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Fri, Mar 19, 2010

FAA Will Question Pilot Suspected Of Buzzing Galveston Beach

Airplane Made Multiple Low Passes Over Jeep Club Beach Gathering

The FAA says it plans to interview the pilot of a plane who reportedly flew within 10 feet of the ground over Crystal Beach near Galveston Saturday.

“We know who owns the airplane, and we've got a good idea of who was flying it,” said FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford. “Our investigators are planning to interview that person as soon as possible.” Lunsford declined to say who was suspected of piloting the plane.

Members of two Jeep clubs had met on the beach Saturday. Kris Kervin, a member of one of the clubs, said the airplane, a Diamond DA40, made a low pass and one wing dipped within 10 feet of the ground. The Houston Chronical reports that amateur video made at the event shows the airplane within 50 feet of the ground. “In the case of buzzing a crowded beach, there is more chance of hitting somebody, being caught by a gust of wind, of not having enough room to recover from turbulence,” Lunsford said. “It's a potentially dangerous act.”

Lunsford said these types of cases often result in the revocation of the pilot's airman priveleges.

File Photo

Those at the beach called the county sheriff, and report that the plane left the area as soon as the patrol car arrived. The Sheriff's Deputy recorded the N number and reported it to the FAA

The airplane is registered to Kirbow Transportation Enterprises in Nederland, TX, which operates a flight school at Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Beaumont. Television station KHOU reports that Bryan Kirbow has pictures of himself and the airplane on his Facebook page.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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