Skip to comments.Suspect charged after alleged drunken ride in stolen plane
Posted on 06/22/2005 2:06:11 PM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
(Harrison, N.Y.-AP, June 22, 2005 2:25 PM) _ An 20-year-old man, allegedly intoxicated, is under arrest after allegedly stealing a small plane in Connecticut. The man took two friends on a three-hour joyride early this morning that somehow ended with a safe landing at a darkened Westchester County Airport.
County Executive Andrew Spano says that when an airport security car met the four-seat Cessna at 4:15 a.m. and the plane doors opened, a significant number of beer cans spilled to the ground.
Police say the plane's 20-year-old "pilot," Philippe Patricio, of Bethel, Connecticut, was arrested with a blood alcohol level of point-one-five -- nearly double the legal limit for driving in New York state.
His two 16-year-old passengers were not charged.
The plane was nearly out of gas when it landed, and it appeared that Patricio became lost during his time in the air.
It was unclear how he spotted the Westchester airport, which had closed for construction work five hours earlier.
Spano was incensed that the post-September Eleventh security measures in place at the Westchester airport were not duplicated at the Danbury Municipal Airport, where the single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk departed at about 1:30 am
A call left for comment at the administration office at Danbury Municipal Airport was not immediately returned.
Authorities were perplexed at Patricio's ability to land the plane on a small taxiway without any lights while lost and allegedly drunk.
Patricio was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and driving while intoxicated. The DWI was the result of Patricio taxiing through the airport while drunk, since there are no state laws applying to flying while intoxicated.
Westchester authorities said it appeared that Patricio may work as a part-time mechanic at the Danbury airport, and could have used an access pass to get his hands on the Cessna's keys.
"Duuuuuuude...where's th' party?"
"From another story on this: "What's more amazing about this story is that the man arrested is not even a registered pilot as far as authorities know."
He may still know how to operate and aircraft. Lack of official government sanction does not limit knowledge, that seems to be something bureaucrats can't seem to get their minds around.
All those years of video games payed off....
Any landing you walk away from is a good landing!
Now that is what you say is flying high.
This kid needs to join the military and get some discipline. He obviously has some talent.
"He may still know how to operate and aircraft."
To some extent, but even sober, it would take an act of God
for him to have made this joy ride and land in one piece,
even if he had some flight lessons.
Fly for three hours, drunk, at night, and landing on an unlit taxi strip? Amazing.
"Fly for three hours, drunk, at night, and landing on an unlit taxi strip? Amazing."
I was on duty at an FBO in Nashville one Sunday when an aircraft landed and pulled up to the flightline. The pilot got out, several beercans fell onto the tarmac and he carefully walked over to me and asked where the nearest store was. I told him and he told me to top off his tanks. I got a look inside the cockpit and it was full of beercans. He got back (by taxi) and had a sack of beer under his arm, paid me and took off. He had flown from Florida and was on his way to Indiana.
Wonder how many bathroom landings he had to make...
"Wonder how many bathroom landings he had to make..."
Probably carried a pee bottle. Jeez, that guy was such a maroon.
This is bizarre - I thought it was a repost from this news story - but no - it's ANOTHER one!
for aviation ping
Please Freepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent Connecticut ping list.
When I took my introductory flight (and subsequent lessons for private license) - after a few years of flight sim on my PC - I actually found real flying, particularly landings to be easier than the flight sims! And my training was in a Piper Tomahawk, which one actually has to fly - as opposed to a Cessna, which practically flies itself.
Of course, 'results may vary', as the small print always advises.
I was only half-kidding...There are simulators for weapons training used by the military that are just "big ol' video games"...
A man can't just sit around and do nothing.
I found the same thing to be true when I took my training in a Beech T-tail.
What is the saying "God looks out for fools, drunks, and student pilots"
Two out of three I guess.
I worked as a line boy (airport gas pump jockey) for several years, and I've been around airports as a mechanic, flight instructor, jump plane pilot, banner tow pilot, and aircraft owner since the 70's.
I can categorically say that I've never seen anyone fly an airplane that I knew had been drinking. Obviously it happens, but I've never witnessed it, even from the hangar where they had beer in the pop machine. It never delivered it's first beer until after the aircraft had landed and the chairs got pulled out.
This is allegedly a story. /sarcasm
Both stories from AP. Someone has an agenda. David Rockefeller recently ran the AOPA witness at a House meeting over the coals. He said something to the effect that "he worried about all those 18000 airports", meaning he thought all of them were terrorist threats and he intended to do something about it.
My bet is that these articles made the AP on his agenda.
David Rockefeller is a threat to aviation and our freedom to travel in our own aircraft.
Your link had the 14 y/o that stold a plane and landed it safely (the first time). Unfortunatle the kid tried it a second time and was not so lucky.
He must be destroyed!
I think this line can safely be amended to read formerly worked as a part-time mechanic at the Danbury airport.
Wow...he could have done real damage if he had been driving a SUV...
Just Damn! alert
If you want on the list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...
If anything, it was difficult for me to learn how to fly VFR in real life, after years of IFR training with the simulator software.
For someone who has learned how to flying simulators, this does not surprise me at all.
Simulators are that real!
Drunk...not a pilot...4:30 in the morning...unlit airport...and he landed, everybody walked away, and the plane wasn't damaged.
God really does look out for fools.
They didn't know what to do with me. I told them that the guy was coming way below minimums over a residential area and I pointed out the thing about the tail numbers. Well, the cop wanted to know the tail number and they'd track the guy down. O.k., I'd see what I could do. No dice. They guy wouldn't remain still long enough for me to get 'em. Or he'd disappear behind a building and then zoom up to 8000' feet, and then launch another dive bombing run.
So I called the cops back. The cop is adamant he needs the registration number or he won't be able to do anything, and nobody else had reported anything. Just then, while we were on the phone, I heard this big boom. "You heard a big boom?", he asks, "Any idea in what direction and how far away it was?" Before I could answer, I heard on the other end some intense conversation. The cop then tells me that he has to go now, "Something just came up. You may hear about it on the news." and hangs up. Less than a minute later I hear a whole bunch of sirens (like every single emergency vehicle in the state).
Turns out, the plane was being piloted by an off duty cop and his copper buddy, both of them sheets to the wind (~0.25). The cop pilot was a pilot and from what investigators could figure, he decided that he was going to park the plane in the garage. An open garage attached to a house about 3/4 miles north from my apartment. He parked that plane perfectly in the garage too may I add. If memory serves correctly, the newspaper article reported that he had bragged to people about his flying skills and that he could do just that, "park a plane in a garage with only a runway as long as a driveway."
The firefighters were able to put the fire out pretty quickly, and none of the house's occupants were injured. But the garage was a total loss.
For those of you who don't know the area, Danbury airport is strictly for private aircraft: there are no regularly scheduled flights. Westchester airport has both private planes and several airlines that fly from there direct to Boston, Toronto, DC, Chicago, Detroit, etc. But Westchester (HPN) is a pretty small airport, and it's normally closed at night because it is in a residential area. At least, regular airlines don't land there in the middle of the night. The two airports are about 30 miles apart I guess, maybe even less as the crow flies.
That's a great story. We used to get calls from the folks in Belle Meade, a very rich neighborhood, about aircraft buzzing their houses. Some of the guys at the airport were buzzing their friends houses and we knew who they were. We consistently told the callers "yes ma'am, we are tracking them on radar". We didn't even have a radar. I wasn't about to call the FAA as these guys were professional pilots whom I knew personally and weren't even flying that low.
So, can a Piper Cub divebomb and then scoot back up to 8000 feet? (rhetorical question /off)
My (limited) Cub time was somewhat more sedate.
More seriously, people who horse around in airplanes like this make the vast majority of GA pilots look bad, and it's not right. Like that clown who shut down DC last month. Sheesh. I was glad to see AOPA come out with that full-page ad in USA Today saying so.
In retrospect, I'm beginning to think it was maybe a Cessna. And I distinctly remember seeing the registration number boldly printed on the aft fuselage. I just could never get a fix on it to read it. Based on the Skyhawk's climb rate, that's about right. Defintely up to about 8000' and then over, to every bit of 100'. The guy seen me standing there staring at him too. And boy was he sharp, because he'd veer away and the building would obscure him. I'd back up to minimise the obscuration by the building, and catch sight of him again, and then he'd bank off and then climb until he was a dot. Then he'd make off like he was flying away, and next thing you know you could hear the drone of that engine coming in from high above. After some acrobatic maneuvers, I swear the decent was just about vertical and he'd pull out in the absolute last second. If I was the guy in the passanger seat I'd have soiled my pants in every way possible for sure. And this was going on at like 2 A.M.
I spoke with Phil Boyer about the idiot who flew over the White House in a 152. They intercepted him and brought him back to Frederick - which is where the AOPA (& Boyer) is based. Phil was so pissed off - he said that this idiot ruined about a year of work that the AOPA had done.
Then - the 14 year old who stole the 152 and now this drunk kid who stole a 172.
It's like an epidemic of idiots.
PS... I fly VERY agressively and have never had a Cub UP to 8000 feet. Cubs are happiest at 100-500' AGL.
As I indicated, I'm thinking now it proabably wasn't a Cub. Moreover, this happened anywhere from 10 to 18 years ago.
Sorry - I'm so sick of the GA hunt. It's ridiculous.
Probably something that hasn't been disclosed is the Democrat's Smear Campaign on General Aviation - to enhance the idea of User Fees for Private Aircraft.
It's coming..... and they are already fighting us....
Well, first of all, the pilot of that plane was an idiot.
But I have not known Skyhawks to have that kind of climb performance either. :-) They're kind of anemic in the climb performance department. Was it high wing or low wing?
Sorry this mope ruined your day and made good pilots look bad.
I treasure those particular words strung together like that. Hee.
All of the taxes that we pay on our airplanes, the registration, local area taxes, sales tax, gas taxes, etc - NONE of it goes to our airports!!!!
We fund Schools and play grounds and stuff that we never use.
So, when the airports need improvements - the FAA picks up the tab. If you want to change that - then give us back our $$$ that we pay for everything else and we'l self fund our airport improvements instead of the stupid schools and playgrounds - WHICH by the way - I DON'T USE!
PS... if you don't want to pay for airports - next time - take Amtrak or Greyhound to Hawaii.