Pilot Arrested After Airport Incident

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A well-known Georgia pilot was arrested and jailed Wednesday after an incident at Griffin Spalding Airport near Atlanta. Griffin Police say Dan Gryder, whose DC-3 is a frequent performer at aviation events, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one of obstruction. Gryder did not immediately respond to AVweb's request for comment and Griffin Police did not immediately return voice messages. According to the Atlanta Constitution Journal police said the incident began when two code enforcement officers responded to a complaint of someone driving a car across the runway. When they approached Gryder, he allegedly gave them a false name and then refused to sign six citations. He then boarded the DC-3, started at least one engine and "told one of the officers that if she moved, he would strike her car, police said," the newspaper reported. The code officer called for backup and police "flooded the area" as Gryder taxied the 72-year-old airliner to the runway.

According to the police, as reported by the newspaper, Gryder held at the end of the runway and "demanded" fuel, which was not provided. He taxied back to parking area and was arrested as he left the aircraft. Griffin police spokesman Brian Clanton told the Constitution Journal that the incident created a significant hazard. "He essentially shut the airport down for almost 45 minutes," Clanton said. "His actions created a danger for all of our officers, himself, and others who lawfully use the airport." He also said the FAA is investigating.