Much Reported Flight Through "Restricted" Airspace Seems to
Have Only Busted LGA's
The GA world got another black eye this week as a Mooney M20C,
piloted by Richard Langone, 47, of Atlantic Beach, Long Island, was
caught circling the Statue of Liberty and violating a airspace in
the New York City area. General media outlets glommed the story up,
made us all look like fools, and the pilot's statement of having
been "confused," sure didn't help the matter.
Langone's errant adventure left Republic Airport sometime around
noon on the 28th with three friends aboard the single engine
Mooney. The flight proceeded North to Sky Acres Airport in
Poughkeepsie before "following the Hudson River" down the west side
of Manhattan and running afoul as he got confused, and transgressed
by flying over the Whitestone Bridge and down the East River toward
Laguardia... which is when all hell broke loose.
Warned that he was violating LGA airspace (while over the East
River), Langone told controllers that he was going to head back to
Republic but, instead, upon passing the Brooklyn Bridge, he decided
to fly a lap around the Statue of Liberty (not the smartest thing
to do after busting someone's airspace) and then proceeded toward
the Verrazano where he was intercepted by NYPD aerial assets before
arriving at Republic where a number of Law Enforcement types
were waiting and pointing machine guns in his general
While the number and
severity of his violations are still being investigated, the
resulting backlash has already resulted in several political
personalities weighting in, in favor of additional restrictions for
GA. "Perhaps in today's environment, the issue of flying near major
landmarks should be revisited," said NYPD Deputy Police
Commissioner Michael O'Looney.
Thanks for that, Mr. Langone...
Langone, an investment banker, has reportedly been flying for a
year and a half, and according to FAA and DHS officials, certainly
faces some penalties for his errant flight, though the GA community
may wind up paying the lion's share of the penalties for his
Let's be careful out there, folks...