Pilot Charged With Making Fake Crash Call

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A pilot from Burlington, Vt., apparently has some explaining to do after he allegedly made a radio call saying that his plane had crashed on a runway at Plattsburg International Airport in upstate New York. The Plattsburg Press Republican is reporting Nicholas Santo has been charged with a felony count of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor. The charges allege that Santo was taking off in an unspecified model of Cessna when the runway lights were turned up for an inbound Cape Air flight. Authorities say Santo then made a radio call claiming the lights had blinded him, he'd hit a snowbank and flipped his aircraft. Then he took off normally, local deputies allege.

While Santo winged his way toward his unspecified destination, the Cape Air flight went around as emergency crews scoured the runway and environs looking for a flipped Cessna. Santo, 50, was arrested last week and released after being charged. He will be in court in Plattsburg next month.