Consequences: Pilot, Mechanic Faulted For “Reckless” Flight…


The Cost Of A Choice

A pilot who made an emergency landing on a California freeway in April 2004 won some consideration in an appeal before an NTSB judge in Denver last week. In October, the FAA had ordered a six-month suspension for “reckless” behavior, but the NTSB reduced it to five months. The pilot and his passenger were unharmed in the landing, but the rented Piper Cherokee’s wing sliced through a van, nearly severing the leg of an 11-year-old girl. The mechanic who worked on the airplane before the flight also lost his certificate, for 250 days, reduced from the FAA’s 330-day penalty. Investigators found that the mechanic didn’t fix the rented aircraft properly, and the pilot knew it was having engine trouble but chose to fly anyway, according to The Monterey Herald. The airplane was destroyed in a post-impact fire. Both men have the option to appeal further to an NTSB court in Washington, D.C. A civil suit filed by the girl’s family, alleging negligence in the maintenance and operation of the airplane, is pending in Contra Costa Superior Court, the Herald reported.