this cant be good for ga....


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Pilot, possibly intoxicated, flies around Philly for 3 hours

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(CNN) -- A pilot suspected of flying while intoxicated erratically maneuvered his single-engine plane around Philadelphia airspace Thursday evening for over three hours before being escorted down by a police helicopter, local officials said.

The pilot of the Piper Cherokee aircraft "came down on his own volition" at Pottsdown Limerick Airport, where his aircraft is based, about 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia, according to the airport's manager, Mike D'Aries.

"From what they can determine, it was pretty obvious that when he landed he was pretty intoxicated," D'Aries said.

The pilot, from Limerick Township, is being held by Limerick police who are awaiting blood test results to determine if he was intoxicated, D'Aries said. He will face federal charges if the blood tests indicate he was intoxicated while flying, D'Aries said.

The pilot, who was not identified, owned the aircraft, which was licensed to a business he owned, according to D'Aries.

At one point, the pilot flew into the airspace of Philadelphia International Airport without clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to FAA spokesman Jim Peters.

"Normally if you are piloting out, all you do is you call us and say 'I'd like to proceed in this airspace,'" Peters said. "He didn't do that."

Controllers at Philadelphia International Airport made radio contact with the pilot and offered to clear him to land, but "instead of landing, he flew elsewhere," Peters said.

He took off around 6:45 p.m. before he was escorted down by the Philadelphia police aviation unit at 10:17 p.m., Peters said.

The pilot faces two citations from the FAA for flying through Class B controlled airspace -- airspace around a major airport -- without FAA approval. The FAA is launching an investigation of the incident, and the pilot could have his license suspended or revoked.
Sounds like he might have been up practicing manuevers, someone said "he must be drunk because he's flying circles (turns around a point? 8's on pylons? Lazy-8's?) and the reporter didn't dig deep enough.

But perhaps I'm just a pro-pilot optimist.
I dont know about you, but i am not sure if i could fly the plane and land it safely wasted....but thats just me.
Yeah, it's amazing how non-pilots view standard training maneuvers. If they guy wasn't intoxicated, you'll never hear of it again. The news media isn't too good at reporting happy endings. If the guy WAS drunk, they'll be all over the story, railing about how un-safe small aircraft are. If this guy was in a car, truck, or even a U-Haul, we wouldn't even be discussing it right now.....
Personally I think they should publically come down on him like a ton of bricks. We should be sending the message that he is the exception in GA, and won't be tolerated. Yank his ticket and never give it back. If he was really intoxicated, that is.
personally, i dont think i could fly intoxicated at night (in the dark), in a mountainous terrain - could you?? I'd think you'd lose direction after a while...
Sometimes it amazes me how stupid some people can be. Like ESF said if this guy turns out to have been intoxicated while flying I hope they pull his ticket for good.
Need to get all the facts in before we crucify the guy. The only comment about him being intoxicated comes third hand.
I don't know about you guys, but I fly BETTER drunk...just like when I drive!!

Sorry, it's a know, like when people say, "I d...

No kidding. Reporters seem to have no sense of decency sometimes. They report "Pilot flying over the legal limit..." with a picture like that, and let the readers fill in the blanks. Aren't they supposed to fill in the blanks for us? I guess it's all about what sells the papers, and makes people tune in. I guess a 4 seat Piper isn't a good enough picture. Unfortunately, it is at our expense.

I heard on the news that he did a few close fly-bys to some buildings and a power plant. Although I don't belive everything I hear on the news, it dosn't make sense that they would send a police helicopter after him just for busting bravo. Also, it dosn't make sense that he would have been doing ground reference manouvers over a congested area at night. I wouldn't be too surprised if he was drinking a little.
one article said he blew over a .1. Thats "been drinking" in my book...unless someone just made that up--but i doubt that.
Now I know that the press has some freedom in their reporting, but couldn't they get sued for libel? Wouldn't that be akin to them using a picture of me in a pilot's uniform as well.