Polite Pilot Released From Psych Ward
Welsh pilot Maurice Kirk gets full marks for politeness but his questionable judgment landed him in a Texas psychiatric hospital. Kirk, from the Vale of Glamorgan, was detained for psychiatric assessment after landing his Piper Cub in a field about six miles from President Bush's Texas ranch April 25. Known as the Flying Vet, Kirk wanted to personally thank Bush for help he got from the U.S. Coast Guard when he crashed off the coast of the Dominican Republic in February. According to the BBC, police who stopped Kirk in the Texas field originally thought he was drunk, but he was found to be sober. The McLennan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Phlemons said he was not arrested but was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Kirk was released from the Austin State Hospital last Thursday.
Kirk is currently attempting to fly around the world solo in his Piper Cub. His wife, Kirstie, said that she was unsure if her husband would be able to fly his airplane immediately because it may have been damaged by the weather. He plans to take a break from the adventure and fly back to Wales (commercially) this week. When he resumes the flight, his wife suggests he'll be a little more careful. "I guess that [the Secret Service] will want to check his route before he leaves," she said.