reported flying under the bridge was 1959. "Flying close to any structure will create a tremendous risk of danger. It's not only a threat to the pilot and the people in the plane, but also to those on the bridge," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told the Traverse City Record Eagle. "There's a chance that wind or miscalculations could put you too close to a structure, any structure." The highest span of the bridge is 155 feet above the water. In early June, a helicopter flew under the bridge and witnesses apparently got a good enough look at it for the FAA to begin an investigation. On July 20, a floatplane flew under, but those who saw it couldn't provide a good description or N-number. The latest incident was July 30 when two red floatplanes performed the stunt, but it's not known if witnesses got their tail numbers. The FAA is encouraging people to report all such incidents with as much information as possible. Pilots face suspensions and fines if caught.