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Banner Tow Pilots arrested as TERRORISM!

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Active member
Mar 27, 2002
Lessoned Learned.........No more buzz jobs like the "good ol' days"........shucks........used to do this in flight school all the time


2 Planes in Restricted NYC Air Space
Fri Jul 5, 8:52 PM ET
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Two pilots were charged Friday with reckless endangerment for flying through restricted airspace around New York City, spurring fears of a July Fourth terrorist attack.

The two planes flew just 25 feet over a swimming area, well below the required 1,000-feet minimum, federal authorities said. The pilots had been returning to their New Jersey base from Massachusetts, where they towed advertising banners above holiday beachgoers.

Pilots Andre Morais and Daniel Oliveria, both of Miami, each face up to seven years in prison if convicted of reckless endangerment and violating air traffic rules.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said they flew dangerously low Thursday evening while cruising past Rockaway Beach.

"Their alleged aggressive and reckless actions put many lives in danger, including their own, and showed extremely poor judgment during a heightened state of security, especially on our nation's birthday," Brown said.

Three helicopters followed the planes along the New Jersey coast to the airfield in Wall, N.J., about 40 miles south of Manhattan, where the pilots landed.

Neither pilot had their radio or transponder on, officials said.

The FBI ( news - web sites) questioned the men for several hours, determined they posed no terror risk and released them. Federal Aviation Administration ( news - web sites) spokesman Jim Peters said the pilots could face flight sanctions ranging from a written reprimand to revocation of their licenses.

Arrest warrants were issued Friday in New York for the men, according to the prosecutor's office.

The planes are owned by Aerial Sign Corp. in Hollywood, Fla. The company's chief executive officer, Jim Butler, dismissed the charges as "grandstanding."

"Until I receive the tapes from the air traffic control facility, I cannot reach the conclusion that these people did this," Butler said.
These were acts of stupidity. If the good old days to you represents stupidity, then you need to rethink the "good old days."

Is it a lesson learned because someone got caught, or because you suddently realized that flat hatting and buzz jobs are for less intelligent life forms who have little respect for others, for their industry, or for their careers?
Not to thier defense...

But, from being from that neck of the woods, this is sort of common SOP...

To beat the Class B of JFK, other flight restrictions, save time, headaches and the list has gone on for years. You skirt the shoreline and keep quiet. If you go the "correct" way you will get the longer route taking you above LGA and down behind EWR.

Again, not to defend these bozo's but for as many years as I can remember many guys did the shoreline run at barely enough altitude. If you lost one you were swimming for sure.
I would not "convict" these guys until ALL the facts are out.

The history of this is the the NYPD helicopters on Long Island have been in "dispute" with the banner towers for years.

My suggestion is to wait until the radar tapes come out and then go from there.


More governmental knee jerk reactions. Back before this debacle, crusing down the cost of Long Island, just offshore at low altitude was normal. It would get you under the TCA (I mean "Class B") just off of JFK. You would then go over and join the VFR corridor up the Hudson, or scoot on out over New Jersey. It was SOP, and a good time saver. Not to mention a lot of fun.

By the way, I assume the VFR Corridor is closed now? Anyone know for sure? It was a great trip, and great sights.
If this had occurred prior to September 11th, nobody
would have so much as given these planes a second look...

It's just the blowback from everybody screaming homeland security and then going after the wrong people

as far as i know the vfr corridor is closed within 2 nm of ground zero up to 8,000 ft. its a shame, probably the nicest, most scenic bit of flying i've ever done.
Anyone fly along the VFR corridor in California?

That must be a blast, all the way up the Pacific coast line with LA, San Francisco, along the route.

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