Philly Update: Things The FAA Won't Fine You For
The FAA says John Salamone has paid a high enough price for his alleged aerial antics over Philadelphia International Airport and the agency won't be levying any fines against him. Salamone is alleged to have thrown the airspace over northern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey into chaos for four hours on the night of Jan. 15 by cutting through controlled airspace, coming within 900 feet of a loaded Boeing 747, buzzing the ground and circling near a nuclear plant (though in fairness there is one just off the runway at Pennsylvania's Limerick airport and reports indicate he missed his first approach there). The FAA took away his commercial pilot certificate a week later and considers the matter closed. FAA safety inspector Thomas Lahovski told a hearing on criminal charges against Salamone of the FAA decision. FAA spokesman Jim Peters told The Philadelphia Inquirer that pulling his certificate was "the more serious option" and decided against imposing any fines. Salamone's troubles are far from over, however. He's been ordered to stand trial on charges of reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe.