Wed, Oct 15, 2008
May Face Suspension Of Medical Pending Treatment If Charges
Details are hard to come by out of Winnebago County, Wisconsin,
where veteran airshow performer Patty Wagstaff was scheduled for a
Tuesday court appearance following a drunk-driving arrest at
Wittman Regional Airport during EAA Airventure.
Wagstaff told ANN shortly after the incident
the encounter occurred while she was trying to get back from the
"Gathering of Eagles" dinner Thursday evening, July 31. While
driving to the nearby Hilton on airport property, the performer
said she was stopped by Oshkosh airport and airshow security, who
subsequently called the Sheriff in what escalated into a three-hour
Wagstaff was initially charged with two violations -- operating
while under the influence, and refusal to take a breathalyzer test.
She insisted in comments to ANN that she was not impaired.
The Oshkosh Northwestern reports the FAA may require Wagstaff to
undergo a treatment program or otherwise satisfy the FAA that she's
fit to fly if the charges stick.
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory told the paper, "When
somebody does have a drunk driving conviction we want to see them
going through some kind of drunk driving rehabilitation before
getting their medical updated. They're going to have to prove it to
us and come back and pass the next medical before they can have
their certificate valid."
Few details on the proceeding have been released. Winnebago
County District Attorney Christian Gossett told the Northwestern
his office was still reviewing the incident to determine whether
criminal charges would be filed. Wagstaff attorney Christopher
Mutschler reportedly could not be reached for comment late last
Unlike most pilots, Wagstaff has more concerns than possible
fines and certificate suspension by the FAA. Keeping a major
aerobatic act on the airshow circuit requires sponsors... though
it's worth noting Wagstaff did receive a significant show of
confidence from one of those sponsors in September, three weeks
after the incident.
Goodyear Aviation Tires announced September 22 it would supply
its Flight Custom III tires for Wagstaff's Extra 300S performance
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