Saturday, May 14, 2005

Pilot Who Violated Capital Airspace "Froze" in Flight: FAA

I once took a defense driving course called the "Smith System". During the class the instructor cited a survey naming as the most feared driver on the road, the "little old man wearing a hat". Well now it seems the little old men wearing hats are flying. From the Washington Post
The pilot who caused a midday panic in Washington on Wednesday failed to get briefings about the weather and restricted airspace and became lost minutes after leaving a Pennsylvania airport, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer, 69, froze when he saw a Black Hawk helicopter appear near his right wing while flying toward the White House and had difficulty operating his small, single-engine aircraft, officials said yesterday. It took the valiant effort of Sheaffer's student-pilot companion, Troy D. Martin, who had only 30 logged hours of flight time, to take over the controls and land the plane at an airport in Frederick, officials said.
The FAA plans to revoke Sheaffer's pilot certificate.

Via The Jawa Report.