Wed, Nov 11, 2009
Suspended 200 Days For Flying A Damaged Airplane
Oahu flight instructor Timothy Thrasher, the owner of Flight
School Hawaii, had just completed a trip from Honolulu to Hilo when
he allegedly hit a sign while taxiing at the Hilo airport. The
collision with the "Transient Aircraft Parking" sign caused
significant damaged the right wingtip of the Piper Aztec, making a
sizable dent in the wing and tearing its aluminum skin.
Thrasher flew the damaged plane, and two family members, back to
Honolulu, which was the basis for the FAA's suspension of his
Hawaii News Now (KGMB/KHNL) reports that FAA spokesman Ian
Gregor said the FAA determined the pilot was "reckless as to
endanger the life and property of another," and handed him a 200
day suspension. "Our investigation determined that plane was not
airworthy and should not have been flown in the condition it's in,"
Thrashed did not wish to commend on
what he told the station was a "minor incident", but the FAA
obviously doesn't see it that way. Thrasher said he flew the plane
back because, after 28 years as a pilot, he did not think the
damage was that significant.
The station also reports that the local law enforcement has
opened a possible criminal investigation to determine if Thrasher
filed a false report. He allegedly told law enforcement officials
that the airplane was fine when he left it, and it was damaged on
his return. A witness who says they saw the incident disputes
Thrashers claim, and was the person who contacted the FAA.
Thrasher will begin serving his 200 day suspension when he
surrenders his license to the FAA. He will still be allowed to
operate his business.
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