Student Pilot Charged With DWI After Interstate Landing


It was not the normal alcohol-related highway crash near Kansas City on Friday night, but the results for the student pilot of a Piper Cherokee could be the same. John T. Seesing, 35, was arrested after a short stay in a local hospital after he put the Cherokee down on Interstate 70 about 22 miles from KC. He was headed for the downtown airport but ran out of gas. The plane was damaged and Seesing needed patching up before being booked into cells charged with driving while intoxicated, careless and imprudent driving involving a crash, felony drug and gun possession, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

As remarkable as all that is, the journey that preceded is also noteworthy. Seesing, who has only a student certificate, took the aircraft all the way to Florida, making multiple stops along the way there and back. It all ended when the tanks went dry near Grain Valley, Missouri. When the plane flew over truck driver Crystal Lipham’s big rig about 2:45 a.m., she used the truck to block the highway while Seesing set down. She said she got out of the truck and opened the plane and immediately smelled alcohol. The plane is registered to Warrior Aviation, of Prairie Village, Missouri, and Seesing is also from that town.

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  1. Where to start? This really is more like an April fools joke, I was just waiting for the punchline.

    It’s remarkable that somebody could do so many things wrong, and live to talk about it.

    I suspect he has some deep rooted psychiatric conditions, not the least of which is anti social personality disorder, defiant disorder, etc. With that said he has fallen out of the family tree, and hit every branch all the way down.

    I’m just grateful he didn’t hurt anyone else.

    Not to be malicious, but I hope that one of his injuries was a testicular trauma so he cannot reproduce.

  2. All it takes is for a few (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted) shitebirds to cause the rest of us a boatload of problems. Shun him. Turn your back on this kind of behavior. Don’t sell or rent him an airplane or agree to give him instruction. He made his clear choices .. make yours

    • Wish you had told me sooner.
      As a newly minted CFI, my first student was a non-traditional student. He was over 40, married, and a used car dealership manager. Oh, and he had his own plane, a nice 180hp Cherokee. My first clue should have been when he told me that I was his sixth CFI and he just wanted me to finish him up. He flew well enough and after a few lessons I was getting ready to sign him off for his visit to the DPE, when he BRAGGED to me that he had recently flown into a large commercial Class B airport on the other side of the state to pick up his son and brought him back home. I was stunned and at a loss. I suspected that I should report his behavior to the feds but really didn’t know how to handle it. I was in over my head here. I asked my CFI mentor what should I do. He said to tell the student that if he does it again, he’s going to have to find another CFI. The student acted contrite and said he would comply. So, I finished him up and he passed his exam and got his certificate. It never sat well with me. Especially so when not long after, I had to deviate to avoid him while I was taking off as he came blasting down final to my runway in the opposite direction in spite of the fact that the tower had cleared me to depart and he hadn’t been cleared to the runway. I never saw him again.
      I would not only shun him today, but I would report him to the local FSDO as a problem and let them deal with it. Be careful folks, he’s still out there somewhere.

      • Eric:

        So, how long ago did you encounter this dead man walking pilot? In what State of the Union? For my own longevity, it would be nice to know whether he’s already have earned his Darwin Award.

  3. A student pilot doesn’t get to make a long cross country half-way across the country! I would think a few questions to his instructor would be appropriate here, as well. If he wasn’t cleared to make this long cross-country flight, did the airport report the plane missing? There are so many questions to this (including the various drugs and such found in the plane) that lead one to believe there is more to this story than we’re getting at first glance.

  4. I’ve still got the records of the first instructional flights I administered to two middle-aged men who together enrolled with me for Private Pilot trng. Their wives would wait at the FBO (Transient Aviation @ KHOU) while we performed their first lessons.
    After a couple of lessons I thought I detected the smell of alcohol on the breath of one of the guys…so I shortened the pre-solo lesson…and while he was in the mens’ lavatory I asked his wife if he imbibed before flying. She cautiously looked all-around and then under her breath she said, “They do that to calm their nerves before coming into the FBO.”
    I told her to tell him if he and his friend ever does that again I will inform the local FAA and the police.
    I never saw Leeds or Ben again.

  5. Permanent Revocation of Student Pilot Certificate & Class III Medical. Period. And Hopefully State Law will apply similar justice to his D.L. & Felony Convictions for CDS and Firearm possession. GA doesn’t need losers such as this.

  6. Yes, you can go to jail / prison for flying under the influence.
    This isn’t just an FAA thing saying you can not fly anymore. The FAA is a safety / regulatory environment with the US Attorney to reck your world if they decide you acted with criminal intent to violate the regulations…
    You can go to federal prison after you do your state time. Most people don’t know this. One is a federal crime, one is a state crime. No double jeopardy, only double the time.

  7. This guy is toast. Good. But what about the others lurking out there on the fringe? CFIs are the first line of defense, and they need to step up their game here, and actively police the student pilot community for anti-authoritarian tendencies. It won’t do much for those that have already left the reservation, but it might dissuade a few. If we don’t police our own, we’ll have a bunch of fired up FSDO inspectors roaming around the ramps. We need to keep our house in order.