An upstate New York man who’s accused of stalking a woman using an airplane has been ordered by a judge to stop flying as a condition of his release. WRGB is reporting Michael Arnold is alleged to have flown low over the village of Schuylerville, near Albany, to stalk Cassandra Wilusz. He is also alleged to have stalked her while on the ground. The original allegations arose in August of 2022 but Arnold allegedly took to the skies again at the beginning of June and was arrested for violating an earlier protection order. That’s when the judge imposed the no-fly rule and Arnold has since been charged with violating that order.

Arnold became notorious in the small town for his low-level flights, but CBS affiliate WGBR wondered why the FAA didn’t seem interested in the complaints. The station reported the FAA said it investigated but couldn’t find any evidence of violations. Then the station sent the agency track logs from an ADS-B tracking site that suggested the plane was at times about 300 feet AGL. The agency responded to the station saying it had all the data it needed.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Incompetent. FAA “investigates” and can find no violations? So, a TV station does the work and NOW FAA can proceed?

  2. Video evidence of this psycho violating the proximity requirements of the protection order should be sufficient to put him under the jail.

  3. Never heard of an airborne stalker before. If he has that much money to throw around just flying an aircraft, he more than likely has enough money to find a different lady. Now it looks like his money will be spent in legal fees. I have heard that jail and prisons don’t have the greatest accommodations these days…..

  4. Michael Arnold doesn’t even have a valid medical certificate for flying. According to the FAA website, his last 3rd class medical was in 11/2004.

      • No, he does not have Basic Med according to the FAA Airmen site. If a pilot has Basic Med, FAA list it on their website.

        • If his last med was in 2004, he can’t have basic med. Must have a valid non-revoked/suspended medical after 7/14/2006 to use basic med.

  5. This might legally be “stalking” because legal terms, like other terms of art, often deviate from the English definitions; however, I think there has to be a better way to describe what this nut has been doing.

    As for the FAA incompetence, it’s par for modern American bureaucracy.

  6. Does a judge (local or state level) have the authority to order someone to stop flying? I thought only Federal level authorities could revoke / curtail a federal level license.

    • There’s a difference between revoking his certificate and making not flying a condition of a protective order. I’m sure the judge is within his authority.

  7. This guy doesn’t listen to anyone. If the FAA takes away his certificates do you think he’ll stop flying and harassing her? The only way to ground this guy is to put him in jail.

    • Getting him to leave her alone will probably require jail and or psychological treatment. Getting him to stop flying can probably be done with a call to the fbo. If it’s his plane, a ramp check should slow him down, but it might take impounding the plane. If he’d had a YouTube channel he’d be in the slammer by now.

      • “Getting him to stop flying can probably be done with a call to the fbo. If it’s his plane, a ramp check should slow him down, but it might take impounding the plane.”

        Until he finds someone with an ultralight to borrow, or buys one himself. Then it will be difficult to stop him from flying unless they throw him in jail for violating the protective order.

      • FBO is not going to do anything and has no power. The FAA and law enforcement do ramp checks and they can check the aircraft and his credentials. He is not qualified to fly because he has no valid medical.

        • Exactly. The fbo can refuse to rent. The fsdo can bust him for flying without a medical, but bars will probably be what it takes in the end.

  8. The judge will likely be the one to “solve” the problem. Judges do not take kindly to people who ignore their orders, and they have the arsenal of weapons necessary to do something about it.

  9. For the FAA or law enforcement to do anything, they need to know who was actually flying the aircraft. Right now, no one can prove it was this guy.

  10. Trent Palmer makes one “inspection pass” and gets grounded. This guy repeatedly buzzes a small town for over a year and the FAA is like, “I dunno…”?

    • I am honestly baffled by the FAA response to this issue. The Palmer case was the first thing I thought of because the FAA acted very quickly. the video in the story was not great but it is clear he is flying low and coupled with the ADS-B, it is a no brainer he is violating regulations. I am sure they can see the N number and thus who owns the plane. From there it should not be a stretch to go after the owner.

      My question would be, if the FAA did act and revoke his license and/or impound his plane and he still tried to fly (or did), at that point is he not breaking a federal law and subject to the FBI?

      Most stalking stories do not end well when it is an average citizen (mostly women) who cannot hire protection like rich people. The actions of all parties seem rather limp and I really hope this woman does not get hurt before this sick man is put in jail (and gets mental help).

      • They may not have thought the story would go national. We all realize the need for federalizing aviation regulation, but the reality is the folks in DC really don’t give a rodent’s behind what happens out here. It’s not because they are evil, it’s because of the inevitable incentives and motivations.

  11. This guy gets full credit for being a “Grade A” Jerk. I’m all for prosecuting him in all available jurisdictions.

    The news station and the mayor are sure ratcheting up their victim status, appealing to emotion and prophesies of doom. I think they would make a stronger case in the court of public opinion if they did not do that. Nice drone footage…

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